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What's your take on value of private tours vs. group tours vs. self-guided?

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My wife and I and 2 of our young adults (16 and 23) are going to Italy in August...way too hot and crowded time, I know, I know....

This is our first trip and likely won't be able to afford to return for many years. We will be in Sorrento 4 nights, followed by Rome 4 nights....

In Rome, we of course intend to see Ancient Rome and the usual iconic tourist stops...one particular interest, though, is getting a Christian Heritage tour (not Vatican/St. Pete,s which we of course will do) with the Holy Steps, St. Paul Outside the Walls, Church of Domine Quo Vadis, and perhaps a couple of others in that "family" I've tried doing research on the best way to experience these...a) on my own? We are likely to be highly stressed trying to coordinate all those stops (big surprise, right?:)) b) with a group tour...more intriguing but feels a bit "cookie cutter" and obviously very appropriately scripted schedule/stops...or c) private tour...maximum ability to customize locations/pace but very $$$...also worry that it's a bit of a roll of the dice as to whether or not we would "click" with the assigned guide...

What have your experiences been? I am more than willing to splurge if it ensures a high quality, low(er) stress experience...Your thoughts welcome (as you have with me on other topics related to this trip!!)

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