RS Tour – Best of Italy

Milano to Varenna

day 4 – giorno quattro This morning Mom just had to set the alarm for 6:45 am even though we didn’t get to bed until almost midnight last night. We didn’t have a precise schedule this morning except that we wanted to make the 10:20 am train to Varenna from Milan. It was good that… Continue Reading →

Varenna & Lake Como

day 5 – giorno cinque Today was so great! We had a continental breakfast and finally had a real cappuccino at the hotel and then caught the 1030 boat over to Villa Carlotta, as recommended by Sarah. We were going to go to Villa Balbainello but when we said we were really looking forward to… Continue Reading →

Varenna to Castelrotto via Verona & Bolzano

day 6 – giorno sei We left Varenna this morning before the street lights had even gone out, promptly at 8:20. We have a tour bus/driver from Florence and it’s a full size tour bus. It’s surprising that the buses can fit on some of these roads! After leaving Varenna we drove through a few… Continue Reading →

Hiking in the Dolomites

day 7 – giorno sette My goodness today was a day for the books. We knew it was supposed to rain today but I still don’t put a ton of weight on weather forecasts… They were right this time though. We woke up to a partly cloudy sky, so I still had high hopes that… Continue Reading →

Dolomites to Venice

day 8 – giorno otto We awoke this morning to the bells of the campanile tolling outside our hotel and a bright blue sky. A very happy switch from yesterday’s weather, my goodness. Mom and I packed up our bags, ate a quick breakfast, and took one last brief stroll around Castelrotto before grabbing our… Continue Reading →


day 9 – giorno nove This morning we awoke to a cloudy sky even though rain wasn’t in the forecast. We had another beautiful breakfast and then gathered outside to meet a local guide for a more in-depth walking tour. Our guide was so full of historical facts and tidbits about the way of life… Continue Reading →

Venice to Florence

day 10 – giorno dieci It was hard to leave Venezia this morning. I love the absence of vehicles and motorbikes and everything functions like a pretty well oiled machine. We took water taxis back to the bus station because the vaporettos weren’t running early enough from our stop. Back on the bus, we headed… Continue Reading →

Firenze (Florence)

day 11 – giorno undici We might actually miss waking up to church bells tolling when we go home. This was the view outside our window. We could almost see the top of Brunelleschi’s dome. Our hopes were high this morning as we ate breakfast and gathered outside the hotel. The Uffizi Gallery is a… Continue Reading →

Firenze to Monterosso (via Pisa)

day 12 – giorno dodici This morning we left Florence and headed west towards the Mediterranean. Our final destination was Monterosso, in the Cinque Terre, but we made two additional stops on the way. The first stop was just a half hour outside Florence: the Florence American Cemetery. I can’t remember the exact number of… Continue Reading →

Monterosso & the Cinque Terre

day 13 – giorno tredici This is where Italians go for vacation. We woke up to a beautiful blue sky (clouds over the water but…). Breakfast here wasn’t until 8 so we finally got to sleep in a tad. Waves crashing, bells tolling, the rumble of the train every so often during the day. It’s… Continue Reading →

Monterosso to Siena

day 14 – giorno quattordici It was still windy and kind of cloudy this morning when we left Monterosso, but the weather forecast promised another beautiful day. Sigh… Might just have to go back someday. We backtracked the way we arrived, back on the train for the short ride back to Levanto and back on… Continue Reading →


day 15 – giorno quindici This morning we met up at 9 and went to visit a workshop where stained glass windows were made. Two brothers do most of the work with the glass and hire painters to do the details. It was very impressive to see the images of the finished works and then… Continue Reading →

Siena to Orvieto

day 16 – giorno sedici This morning we left Siena, bound for an agriturismo outside the hilltop town of Orvieto. The drives between cities seems to be getting shorter and shorter recently. We made a stop in Lower Assisi to see the tiny church where St. Francis realized his faith and where he died. The… Continue Reading →


day 17 – giorno diciassette We woke up in the clouds this morning. I was quite optimistic when we headed off to Orvieto proper that the weather would clear up mid morning and I wouldn’t need my rain jacket. The agriturismo we’re at is only a 15 ish minute ride to lower Orvieto, where we… Continue Reading →

Orvieto to Rome

day 18 – giorno diciotto It was such a beautiful day this morning when we left the agriturismo, blue skies and just a bit of a breeze. This was an extremely tight hairpin turn that Sauro (our bus driver) executed like the pro he is. There was pretty much one precise way he had to… Continue Reading →


day 19 – giorno dicinove To be honest, today is already a blur. This morning, most of the group elected to have Sarah guide us to St. Peter’s Basilica because otherwise it wasn’t included. We left the hotel at 7:30 am and caught the metro towards the Vatican. Sarah guided us as far as the… Continue Reading →

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