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Rick Steve’s 13 Day Oct 2016 Tour, The Best of Southern Italy with Caterina M.

Pasta-making class, gelato demonstration, great restaurants, Rome, Tivoli and the Gargano Peninsula, Vieste and the Adriatic Coast, Alberobello and Matera, The Wonders of Matera, Greek Paestum and Positano, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Sorrento,
Serene Sorrento and Capri and Naples. These are the Places we visited.

Our tour is over and it’s been a month of me trying to digest all the places and things I want to share with everyone.
My Problem is I want to share the entire tour. I will try to break down some moments to reduce the amount of pages required to share a fantastic tour with great people.
Our Tour Guide was Caterina, The passion and knowledge she has is a small percentage of who she is.
To say she was our tour guide can’t begin to say how she was able to take 27 people from all different walks of life and make it feel we were part of something special and a unique family.
The sights, food, drinks and the people we met during our family day trips became all special moments.
I think with all the issues in the world I should make a movie of how a group of people became a family and put each other’s needs above their own.
One night out of many, that stands out is when we visited the Sorrento Family for Dinner.
The food was prepared with love and lots of garlic and wine. We sang songs and danced.
We had one night when we had to say some things about our buddy’s (If you have taken Ricks tours before you will know what I mean).
That night became pure entertainment. You had to be there.
Our boat trip into many grottos was a surprise. The captain took the boat straight into the grotto. Caterina knew he would. She didn’t say a word. She wanted it to be a surprise for our group. IT WAS. See picture.
Our group was very innovative. We always made the gatherings interesting. Such as slipper night, and a visit from our very own Godfather (not Brando), the list is endless and with lots of good fun.

We all felt that Caterina was someone very special and thankful to have her as our tour guide.
I recommend if you want to enjoy Italy take this tour with HER
I have been writing for trip advisor a very long time and with a lot of miles under my feet. So I can say the joy of Rick Steve’s tours is making sure your enjoyment is in meeting people and venturing out of your comfort zone. Not sitting on a tour bus and have someone point out sights.
For the entire 13 days Caterina demonstrated that she takes her work and made it her passion.
Her passion for everything Italian is evident from the minute she met the group in the morning (buon giorno) to the time we all would say good night (buona sera). And yes she also gave us Italian Lessons.
If you enjoy history, good food, great wine, warm and loving people this tour is the one for you.
I am sorry if this write up is more about our tour guide rather than all the sights we were able to experience. The reason is because she was able to make everyone’s vacation an enjoyable experience.
By introducing all of us to Italy, Its people, sights, food and all the wine.

Posted by
311 posts

Oh what memories your post brought back! We did this tour last year although our guide was Ann L. It must be how Rick Steves vetts his guides because Ann was as wonderfully passionate as you describe Caterina with a sense of humor and whimsy. Ann was beyond wonderful! Her knowledge of the area was so deep from location, architecture, history, and culture. Her command of the language couldn't have been better and she was known by the locals every where we went. Best of all she has such an upbeat personality and loved to share her experiences with her charges. She did share with us the plan to enter the grottoes beforehand, but surprised us with a stop across the ravine for a spectacular view before entering Matera. The entire trip was as exciting as you described your experience and will always remain as a favorite in our minds! In writing a review at the end of our trip last year I had a very difficult time coming up with my "WOW" moment. There was a wow moment at every turn with Ann leading us on this wonderful journey. While this area is one of the most beautiful, exciting areas that we have had the pleasure to visit, it was made even more so by our wonderful guide Ann! She will always be remembered as someone that enhanced a trip that could stand on its own merit so, thank you Ann for wonderful memories!!!

Posted by
488 posts

I had Caterina as the guide for my Southern Italy trip this year too. She was instrumental in making this a great trip. You'll have to ask her sometime about the togas in Matera.

I definitely recommend this trip and this part of Italy. Such variety and so much good food. Ah, wish I was there right now!

Posted by
412 posts

This trip is on my bucket list. You have left my mouth watering for the wonderful "taste" that describes Italy. I have been on the Best of Italy 17 days and fell in love with Italy. Our guide was Sarah M. She is still my favorite guide after 3 RS tours. My problem is that I want to visit many more different countries before I go back and do a second visit of Italy. My trip for 2017 is France. Treda1 are you going to do a scrapbook. I would love to see your pictures.