Customer Reviews

What our customers are saying….

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Viva Italy Tours LLC
Average rating:  
 16 reviews
 by Cindy Brown

I travelled to Puglia and Venice with Dawn and Fred in September 2019. It was one of THE best trips I've ever experienced! Dawn & Fred's small group tours take you to some of the most beautiful locations in Italy. Combine that with their knowledge of the area & the people they know, their love of food & wine, and Dawn's expertise as a chef and educator, and you have the makings of a FABULOUS & PERSONAL guided tour! It's hard to describe just how wonderful everything is: All of the details (even things you might not have thought of) are organized and taken care of; the daily excursions are informative, enjoyable, & delicious & there's something for everyone; the group is the perfect size with people who are like-mined and make the experience so much more enjoyable. Thank you, Dawn & Fred! I can't wait to travel with you again!

 by Vickie Alhermizi

I had the ABSOLUTE best time in Italy and it was all because of Dawn and Fred’s Tours. They put a personal and intimate touch to the group experience! The experience was like visiting family. What a great time in Venice and what was even more special was Dawn made sure I was well taken care of even when I spent an extra few days after tour. Viva Italia!!!

 by Karen Ratajski

I have been on two tours now with Dawn (who she is one of the best chefs herself) and her husband Fred (who is a riot !!!😄) Venice was my favorite, I now have an 4 foot by 6 foot beautiful painting on my wall, just to gaze at & remember those gorgeous places & the best trips I have ever taken. I have been baffled when friends tell me that they’ve been to Italy & it was ok. When we compare our trips, I now understand why they could say that. They were vacationing, but left exploring Italy on their own. All they knew about & where to go, were just typical tourist attractions. Dawn & Fred are from the USA, but were married in Italy, that is how much they themselves love Italy. They know the ins and outs of so many wonderful places they take you to. The Best restaurants I have ever been too.... Not the places that regular tourists go to. They have discovered the Real Italian restaurants & take you to them. It was Awesome to go into these restaurants actual kitchens & get a real live behind the scenes cooking experience. And then, you get to eat at these Fabulous restaurants!!! The tours through the cities, water & country puts the icing on the cake. As you can tell, I fell in Love with Italy, because of Vivaitaly Tours, and the best tour guides (Dawn & Fred) . They are a couple who knows how to have fun, and I got to experience that joy myself because of them. I’m sure you would never guess this by my review, but let’s just say I’d rate my trip 5+++ stars ⭐️ !!!! Do one, you will not regret it. You will end up wanting a huge painting of Italy like I have, just to gaze at to remember. 😁😉 God Bless & remember, life is short.... - Karen Ratajski

 by Kathleen Adams

Tony & I have wonderful memories from our two small group tours with Dawn and Fred Bause. We enjoyed the Tratorria Crawl and the Splendor of Tuscany. It is totally their fault that we will only go on small group tours from this point on, because of the Bause's attention to detail and TLC. We felt very pampered. Some of the highlights, in no particular order were: seamless airport service; amazingly planned meals (never picked up a menu); cooking lessons and eating with Chef Alvise on the Tratorria Crawl and Chef Andrea in Tuscany; learning about wine, cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar; making sausage; accommodations at seaside resorts and a 9th century monastery; and visiting a beautiful ceramics factory. And then we saw beautiful churches, museums, and small towns that we'll never forget. We were fortunate on both tours to invite friends and family to join us, so the fun and laughter was constant. The new people we met became fast friends too. We all had the shared love of travel and adventure. Unfortunately, our international travel has been curtailed due to the pandemic, but we would love to go on the new Puglia tour someday soon. Thank you Dawn & Fred

 by Kathleen Campbell

Skip the tour bus and microphoned guide, and experience Italy intimately through the eyes and soul with Dawn and Fred Bause - who live and breathe the Italian lifestyle with passion everyday.

I’ve been fortunate to have experienced 3 Viva Italy trips and each one was beyond incredible! Venice, Tuscany, Sienna, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, to name a few - visiting hidden gems of each region with artisans and Italian locals, accompanying Dawn as your companion and personal guide. Spending days with the owners and chefs at Tuscan vineyards, experiencing the culture and history as a participant, makes you enjoy your trip as part of the Italian family.

Whatever your interest - culture, cooking and dining, shopping for the unique treasure or fashion, history, relaxing and romance - you will discover and treasure every one on this Italian adventure with Dawn. And you will also bring back fond memories of laughter, merriment and new friendships that last a lifetime.

I can’t wait to go back!



 by Kevin VanDette

Nancy and I went on a trip to Puglia with Viva Italy Tours LLC in September 2019. The total experience was amazing. The food, the culture, the guided tours, and accommodations were excellent. Dawn, Fred, and Francesco provided a relaxing experience and managed all of the details. We visited a different place each day and explored the local foods and culture of the region. It was so nice to be in a small group and get to know the other travelers who became like family by the end of the trip. Unbelievable experience!!!!!!

 by Gail easterbrook

My husband and I took the week cooking tour to Tuscany with Dawn
It was the best trip we have ever taken. From the pickup at the
Florence airport to the very last glass of wine far exceeded our
Expectations.. All of our daily excursions were interesting
And full of great memories. We never wanted for food or wine
From vineyards to cooking ourselves it was always an
Adventure. All the people we met in the group were soon our new
Best friends. I would highly recommend going on a tour
With Dawn she doesn’t miss a thing. We hope to do another
Trip in the future

 by J. Bennett

This is the second trip I took with Dawn and Fred. Both were amazing!  Tuscany was a sensory and educational delight. I was introduced to yoga overlooking the misty morning valley. Everyday of my week there was a magical adventure. The grand architecture of the towns competed with the beautiful views of the Tuscan landscape. But as gorgeous as the land was, it did not overwhelm me it gave me peace. The churches we visited gave me insight into why religion was the all encompassing power of the medieval and renaissance times. The gardens I walked through were peaceful and beautiful with plenty of ideas for my own home. It seems like most Italians enrich their homes with plants, flowers and pottery. I met people living their passion with pride and humor. All of these experience are lasting memories to take home. As they Italians say "Grazie Mille!"

 by Alice Sessions

When I signed up for a trip to Italy with Dawn and Fred, owners of Viva Italy Tours, LLC (formerly Cooking with Dawn Tours, LLC) Never did I imagine what it would turn out to be. I met the most wonderful people, have seen amazing sights and tasted foods and wine that I never imagined. The entire trip was like living in a beautiful, peaceful dream, that goes on and on. From the moment I watched the first sunrise, I felt a peace so strong in my soul, and that peace will go with me no matter where I am! A big thank you to everyone who help make this trip so amazing. Ciao and Arriverderci!

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Luxury & Authenticity

Single moments that can change your life

Magic isn’t imagining – it’s just very well planned


Owners Chef Dawn Bause, and husband Fred celebrate their 14th year leading small group tours in Italy. They are passionate about food, wine and getting to know each region and it’s residents.

Let us provide you a luxury guided vacation to experience Italy in a small intimate group setting.

Dawn Bause