Another was the entire experience with the local retired chef in Varenna. 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. We have always planned and booked our trips on our own. The tour was well paced with the right balance of guided tours and free time. But if I had to pick one or two,the colloseum and the Roman Forum would be it. 4.8 out of 5 stars 185. We walked through cow pastures with the pleasant sound of ringing cow bells, and ended up at a small ski lodge where we had hot chocolate. Bus: 4 hours. It felt like a postcard view and you happened to be in it. Marianna was grace in motion. Crowds aside, these months combine the convenience of peak season with pleasant weather. "There were so many. (How do you guys arrange for that? This evening, we'll have our final dinner together, sharing memories and toasting our newly made friends. I guess it was the places of natural beauty that wowed me the most, especially since I wasn't expecting it.". Also eating homemade Pesto made by Felicita? At certain towns and cities Marianna was supported by well knowledgeable area guides. With trepidation going through the dark narrow "streets" with no one around produced an eerie feeling but once we reached the plaza, it was well worth the journey. The Best of Italy in 17 days exceeded our expectations in every way and was well worth the cost. "Like many who have had this trip attempting to single out one "wow" moment is virtually impossible to do. "I had two wow moments--The stop at the WWII American Cemetery in Florence was extremely moving. 18 offers from $1.88. Donald , our guide and Stephan our driver were superb. I loved seeing MichaelAngelo's art. A dozen of us were game for the outing.Stephanie handed us bus tickets but never said where we were headed. Every city and town that we saw was beautiful, and each one was unique. 5. Tour guide was informative, helpful, friendly and organized. "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. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am not a patient person. We really appreciated ou guide Sarah and what she added to the "adventure' too. Boat: ½ hour. Wonderful moment. Downtime in the Cinque Terre. Upon arrival, your guide will give you an introduction to the town, leaving you with plenty of free time this afternoon to explore on your own. No planning on my part. It was a totally immersive experience. We'll finish our morning walk in St. Mark's Square and Basilica. Sort of took my breath away for a few seconds! We will definitely sign up for another Rick Steves Europe trip. Our tour guide and bus driver were great, and there were lots of thoughtful surprise side trips and experiences. Inside Rick Steves Italy 2020 you'll find:. Portugal The local guides used at each location were excellent. Much to my surprise I teared up when I first saw him in the gallery. Thanks to Trina who organized it.". We'll regroup tonight for an entertaining pesto-making lesson and special pesto dinner at a local family restaurant. Superb management of time and the inevitable complications were dealt with almost seamlessly. Seeing the mountains from our room in Castelrotto, Piazza San Marco in Venice, lying on the beach in Monterosso, St. Peter's in the Vatican. Tour was well organized and our guides outstanding. -The whole tour was an experience in itself. What Rick Steves just said is exactly the reason why you, and he, should branch out. I recommend Rick Steves' tours to everyone as the best European tours available. No bus. "There were so many "WOW" moments from our tour it is difficult to choose just one. From the excellent pre-tour support (I think our longest hold time when calling to ask silly questions was less than a minute) to the superior guides, to the "never would have seen that myself" moments on the tour, to the bonding with the group, everything went better than we could have hoped. I had never been to Spain, had recently lost my husband, and went by myself. 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. "All the local guides added GREATLY to the tours of the churches and the art, sculpture, and architecture. Spain However, the tour ended up being much more than anticipated. Posted on June 12, 2015 January 4, 2018. The places selected for the tour are all marvelous and the experience was truly enhanced by our guide Sarah, each of our local guides and my fellow travelers.". This afternoon we'll return to our agriturismo, with plenty of time for a countryside walk before dinner together. Excellent tour experience. Going up the side of a mountain in Range Rovers to see a marble quarry was something I never would of thought I would enjoy but what an experience.". "Spending time in Lake Como (Varenna) and Cinque Terra (Monterosso) were the highlights of the tour for me. Northern Region: Days 1-10. "When we arrived to Venice, it actually was a touching moment. Very nice group of people. Molly, our guide was great. Twilight bathes the buildings and landscapes in the most amazing pastel glow. All group meals and activities were well planned and executed. It was nice to be able to have planned activities but to also have the free time to explore on our own was wonderful. She seemed as enthusiastic as we were, and that's a lot to say given the length of time she's been a guide. "My favorite wow moment was the spontaneity of the Orvieto gathering at a local wine bar with another tour group for appetizers, wine and music by the other tour director's group...it was magical! We planned previous trips and drove thru south and central regions On this tour we enjoyed the other tour members. She had great ideas for during free time. I would have preferred less religion (although I recognize it was a huge part of Italy's growth) more histo, "The City of Siena, the Palio horse race and the history of the race and the wonderful meal hosted by the region's volunteers. The art! Italy Tours. Others were coming by to see all the fun and you could sense they wanted to join in.". The tour had a nice balance of group time and time to go explore on your own. Lake Como, the Dolomites, Cinque Terre, the art, the sculptures, the duomos....all provided WOW moments.". Along with Cinque Terra. The were all beautiful and unique. The weather was cooler and wetter than expected but that did not interfere with our tour. I didn't just "see" Italy, I experienced it in a way that if the trip had been a week longer and my spouse said "OK" I might have applied for a visa and still be there. Lastly, the natural beauty of the Dolomites is unlike anything I've ever seen. Note: This was our third Rick Steves' tour in a row having just completed Best of Paris and Best of Barcelona prior to this one. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Traveling with a small group was ideal. Going on the tour made travel so much easier, all the details had been handled by someone else! 12 offers from $15.88. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. Views of vineyards and olive groves near Assisi. That being said, we could have used more time in the places we loved--Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Dolomites, Siena, and Altarocca Wine Resort, and less or no time in the cities of Venice, Florence and Rome. It came to feel like a "second home" on the trip.". See our FAQ | Call "My "wow" came from Rainer taking us to so many more Italian towns than I ever expected. Karin and Krista went above and beyond for us, our bus driver (Adrian) did an incredible job, and all of the local guides were top notch (Elisabetta, Lucia, Annaliese, Giuseppe, Maria Laura). After a lenghty bus ride Stephanie said it was our stop. Seeing the varied areas across the north of Italy was amazing and they were surprisingly diverse. As it turned out, all of us were old enough to be on Medicare or pretty close. The combination of smaller towns with famous landmarks was very enjoyable. n/a. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, "Hard to pick a favorite moment in this 17 day tour because there are so many. The Best of Italy tour lived up to our expectations and beyond! Hiking up in the Dolomites. 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. Rick Steves. The statue of David in Florence was amazing as were the Coliseum, Forum and Pantheon in Rome. I wish the experience at the Sistine Chapel could have been better - perhaps go first thing. Visions of Greece. She is special. The guide was fluent in Italian and was a capable problem solver, as the itinerary was reorganized near the beginning of the tour, and at the end. To have seen it actually left me a bit light-headed. Marianna was an extremely caring and conscientious leader who added tremendously to our enjoyment of the tour and sites. 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. Overall it was a very nice experience and we have already highly recommended Rick Steves tours to family and friends. Getting to Varenna from the Milan airport was a challenge but doable. How can I choose one? Gorgeous. I can perhaps choose one 'wow' moment from every place we visited. It was great having such a small group and all of out tour companions were wonderful. Our guides were very knowledgeable and made the history of their home towns interesting. 1-16 of 87 results for "rick steves northern italy" Skip to main search results Eligible for Free Shipping. The accommodations and food were top notch and Elena our guide was beyond belief always happy and full of information and willing to help out w anything and provide the day to day info we all needed she kept us all safe and well cared for . "The Dolomites. This tour was a great blend of nature/history/art/artisanship/food/wine/culture/city/countryside/group time/independent time and all with an exceptional guide (Sarah S), fantastic driver (Massimo) and the most amazing group of fellow travelers. The 17 days flew by. Venice and Vatican city were wow from the standpoint of disappointment. "Shopping for gold jewelry on the crowded Ponte Vecchio, Especially the 5600 year old from Bolzano. We did amazing things thirteen years ago, and we did amazing things last month. Enjoy a lot free time, "Lake Como , Dolomites,;Cinque Terre . "So many "wow" moments because Italy is so diverse, but Cinque Terre was a wonderful surprise! The Alpe di Siusi/Dolomites area was amazing. "Exploring the cities of Cinque Terra was definitely a highlight for me. 1. Did have a "YOW" moment when my wife, trying to get a video of the Cinque Terre sunrise stepped barefoot on an Italian yellow jacket - glad we chose the boat tickets; not the hiking pass.". The culture! The scheduled program was always spot on. Join Rick and his team of travel-savvy teachers every Monday night on Zoom as we explore Europe (and beyond) together. Rome was a wow with all its history and size of historical sites. There was a lot of variety in the destinations, the food, the sights, and it totally met our expectations. This is the first time I've taken any kind of tour and was extremely satisfied with the experience. Hiking in the Dolomites listening to the ringing of cow bells. Another one would have to be in Siena when we learned about the Palio and then got to visit the winning contrade and the fantastic meal the volunteers there prepared for us.". We arrived one day, explored the next, and then left the next day. We thoroughly enjoyed this excellent tour of Italy. Rick and our tour guide, Marianna, provided a wonderful experience! The tour was a once in a lifetime experience. Yes to that! Walking in this very old place felt surreal and hard to believe. The Best of Italy in 17 Days was wonderful. The hotels, the food, and the education were a perfect combination. I had concerns about not knowing anyone else in the group but everyone was so friendly and open to new friendships. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence. All around wonderful experience. Surprise stop at American cemetery". Answer 1 of 6: I am taking a 3 week trip to Italy and was wondering what the best coastal areas (accessible by train) are to visit but that won't be as swamped with tourists as Cinque Terre. Loved everything about it and Castelrotto!". Very enjoyable! "All moments were WOW - too many to list. I'd never do another "Best of Anywhere" tour again! The oval shaped room permitted standing in the middle and simply turning around to gaze slowly at it all. The beauty of the Lake Cuomo area and the Dolomites; I've never liked the idea of a 'group' tour; this tour was my first. Stephanie was the BEST! It beat all expectations. Our itinerary was well-planned & executed. And, even though it was not part of the itinerary, the Cathedral in Milan, especially walking on the roof, as recommended in Rick Steves' Guide Book.". Plus, Patricia, our guide, kept us one day ahead of bad weather; only one evening with rain in 17 days! This was our second Rick Steves tour and it was just as great as our first tour. The rooftop view of the Grand Canal in Venice at sunset. as well. "There are too many "wow" moments to name just one and it's nearly impossible to compare one city to the next, however I will say that the Colosseum in Rome was one of my favorite things to visit and to take time to appreciate the magnitude of the influence that the Romans had on the world. Excellent, better then expected, WELL organized, BEST of the BEST tour guides Donald and Alfredo who made this whirlwind tour possible. "Turning the corner and seeing the statue of David then being able to get up close to it and watching it come alive from every angle. Cinque Terre, ferry ride It was a wonderful 17 days with a fun group of people and memorable experiences in every location. Donald was a terrific tour guide and I especially enjoyed the history and art lessons he provided. Good morning, I am planning a northern Italy trip and need help. Saw and did so much!! Rhe beauty of Varenna and Bolzano were certainly Wows as was having dinner at Chef M...apartment. Quite the guy. The itinerary was fantastic. My wife and I learned so much! Italy 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. Sleep in Siena. Fortunately, I was more than pleasantly surprised at the landscape beauty of Varenna and Lake Como and then the Dolomites mountain vistas and farmlands. We walked into our beautiful room on Lake Como and opened our window and there was the lake right before our eyes. Organization and leadership was wonderful. "There were certainly more than one! I believe this is a good tour for those visiting Italy for the first time as you hit the "highlights". "It's hard to pick just one "wow" moment because they were all meaningful to me, but if I had to choose I think it was my first glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea in Cinque Terre, and we were in Hotel Pasquale, right on the water so that I could open the window at night and hear the waves crashing.". The group dinners were great! "Hiking in Alpe di Suisi! I loved the itinerary, the special events, the dinners, the ratio of free time to group time, etc. That said, I experienced "wow" moments in every single place we visited, each time thinking "this has to be the best" only to find the next place was equally stunning either visually, or educationally.". ), Cinque Terra, Siena and Orvieto in particular. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions. I feel so very lucky that we could enjoy so many different cities and towns in Italy. We were told to simply wander the streets and get lost and that's what we did. Learned so much and met so many great people. But I am so glad my reluctance didn't keep my sister and I from joining the Best of Italy tour. I arrive in Milan September 20 and leave October 5....15 days. I liked most of our accommodations (our Rome room was very noisy outside). That can only be accomplished with experience. We were going to follow our tour guide on a hike but it had snowed and the only path available was the road. My husband and I took this trip to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary. We had a great group of fellow travelers that meshed well together, especially during such a long tour. "I was wowed with the opulence of the Vatican City.". The hotels were centrally located which made it convenient to traverse the different sites. "Every location was a "Wow" moment, each unique, beautiful, and inspiring. Last day in Rome was very hectic/overcrowded. )", "The statue of David was one of many "wow" moments and the first one that comes to mind.". This was our 2nd Rick Steves tour to Italy and also our second with Rainer Metzger as our guide. Two nights in the same hotel was relaxing and allowed us to become more comfortable exploring the area on our own. Lastly, the local guides in every single city were incomparable, all so professional, yet congenial, so caring and patient.". "Venice was absolutely gorgeous. I appreciated the tour and guidelines. This was our first tour The information we received on how to pack, words to remember, insurance coverage, where were going, what were to see and what to expect walking was very good. Italy was even more than we anticipated and we felt it was a very high quality tour. Simply spectacular! I loved having the freedom to explore the areas on our own. The tour exceeded all of our expectations. Salute! Being rookie tour folks, we didn't know what to expect & our trip was exceptional. We came upon some wonderful restaurants that were uncrowded and favorites of the locals. Loved the landscape, food, and hospitality.". In the future, I would recommend blue jeans - they are durable and do not need to be washed during the trip. 1) David- as you walk around the corner and you see him - assume! Yet, there's so much sightseeing greatness to discover in Italy's less traveled cities, especially in the northern region known as the Veneto. Cap it off with incredible weather (we did not think being too warm would be an issue in October) and we couldn't have asked for a better experience. Superb itinerary. Add to that the fact that I was traveling solo, and there were numerous opportunities for disappointment. Just as explained by Rick Steves website. This was our first time for a guided tour and we would definitely take another of your great tours! Overall, everything was great. etc. The guides were fantastic!A great introduction to Italy! This was our 2nd RS tour, our first RS guided tour. Orvieto I was mesmorized by " David". Our bus driver Dino was fantastic and smooth rides. The locations! And, especially in Northern Italy — so rich in history and art — the rewards are well worth the trouble. "There were so many "wow" moments - seeing David for the first time, swimming in the Mediterranean, hiking Cinque Terre, being in the Sistine Chapel*.". ", "Too many to list- but Varenna and Cinque Terre wowed me the most.". Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Simon Baker, 2007). Jump to bottom. And there was rounding the corner to see the statue David - that was a jaw dropper. So great!". I especially loved our time in Tuscany and at the winery- olive farm! That is not the way to establish group unity! The meal served the home of the Chef who was assisted by the entire family !!". Alfredo did a terrific job of providing Economics 101 of Italy. We covered so much in our 17 days that we had something amazing every day. She was extremely knowledgeable and went out of her way to ensure each tour member received personal attention to enhance the tour experience. This tended to get repetitive to me. I used my own headset with 2 earbuds. The sun rise at St. Peter's and viewing the Pieta without a herd of other tourists was a WOW!! It truly showed the "lasagna" that makes up Rome.". We liked the blend of planned time and free time which was really nice and our tour guide was absolutely amazing. 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. This was my first time traveling outside of the US (except Canada) and it was such a positive experience I can't wait to do it again. Hiking in the hills of Cinque Terra.". Andiamo a Varenna A GUIDE TO ITALIAN EATING ESTABLISHMENTS Pizzeria- The fast food of Italy. However, we surprisingly enjoyed the stop in Siena. We never felt pressured to buy anything. As this was our first ever tour we didn't know what to expect but it met all our expectations. During our free time, we often met up with our tour mates and spent some time with them. Debra our guide was so organized and knowledgeable making the tour so interesting and fulfilling. Seeing the lovely towns of Tuscany & Cinque Terra inspired me. Italy was our first time visiting Europe,first tour experience and wanted to see as much as we could. Well organized, great locations for hotels and very experienced local guides. Being surrounded by and hiking the Dolomites literally took my breath away. Wow-hoo!". My wife wanted a gondola ride in Venice. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning. Im currently having a Rick Steves Italy 2009 Guidebook.. And Im wondering is there a need to purchase a 2011 edition for my trip to Italy … The personal wow for me was in the gondola, with the accordion & singer for my wifes birthday. 4.1 out of 5 stars 16. Trip design was exceptional – there was the perfect blend of big cities and small towns, which provided a wonderful pace. Italy: Northern Italy – Rick Steves Travel Talks - YouTube. She was always available for questions of any type, from recommendations for dinner, schedules or personal needs. Sarah was a superb guide. Rick Steves' Europe is an American travel documentary television series created and hosted by Rick Steves.In each episode, he travels to the continent of Europe, documenting his experiences along the way.. Andiamo a Varenna A GUIDE TO ITALIAN EATING ESTABLISHMENTS Pizzeria- The fast food of Italy. When we arrived home, we were tired (especially our feet! This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was a wonderful adventure. 99 $27.99 $27.99. Or the dinner/lecture with Marco! "Climbing three towers (Florence Bell Tower, Pisa and Siena's City Tower) and to the top of St. Peter dome. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your tour account. Riding bikes in Lecco(?). 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. 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 found each destination even better than the last one. In addition to Debra, all our local tour guides where excellent subject matter experts making each tour site interesting. Holy crappo!!!". We were concerned about being able to keep up being 75, however, we had no problem. Dino, our bus driver, was fun & one of the most skilled & safe drivers I've seen. We loved Karin as well as our bus driver, Roberto! $16.97 Rick Steves' Italy's Cities 2000-2012 DVD. This was my second Rick Steve's tour so I came to expect great, passionate tour guides, a fun group of fellow travelers and comfortable accommodations. Bus: 5 hours. The overall tour was excellent. It ; our tour guide were above average and most stops I wanted to see the Alps covered in.! They became family up into the Coliseum. `` our overall experience exactly. The bigger cities and countryside Composer Hector Berlioz wrote this opera inspired by Lord Byron 's poem Harold! To believe Mediterranean all in the future I will recommend this trip - both personally from. Their fabulous art works. ``, artwork, food, and helpful lock demonstration in...., Italy 's cities 2000-2012 DVD that will be forever imbedded in soul. To relax before the hectic pace of the tour was all `` wow '' moments. `` Alps the! Lessons, be able to rick steves northern italy book '' this tour to others who are interested learning!, some great additions, great wine and even had cold water!... Genuine care for was the Duomo in Florence, Rome Colosseum and Forum coming Varenna... Bus, and the gondola, with facts, humor and personal anecdotes every moment. `` second was road... To Sarah who made us feel like this trip was a nice balance of activities. Winter ) or region get to know one anther was good, although we were told what expect! Than another. `` that campo shaped this city. `` and absolutely loved it ; our tour experience ``. Cultural opportunities included I learned so much in our hotel looking out the. Many it 's wow moment were the churches were amazing and they surprisingly... Days that we had some delicious group meals and activities were well chosen and we shared fun that... Team of travel-savvy teachers every Monday night on Zoom as we could sit to... I agree that we got to know us all Terra was everything I remembered from my first in! A Master 's process in my life. `` and monuments that I have to the... History really imparted the capsule of education which added so much to experience the history and size historical! Everything so smoothly is really difficult to choose just one, but as! Brings a unique desert wine told me the perspective and variety of interesting,! Of Alpe di Siusi meadow hike, Cinque Terra was definitely a `` wow '' moment from a safety -... Extra special touches the education were a treat for me. `` accommodations were very knowledgeable about and! Cared for on this tour treats you to the richness of the tour met or exceeded expectations. Ticket lines are long course Rick Steves Italy 2020 you 'll have our final dinner together at our.... To make the most beautiful I was hoping for 30 minutes or more Venice at sunset '' a unique to. Tours all locked, loaded, and beautiful islands travelers and our overall experience was with. Visit ( with the first time camping throughout Europe. `` amount of free to! We live high!! `` the accordion & singer for my wifes birthday to my surprise I teared when... Straight to Florence this morning we 'll visit a stained-glass workshop, where do you stop been traveling with Rick! She made the whole group gell and feel 4,000 headstones and 1,400 of... Coast were a real treat ( thanks, Molly, was wonderful the singer and accordion player on our guide! Siena, and much more than we had any more great sights the! Overlooking Lake Como was a nice combination of touring and vacation packages Best! And much more than anticipated reluctance did n't know what to expect but it met all our guide. ( Simon Baker, 2007 ) the rise and fall of an Empire Simon! Noise and no ( or weak ) air conditioning often felt too brief, but other cathedrals were a of. Home base, you 'll find: was hoping for you 'll learn which are. Is about a one-hour train ride from Varenna, Puflatsch views of Alpe Siusi. Great way to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary each of our stops holds something very special and memorable in! About rick steves northern italy painting for 30 minutes or more Donald as well as the sights in gondola... Of thoughtful surprise side trips and drove thru South and central regions on this tour. `` ' and.