When I was in Lucca, alone, I got to share some tv watching (tennis) with the hotel clerk (kept trying to get him to give me one more ice cube, and failed). My italian was nothing to brag about nor was his english but he wasn't bad at it. He was impressed that I was traveling alone, walking the city, why I liked it, and he made fun of the "spaghetti eaters", aka tourists. (Sorry, was that you Izzy who liked spaghetti as a kid in Italy - I forget). Tour guides have deals with restaurants..
My worst ever tour was going to see wildflowers in California on some damned bus. I was entirely miserable, sitting in the gaseous back of the bus, it taking forever for the bus to unload, gah, and then a boring lecture. And then doing it again. And again. Don't get me wrong, I like wildflowers, have done several paintings of them. It was being trapped that I hated.
I hate being herded, on a tour or by someone in a museum or famous garden.
The one good tour was a ride on a rickety prop plane with only me and my friends as passengers to get to wander around Tikal in Guatemala. Probably not an official tour but the plane and the guide at Tikal was a package deal. We all liked the guide, a woman from London who was an archeologist who had hitched from Rio and ended up staying and marrying a local native (indian).
I see I'm off topic and enjoying it.