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Village Italy or Adriatic

If you could choose between Village Italy or the Adriatic tour, which would you choose and why?

Village Italy has many things that appeal to me (hilltowns, Cinque Terre, agriturismo, cooking demonstrations, truffle hunt, etc.). I know the Adriatic is well discovered and can still be crowded in peak season, but still seems more exotic, a bit more off the beaten path, at least for most travelers. Plitvice, Bled, Ljublijana and Korcula all look beautiful as destinations, and it seems like this tour will have more of a cultural connection, especially in Bosnia. Which tour do you think offer the most local insight and connections? That is, which tour's destinations will be less touristy?

Posted by
7795 posts

Oh! I see which 2 you are considering based on your other thread, lol!!

I've done Village Italy not the Adriatic. I did VI at the end of September several years ago so some of the tourist load had died down a little except in Cinque Terre. I haven't looked at the itinerary lately but we stayed in Levanto for the CT. It was much quieter than Monterosso where I'd stayed several times before. Levanto actually was pretty untouristed at that time. To me the places where we stayed were pretty untouristy altho some of the places we went during the day (thinking Siena and Asissi) were still quite busy.

I would probably recommend you not try to base your decision on which is less touristy but base it on which one is more interesting to you. Then do the other one the next year, lol! Or do them back to back! Looks like there is an EasyJet flight from Dubrovnik to Venice (check the fine print re: baggage/seats before you book but otherwise I've done fine with them).

BTW, VI fills fast!

Posted by
164 posts

@Pam, to be honest I've got dozens of ideas but for tours, Adriatic and Village Italy are the top two. lol

Looks like VI still stays in Levanto. That's the one you have to catch the train into Cinque Terre, right?

Posted by
1860 posts

Because of what you have written, I'd say Adriatic, hands down. I've done both tours and while I did love the VI tour, (caveat: I have spent quite a bit of time in Italy) and it offered a whole lot of experiential and fun adventures, the Adriatic was by far out of my "wheelhouse" and quite a wonderful education. Of all the history in Europe, for me seeing in person and hearing the on-the-spot history and personal local guide stories of what actually happened during the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian War, (but also some WWI & II history thrown in as well) were more relatable to me as I can remember when the former happened. Of the 22 tours I have taken, this one really hit me emotionally, especially the visit to Mostar. The tour is all this, and more "...exotic, a bit more off the beaten path, at least for most travelers. Plitvice, Bled, Ljublijana and Korcula all look beautiful as destinations, and it seems like this tour will have more of a cultural connection, especially in Bosnia. ". You described it better than I, who have actually taken the tour, could. We went in early May so not too crowded and the weather was perfect, except for the Plivice visit, which is another whole story.....But nevertheless it was awesomely beautiful with all the rain in Central Europe that Spring. And I loved our guide who actually personally experienced a lot of this history, as I think all who guide for this tour have. Whichever tour you choose, it will be the right one for you. Go with your gut!

Posted by
7795 posts

Oh, such an eloquent description Andi! You might have convinced me to consider this one, lol!

As to Levanto, yes, you take the train one stop - maybe 5 minutes - to Monterosso or stay on to get to the other 4 villages. You can also walk the trail from Levanto to Monterosso but that was more than I wanted to do. There is a headland that sticks out south of Levanto so you can't see the 5 villages of the CT.

On the previous RS tours where I stayed in Monterosso, the bus still parked in Levanto and we took the train in. No bus parking in Monterosso.

Posted by
2126 posts

Justin, I echo Andi's take and my gut feeling is to consider the Adriatic. It sounds like it checks all your boxes! We have been to Italy a few times. Tour # 1 was "A Taste of Tuscany." This was very similar to RS VI itinerary. Tour #2 was a tour of Southern Italy/Sicily. This past September we spent a week in Venice prior to the RS Adriatic Tour. Having spent time in Venice (ancestral research) we felt it was an excellent segue to the Venetian influence and architecture of Croatia.

Anytime I read travel reports about the RS Adriatic tour the same theme comes up. It truly hits you emotionally. To actually have two local guides who as children lived through the horrors of the Bosnian war and survived was a miracle. They are both thriving by sharing their stories with the world. Truly the best cultural connection we've had thus far. In addition our amazing RS guide was equally knowledgeable. He grew up in Croatia and now lives in our favorite European city: Ljubljana!!

Unforgettable journey.

Posted by
597 posts

These are the same two tours we were debating between for our next RS tour, but I think we have pretty firmly decided on the Adriatic, for the reasons you mentioned and because we have been to Italy once before so these destinations will be all new for us. Would love to hear which you decide! We will probably go in 2021.