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1st Time to Italy! Need Advice!

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Hi all,

I've spent some time looking through some threads trying to find information about guided tours. From the looks of things, most of the contributors on this site are independent travelers (maybe I will be one day!!!), but hopefully I can still get some good advice. I have done minimal traveling since I'm only in my mid 20s, but my boyfriend and I have decided to take a 10-12 day trip to Italy. We are interested in seeing the iconic sites, unique architecture, and beautiful landscapes of the country as well as enjoying the local food and wines, as we are both foodies.

My main reason for being interested in guided tours is because we both lack experience in planning a trip like this. It will be our first time in the country and it seems like a guided tour is an easy way to experience the country for newbies. It will eliminate the (nerve-racking) task of choosing hotels, arranging transportation, and there will be someone guiding us to places.

In researching different tour companies and analyzing the options each provides, I have sort of narrowed it down to the following choices:

1 - https://www.insightvacations.com/us/tours/best-of-italy-winter-2015-2016?tab=overview

2 - https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/italy/venice-florence-rome -- would the "My Way" tours be a better option?

Any suggestions, personal experiences, or critiques of the tours are welcomed. Am I getting a good bang for my buck? Are these good hotels? What's the age of these groups like?

I really wish I was brave enough to plan the trip myself, but there are so many unknowns and the task seems pretty daunting for someone who doesn't have much experience. Maybe after this first trip I will feel more comfortable in attempting to plan my own!

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