Customer Reviews

What our customers are saying….

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Viva Italy Tours LLC
Average rating:  
 19 reviews

Do not miss the experience of a vacation with Viva Italy Tours! Nothing is overpromised, and EVERYTHING is over delivered! All you need to do is sign up and show up, and you will be lovingly treated to a trip filled with casual, yet interesting learning experiences, gorgeous scenery, exquisite dining experiences, authentic and lovely accommodations, and perfectly-planned schedules to satisfy the most discerning traveler! We joined the Splendors of Tuscany trip with Dawn and Fred in 2022, and we are anxious to tour another region of Italy with Viva Italy Tours soon! What a joy is promises to be!

Thank you Colleen and Dick for your glowing review. We loved traveling with you last fall and look forward to our next adventure together. Italy is "The Journey" that captures your heart and your soul. Can't wait to see "The Journey with Andrea Bocelli" you shared with me last week. Grazie Mille!

 by Elena Panos

More then a vacation our trip to Florence & Tuscany was a lifetime experience of learning about food, wine, history, and Italian culture! Every day was an adventure with beautifully planned excursions. Staying with Dawn & Fred at San Fedele in Tuscany was beyond our expectations!  Each morning we were met by the most beautiful sunrises and natural beauty as far as the eye could see. We looked out over grape vines, olives trees and the majestic hills of Chianti. Before breakfast we could join a gentle yoga and morning stretch class, or take a invigorating walk through the Tuscan hills and Etruscan ruins. We enjoyed a beautiful breakfast, then met mid morning for our daily excursions. We traveled to vineyards, and spectacular hillside towns for incredible lunches where local chefs and staff were waiting for us at the most beautifully set tables and settings. After lunch there were historical tours and time for shopping.  Each afternoon when we returned to the monastery there was time to chill by the pool, play a game of tennis or pickelball, have a massage or get in an afternoon hike or siesta before our evening festivities began. At 6:30 every evening it was prosecco time, and appetizers before we met for dinner in the spectacular chapel where we were surrounded by 1000 year old frescos and a 1000 years of prayer for a wonderful "farm to table" dinner. After dinner we heard stories of the past, and learned about our destination for the next day.  Our farewell dinner included music, dancing and song.  It truly was the trip of a lifetime! I wanna go back!!

Wow Elena, thank you so much for your beautiful words and raving review. You took me back to Tuscany and I also wanna go back! LOL. Now you understand why Fred and I never get tired of leading these tours. Here's a toast to good friends (old and new) meeting up in Italy. Tocato Uno, Tocato Tutti!

 by Peter Garafano

I had heard about these tours for several years having met Dawn and Fred in Clearwater Florida. I finally decided to go with them to Tuscany this fall and see what it was all about. We were blown away by the 12th century monastery that would be our home base for the week. The owner and his wife were on site throughout our entire stay, and they personally attended to all our needs. What amazing hosts! Every day was an adventure into the countryside with private luncheons in different wineries, one better than the other. It was one of the best vacations in our lives and we plan to go with them to Puglia next year.

Peter, I can't thank you enough for joining Fred and I in Tuscany this year. It makes me so happy to read your review. We experienced many special moments that will be memories for a lifetime for us and hopefully for you and Elena. Grazie Mille! Tocato Uno ~ Tocato Tutti!!

 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!!!!!!

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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 18th 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