Yea! Heart of Italy was my first RS tour back in 2013. We went about the same time as you're booked for - maybe ours started on the 18th or so but very close.
Hotel-wise, I agree with Liz that they may change. Our hotels were: Rome - Hotel Sonya (had an elevator and a really nice breakfast), Volterra - Hotel La Locanda (don't remember about the elevator or breakfast but oddly I remember who I ate with!), Monterosso al Mare - Albergo Pasquale (group was split between there and the sister hotel Villa Steno. Had an elevator and excellent breakfast. Mama made the lemon marmalade - unbelievable, Papa did the croissants) and the hotel in Florence is no longer a hotel I don't think.
I think people did laundry or had laundry done in Monterosso. I know on subsequent tours where we stayed in Monterosso that was done. I'm a sink wash person so don't pay a whole lot of attention.
Weather - rained a LOT in Florence so take a waterproof rain jacket with hood. It also stormed the first night we were in Monterosso but our awesome guide got us going from Lucca a little earlier and told everyone who intended to do the ferry to the other villages to do it that afternoon as she thought it might not be running the next day due to the storm forecast. She was 100% correct but because of her leadership those of us who wanted to see the towns from the water had the opportunity to do so. She got us to the ferry for the last departure of the day. This was not an included activity so we all paid for our own ferry fare (very inexpensive) but she organized and directed us, lol!
Odds and ends:
- Rome - I'd arrive early if you can. We got in 2 nights ahead and I'd do 3 nights if I were doing it again so I had 2 full days ahead of the tour in Rome. This is a busy tour (well, they all are, lol) so it's good to be over jet lag and be able to hit the ground running.
- Volterra - I'd do more research on what to see here. The Etruscan Museum was really good. I loved the wine tasting here - in a medieval cellar. I was with my brother, SIL and their 2 adult sons (20 and 25) who had never done a wine tasting. The guy was so charming they still talk about it.
- Lucca - In retrospect, I'd pop in quickly and get a takeaway sandwich from somewhere and head up to the park on the walled area to eat. We dithered around too long and almost didn't get a bike ride in on the wall. We had 45 minutes left and did it in under 30 but I felt a little freaked out on time management there. This is a short stop on the transit from Volterra to Monterosso with a walking tour, time for lunch and maybe the bike ride. Very cute town.
- Monterosso - I've got a fear of heights so I've never hiked the trail here. If you plan to hike, low cut trail shoes should be fine and you can wear them for all your other sightseeing. I love eating at Cantina di Miky which is right on the beach. Wonderful setting, wonderful food.
- Florence - I'd add at least another night here if you can. There is so much to see. We all liked the Galileo Museum - very interesting and different from an art museum.
Clothing wise - I am old and don't wear shorts but I needed 2 pair of capris for this time of year. You'll need to be cautious of dress codes when visiting churches as knees and shoulders need to be covered so shorts don't always work. It did cool off in the rain in Florence so I wound up being comfortable in long pants.
This is a wonderful taste of Italy. You won't be able to stay away!