We are planning a mid-May 2015 Village Italy tour and would like any advice or observations that you would like to share about this tour. Thanks!
Steve: I did this tour in October and loved it. I really enjoy small towns so I was in heaven. Great hotels and I had an amazing guide that really knew the local food and wine. Highlights would be biking in Lucca, visiting Civita-a hilltown, hiking in the Cinque Terre. I also really enjoyed the special experiences we had on this tour that included visiting a traditional olive oil mill, doing a cooking class in Tuscany, and the wine tasting outside of Orvieto. May- you should have nice weather and not as many crowds. There is also not a large of bus time. Another plus. Most of all I remember so many wonderful group meals.
Village Italy was the first of 5 RS tours that we have done, and it remains one of our favorites. We both enjoyed Lucca and Montone and the truffle hunt, among many other places. Civita was interesting also. The only advice that I have is you might want to consider flying into Venice for a few days before the tour. We had been to Venice before, but we did this right before the Village Italy tour and stayed 3 nights. We were able to walk around in the sunshine and get rid of the jet lag. It was relaxing and helped us be ready to be active with the tour when it started. I hope you like wine, we do and we learned a lot about it on this tour.
Have a great trip!
Thanks for the tips. We love small towns, especially older medieval villages. And we love wine and the group dinners, so we are on the right track. And we did plan to stay in Venice for 3 or 4 days to re-visit it and to dissolve the jet lag. We did the RS Eastern France Wine tour and got hooked on visiting the less traveled spots.
Of the 10 tours I have taken, this one is my favorite. This tour is different in that you will visit smaller villages and there are many activities. Yes, you will visit museums and churches, but there are numerous opportunities to interact with locals. Here are a few examples that make this tour unique. The truffle hunt and family dinner was delightful. The family prepared our meal and then had a sign along. Afterward, those who wanted walked back to the hotel. One of the most memorial group meals was in the Cinque Terre, prepare by the hotel owner. The cooking lesson where we helped prepare lunch. The thoughtful chef even passed out the recipes as we departed. I fondly call this the food and wine tour!
I went the first week of Oct. The weather was perfect, I don't recall a single day that rained.