We’re looking at Italy tours, especially the 13 day My Way Italy tour. Any thoughts about this tour (or other RS tours in Italy?
Here is the link to the scrapbook page from 2022 tours. I notice there is at least one from the My Way Italy tour and several on other Italy tours. These might help give you a sense of the tour experience.
We did this tour last year and loved it. If you type “My Way Italy 2022” in the search bar you should get my trip report. We’ve previously done “ Heart of Italy,” “Best of Southern Italy” and “ Best of Sicily” and enjoyed the My Way just as much. We liked the mix of cities and smaller towns. Even though we had been to three of the locations before, we liked that we could set our own pace and see things we’d missed before. The guide was easily available and there was a nice camaraderie with the group. You could certainly do all this on your own, but we appreciate not having to stress about transportation as well as having others to share experiences with.
Patty, did you make any particular reservations before the trip? Or maybe you had seen some of the top sites already on your other tours? We’re looking at this trip for Fall 2023, and I’m really excited about it. I’ve been to Rome and Florence before, but my husband has not. So we’re thinking ahead about what we might like to reserve in advance.
I am also interested in any other suggestions other tour veterans have about this particular My Way tour.
Laurie- we’ve been on vacation so I’m sorry that I didn’t see your post. We booked several things ahead of the tour and some opportunities were missed because I waited until about 2 weeks before the trip to book.
We arrived in Venice 2.5 days ahead of the tour. In Venice we ended up booking the Walks of Italy St. Mark’s & Doges Palace our first afternoon. We considered the “Secret Itineraries of the Doges Palace” but missed the deadline for booking. It was the one from the palazzoducale.visitmuve.it website. Walks of Italy offered some evening tours but our flight from Catania had been a 6a.m.one and I wasn’t sure we could stay awake. We also booked the chichetti tour with Alessandro and loved him. He’s not everyone’s taste, so know that you are booking an older Venetian gentleman with a dry sense of humor. We never would have been able to push ourselves through the bar crowds to get what we wanted, nor spent such a fun time chatting with him. We split a gondola ride with a couple from the initial tour group meeting and we asked the guide for a good spot. He made a suggestion, then stopped to tell them we were coming. Dinner reservation in Venice did seem to be a good idea, but could be booked day of.
We booked a dinner in Varenna at Il Caminetto, a suggestion in the RS guidebook. They only serve 23 dinners, but will do pick-up and return. It was another “win”. We waited almost too long to book The Belvedere for dinner In Monterosso, but they squeezed 4 of us in at the last minute.
I wish we had booked a guide in Assisi that would have gotten us to the lower section of town. We covered the top portion easily on our own, but were too tired to manage get to the lower part.
It was our second visit to Florence and fourth to Rome, so we weren’t booking the well-known sites in those locations, but many others were. I think only 2-3 groups on our tour had done any kind of RS tour before.
I’m happy to answer questions. We were surprised how much we enjoyed this type of tour.
Thank you so much for your detailed response! My apologies that I didn’t see it until just now. I am making notes of your suggestions. I don’t know for sure where we’re going to be in the Cinque Terre part of the trip yet… so I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer for that.
It’s really helpful to hear what you wish you had booked ahead of time. I have booked an early access for the Vatican, and a couple things for Florence. Unfortunately, we’re not getting into Venice until the day of the tour. I wish we had a little more of a cushion, but couldn’t make it work. We will stay longer in Rome after the tour concludes, and I decided that those would be the days I would book our guided tours, so we had freedom to wander on that brief one and a half day portion of the end of the tour. I suspect we will be ready for a slower pace at that point!
Have you visited the Borghese Gallery?
Thanks again for your help!
I’m not sure whether you’re on you trip already and we are currently touring so I didn’t see this until just now. To answer your question, we have been to the Borghese Gallery on a previous trip and loved it. We felt the audio guide was very informative and interesting.
Have a great trip.
Patty, not traveling until the fall…so any other tidbits will be appreciated!
Did you enjoy the restaurants you reserved ahead of time?
I saw some reviews that mentioned a wine tasting in Assisi, enjoyed by the group and arranged by the guide. Is that with every trip? Are there other activities organized by the guides on the My Way tours? Do they cost extra? I thought we’d be planning all of our activities, so this was a surprise. If there are other surprises likely to happen, please advise. I’d hate to miss something because we’d planned a different event.