I planned our 1st trip to Europe using Rick's guide books along with lots of online help. I only had a few months to plan & stressed a lot but in the end it was all worth it! I can't wait to go back-my first mistake was not booking airfare in one city and out another. We used the trains a lot & prefer Trenitalia over Italo. I hired private guides in Florence & Rome & couldn't have been more pleased! They made our trip so memorable & although very exoensive for just 2 people, my husband agreed they were worth every penny. We saw lots of large groups with 1 ear piece & we both were glad we didn't have to endure that:) We were prepared for pick pockets & my husband even had a decoy wallet that never was stolen:) (He was a bit disappointed after me harping about safety) We had a very strict schedule to get everything done in 8 days but I even crammed in 2 extra sights in Florence, (which impressed my guide) but missed a few things in Rome because it was so hard to find our way in Rome. Metro was easy & convenient but busses hard to figure out. Will do a better job with Rome navigation next time. We had very little time for just relaxing except our last day-we were picked up @ Naples train station & driven to the most beautiful sights & the best lunch of our entire trip!! A perfect end to a perfect trip that we will never forget.