I'm a single female in my late 40's and this is my first trip to Italy. I've read some horror stories about tours but I don't want to do it on my on. I've researched this to death but there are so many options I'm having a hard time making a decision. I would prefer a small group but wouldn't totally rule out a larger one, 10 - 14 days, not low budget but not Tauck (4-star centrally located hotels) and some leisure time/dinners on my own. I love to eat and I would like to pick some restaurants. :-)
I've looked at Monograms but I think it's too much leisure. I've read a lot of criticism about the hotels with Globus. I ruled out Rick Steves because the dates don't work for me. Adventures Abroad Premier is about the same cost as Tauck ($7,000) and that's more than I had in mind. I was thinking more like $4,000 or $5,000 depending on how many days. I've heard the Aristocrat Italy tour from Perillo Tours is good. I just found Queenslander and it looks good as well.
Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!