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Welcome to our adventures in the Heart of Italy!

In 2023 Tim and I decided that the travel bug could be ignored no longer. Despite taking our long postponed trip in London and the UK in January, we wanted more. I had been somewhat idly browsing the tour offerings from Rick Steves, and I asked my mom if she wanted to join us. She said "Absolutely" and I gave her the choice between Ireland, Italy and Prague. She picked Italy, we picked the Heart of Italy Tour. And so it was decided - off to Italy we would go!

So why a Rick Steves tour to the Heart of Italy?


Tim and I are fairly experiences travelers, at least for going to Europe. This was our 6th European trip, and our 7th international trip (not including Canada since we live next door to British Columbia). And this wasn't my mom's first international trip either. She's been to Europe twice, flew to Guam via Japan to visit my brother, and has been on several cruises. So what made us choose to go on a Rick Steves guided tour?

1) Trip planning is a lot of work!

Tim and I had both been very busy with work and we both had multiple projects scheduled for the first half of 2023. I knew I wanted to take another trip but knew I wouldn't have much time to plan one. By going on a guided tour, most of the work was done for me. Hotels were picked out and reserved. All the travel between cities was taken care of. Our days had lots of activities. I just had get us there and fill in the free time! There was also the added bonus of knowing the tour group would take care of any travel stresses that could crop up. Traveling with two people is tricky enough if suddenly your train gets cancelled or the hotel forgot about your booking, but with three people and two rooms, that's an extra level of stress. I could relax knowing someone else would be taking care of any troubles that popped up.

2) I trust Rick Steves to give us a great experience.

On our previous European adventures, I have utilized Rick Steves' guidebooks extensively. They were full of excellent advice on what to visit, how much time to spend somewhere, and places to sleep and eat. The museum tips were top notch. I trusted that a tour put on by Rick Steves' company would be just as good as his guidebooks. When I looked at the itinerary, it was full of a bunch of activities I would have chosen on my own. It also had enough free time to fit in sights that weren't covered on the tour. 

3) We wanted to try traveling with a group.

I've been thinking about trying one of these tours for a while, but Tim and I weren't sure if we would feel too restrained on a group tour. After all, we are used to doing our own thing at our own pace. With my mom along, this gave us an excuse to try it. Not only would there be more folks to talk to and explore with, being on the tour would curb my urges to try to cram in too much. As it turns, being part of the group was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Getting to share excitement only heightened our enjoyment of the trip!

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So what made us choose the Heart of Italy tour specifically?

After deciding we were going to do this Rick Steves tour thing, I gave Mom the choice of locations. She chose Italy because she had never been to Italy. And honestly, Tim and I were more than fine with that choice. Amazing history, lots of excellent museums, and incredible food! Who doesn't love going to Italy? 

Tim and I had visited Venice, Florence and Rome on our honeymoon through Europe back in 2016. But since my mom had never been to Italy we knew we wanted to go back to all those cities. Rick Steves does offer a 10 day Venice, Florence & Rome trip. But the Heart of Italy tour was intriguing because not only would it hit Rome and Florence, it would take us to some places Tim and I had not visited - Volterra in Tuscany and Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Sea. Both Volterra and Cinque Terre would have been more difficult for us to get to without a tour group, so this tipped the scales in favor of the Heart of Italy tour. And with a little extra time after the tour, we were able to slip in a day trip to Venice.


Meet the Travelers



Planner extraordinaire and travel website maker. Loves seeing art, going places, and taking tons of travel pictures. Wife to Tim and daughter of Marge.



Backup decision maker when Kate can't decide. Provider of breakfast and master of the fan. Loves tasty food and taking dorky travel photos. Doting husband.



Enjoying retirement and up for anything. Here to experience Italy for the first time. Loves exploring museums and good food. Loving mother and mother-in-law.

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