Our ten-day Rick Steves tour to Italy back in 2011 was more than we had hoped for. It included Florence, Cinque Terre—which is part of the Italian Riviera—Lucca, Volterra and Rome.

What was wonderful about this Rick Steves tour from my perspective, is that it included so much research and planning that I would not have been capable of doing. For example, the reservations and timing for all the museum tours, and bus and train transportation, and top notch guides at the various cities would have been beyond my capability.

My highlight was the Cinque Terre stop which lasted two days and two nights. The food was superb and my adventurous husband even enjoyed the rice dish with squid ink! Our son also came on the trip, which we loved.

The last evening at the Hotel Pasquale we had a pesto demonstration, and while we were waiting for our meal to be served, Rick Steves actually made a surprise visit! Our guide, Nina Bernardo, said that in her eight years as a guide, she has never met him during a tour. This fun and unexpected adventure was the highlight of my trip!

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