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DESTINATION GUIDES & ITINERARIES / EUROPE

Ultimate One Week Italy Itinerary for First Timers

San Marco Square in Venice Italy

Italy might just be my favorite country in Europe. But as much as I like love traveling Italy, several people I meet hate it! They find it too expensive, too touristic, or too this, that, and the other thing. Because of this, and because I hate to see tourists leaving one of my favorite destinations disappointed, I’m sharing how I would recommend spending one week in Italy as a first timer. I start with the high-level breakdown, and then include a day-by-day detailed itinerary. 

Grand Canal in Venice from Acadamia Bridge during sunset

Now, I have to warn you. This one week Italy itinerary is super detailed. Like, how-the-hell-do-you-have-time-to-write-all-this detailed. And I did that on purpose. You can go to any old website to get a vague “two nights in here” and “one night here,” bare-bones itinerary for Italy. But those itineraries don’t tell you what to do in each place, or how to get from each city to city. You’d have to go look that up after. But not with this itinerary.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is: you might absolutely want to save this for later right now by bookmarking it or saving it on Pinterest, just in case you don’t finish all in one go. Then, grab a cuppa, sit back, and let’s get to it!

Italy One Week Itinerary Summary

For a first time visit to Italy, I highly recommend visiting the “big three” of Rome, Florence, and Venice. I recommend spending three nights in Rome, two nights in Florence, and two nights in Venice.

DaysCity
Days 1 – 3Rome
Days 4 – 5Florence
Days 6 – 7Venice

If you’re the average traveler with limited vacation days, I suggest breaking it down like below. This way, you only need to use five vacation days, but you actually get seven days in Italy.

Psst! Want to see even more of Italy? If you can finagle just three more vacation days, you can also visit Cinque Terre, Pisa, and Milan with ten days in Italy. And if you can add in another four days, you can also add Positano and the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and Pompeii with two weeks in Italy. But if you can’t do more than one week in Italy, don’t worry – Italy is definitely a repeat-visit kind of destination!

The Best Month to Visit Italy

The best time of year to travel to Italy is hands-down the shoulder seasons of April – May and September – October. You can see everything in mildly warm weather, but you can avoid the notorious crowds (And heat! And prices!) of the summer months. If you want to swim in the sea, aim for September – October, so that the water has had all summer to get nice and warm.

How to Get Around Italy

One of the loveliest things about traveling Italy is how convenient it is to get around the country without a car. In fact, I totally believe trains are the best way to travel in Italy. This is particularly true for your first time in Italy. So, this one week Italy itinerary is completely car-free, relying solely on trains and water taxis.

Florence Duomo facade

One super important tip for train travel in Italy is to always validate your ticket! Otherwise, you will be fined, and lemme tell ya – the fines ain’t cheap. (Like, truly. These fines are low-key high-key robbery.) How do you validate your train ticket in Italy? Simply insert your paper ticket into the machines before you enter the train. It’ll make a noise and time-stamp your ticket. These little validation machines are usually at the entrance to each platform. If you have difficulty finding them, just ask a train station employee. If you buy your ticket online or via the mobile app – no need to stress!

Another tip for train travel in Italy is to always buy your long-distance train tickets online as soon as you know your travel dates! This way, you can purchase a Frecciarossa ticket (the faster kind of ticket) before the price gets too high closer to the travel date. If you are riding regional trains (which work fine for shorter distances), just buy them at the station on the day of, so you have flexibility in case plans change.

In this one week itinerary, I include all the details and prices for each time you’ll use public transport to move around Italy. I’ve got you covered!

AND NOW, LET’S GET TO THE ACTUAL ITINERARY ITSELF

Beforehand, I just want to let you know you can do this itinerary in the order I have it or the reverse order. Just look up flights and see which direction is cheaper.

Rome

As the former capital of the Roman Empire and the current capital of Italy, Rome is a unique mix of old and new. Try to ignore the street vendors with zero concern for personal space selling selfie sticks and whizzing gadgets, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Rome.

Roman Colosseum

How to Get to Rome

This is the start of your trip, so you’ll need to fly in. Rome has two airports, so be careful you fly into the correct one. The main international airport in Rome is Fiumicino (FCO). This airport is the further out one. To get to the city center from FCO, you have two options.

  • Option 1: Take the train. Follow signs in the airport to the train platform. From FCO, take the train to Roma Termini train station. This costs €14 and will take 30 minutes. From Roma Termini, you can either walk to your accommodation, or use the Metro to take the subway if your accommodation is further away. Be very careful of pick-pocketers in this train station! Do not accept or ask help from anyone except official employees, and wear your backpack facing your front.
  • Option 2: Take a taxi. Taxis from FCO into central Rome are a fixed fare of €48. Make sure you get into an official taxi at the taxi pickup line. They should accept card, and you can double check this as well as fare before getting in. This will take 30 minutes, just like the train.

Rome’s other airport is Ciampino (CIA). This smaller airport is actually slightly closer to central Rome. However, it is only used for budget airline flights within Europe, like RyanAir and EasyJet. If you’re flying here (or anywhere!) with RyanAir, definitely skim through my guide on how to not get ripped off! Once again, you have two options on how to get to central Rome from CIA airport.

  • Option 1: Take a bus to (right near) Roma Termini train station. There are multiple options you can explore here. Some include SITBusShuttle for €6 one-way, or Terravision for €4 if purchased online or €6 in person. This ride takes 40 minutes.
  • Option 2: Take a taxi. Taxis from CIA into central Rome are a fixed fare of €30. Again, make sure you get into an official taxi at the taxi pickup line and confirm the fare before getting in. This ride takes 30 minutes.

What to Do in Rome (Three Days)

Below is exactly how to see Rome in three days. Take it easy on day one, since it’s the day you arrive on your flight. But feel free to interchange days two and three as works best for you. If you get in way too late on day one, you can tack it onto day three.

Day One

Walking straight through this route as I have it below is 30 min (2km or 1.25 miles), just to give you an idea of total distance on day one. Start at whichever end is closer to you.

  • Scalina Spagna: The beautiful staircase known as the Spanish Steps gets busy in the evening as a popular hang-out spot.
  • Trevi Fountain: This is Rome’s largest and most-famous fountain. Stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin in to guarantee a return trip to Rome (if you believe the legend).
  • Pantheon: This famous Roman-temple-turned-church is €5 to enter.
  • Piazza Navona: Several cafes line the edges of this beautiful square with two impressive fountains.
  • Largo di Torre Argentina: This is where Roman senators assassinated Emperor Julius Caesar by stabbing him 23 times (dramatic much?) to death in 44 BC.

Day Two

  • Colosseum: Perhaps the most famous landmark in Rome! Tickets are €16 and include this plus the next two sites, plus €2 if purchased online from the official site. But, unless you plan to be the first ones at the door, I highly recommend skip-the-line tickets. They are €22 here, or €37 for a guided tour. These price quotes are the highest prices, but those 25 years and younger get discounts!
  • Roman Forum: This once-bustling site is now ruins of numerous important government buildings during the ancient Roman Empire. Walking around, it’s amazing seeing how huge the ruins are, and wondering how it must have been back then – almost 2000 years ago!
  • Palatine Hill: This is where all the rich kids lived during the Roman Empire – the aristocrats and emperors and all that jazz.
  • Arch of Constantine: This arc, built in 302 AD and the largest surviving one of its kind, is right outside the Colosseum.
  • Via dei Fori Imeriali: This street connects the Colosseum to the next attraction below. You can look down on the Roman Forum from above on one side and view other incredible ruins on the other. 
  • Vittoriano: This huge, white, marble building almost doesn’t fit in with its ancient surroundings. It’s a memorial to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the united Italy as we know it today.

Day Three

  • Vatican City: Did you know this is its own country? It’s the smallest country in the world, ruled by the Catholic Pope. There are basically three things to see while here: St. Peter’s SquareSt. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums. St. Peter’s Basilica is free to enter, but dress code is very strict. Make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. This goes for all genders and ages. There is a slow moving-crowd-slash-line to get in, but I found it moved quickly enough when I went. Once in the basilica, you can climb up to the dome for iconic views. To the right from the entrance, there should be a “Cupola” sign. Follow the sign until at the ticket office, where you can purchase a ticket to either climb the whole way or one to take an elevator halfway up. As far as I know, you can only buy tickets on site, and they should be around €8 and €10. The Vatican Museums house the world-famous Sistine Chapel. You’ll pay €17 for entry at the door, but definitely pay €21 for a skip-the-line ticket purchased online. Entry to the Museums is free on the last Sunday of every month and on World Tourism Day (Sept 27). Seeing Vatican City should take up a whole morning.
  • Castel Sant’Angelo: Emperor Hadrian originally has this built as a mausoleum for himself and his family, but it’s since been used as a fortress, castle, and nowadays a museum.
  • Wander: Explore on your own! Get lost! You’ve checked off all the “can’t miss” things everyone else does, but who wants their trip to be just the same as everyone else’s? If you just run around ticking off attractions, I’m not sure you’ll like Rome. But wandering it’s less-crowded streets, strolling along the river, popping into a random church – these are the things that will leave you loving Rome.

Florence

Florence conjures images of Renaissance paintings and fairytale Tuscan buildings. There are so many things to see in Florence, but I think two days in Florence is the perfect amount of time for a first visit.

Florence Duomo and city view

How to Get to Florence from Rome

Take an early, direct train from Roma Termini train station to Firenze S. M. Novella train station. This takes either 1.5 hours or 3.75 hours depending on what kind of train you take. If you are buying a ticket for the next morning, you can expect to pay €21.65 for a 3.75-hour Regional train or €50 for a 1.5-hour Frecciarossa train. If you are buying one month out, the price for the 1.5-hour Frecciarossa train drops to €35.90.

What to Do in Florence (Two Days)

Some people recommend purchasing the Firenze Card, because it covers a lot of the main things in Florence. But for two days in Florence (or even three days in Florence), I am not sure the card is worth it. I actually recommend purchasing the Grande Museo del Duomo ticket instead. This pass includes entry into the Duomo, a climb to the Cupola (dome) of the Duomo, a climb to the Campanile (bell tower), entry into the baptistery, entry into the Duomo museum, and entry into the crypt beneath the church. It costs €18, plus a €2 pre-sale fee if bought on the official website.

Now, let’s get to all the things to do in Florence in two days! I haven’t split it out into separate days here, because I think it’s better if you choose yourself. Would you prefer to visit one museum a day, or have one big museum day? Would you try to avoid climbing stairs twice in the same day, or are you up for the challenge? Would you enjoy a viewpoint for sunset, or prefer sunrise? Your answers to those questions will determine what things you do and see each day in Florence, so I can’t recommend that for you. Most attractions in Florence are pretty compactly located, anyways, so planning a route shouldn’t be too bad on the fly!

*You can skip items with an asterisk if you’re not interested. I’ve only listed them since they’re included in the ticket I recommended above. If you want a more-detailed breakdown of the below, check out my full travel guide to Florence things to do (complete with pictures of each attraction!).

  • Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo): It’s the third largest church in the world and practically the symbol of Florence itself. Entry is free, but prepare for a massive line at least an hour long.
  • Cupola: Bruneschelli’s Dome, named after the architect who designed it, is actually the most impressive part of the entire church. They literally had to invent new tools and architectural systems to create it. Definitely climb up the steps for the view from the top. You’ll have to select a specific time slot, though, when you buy your ticket! Otherwise, you will be turned away and asked to return.
  • Campanile di Giotto: Yes you already climbed up the cupola, but there’s another viewpoint nearby! This time, the view is the cupola itself.
  • Battistero di San Giovanni: This is the octagonal building right across the main cathedral. The Byzantine-like mosaic inside was actually pretty surprising to find, in contrast to all the typical-Renaissance paintings. Tourists will be snapping pics of the gold doors outside, but those are copies. The real ones are in the Duomo Museum!
  • Duomo Museum*: Since you already paid, it might be worth a quick visit. It will help you understand why all this Duomo stuff in Florence is such a big deal!
  • Crypt of Santa Reparata*: This is also included in the Duomo combo ticket, which was the only reason I saw it. But once I got there, it was actually cooler than I expected. It’s basically church ruins from 405AD inside the main church. The unfortunate thing about the crypt is that you have to wait in the same line as for the free Duomo entry. So definitely time these two activities together!
  • Piazza della Repubblica: One of Florence’s main squares.
  • Piazza della Signoria: The best part of this busy square is definitely the Loggia dei Lanzi. It’s basically a free, open-air museum of dramatic sculptures that really should be in one of the museums. (Like really though, I’m super surprised these are just out there!) Also in this square is a copy of the David statue, for those of you who don’t pay to see the real thang.
  • Palazzo Vecchio: I didn’t enter except for the free courtyard. But it’s supposed to have a great view of the Duomo.
  • Ponte Vecchio: This iconic bridge has become synonymous with Florence itself! It was originally a passageway so the Medicis (a super rich family that basically made Florence….well, Florence) didn’t have to walk with the commoners on their commutes to work from their home palace. Since then, shops have been added and create the look it has today. Prepare for some crowds!
  • Piazzale Michelangelo: The best viewpoint in Florence! It requires an uphill walk and is the furthest out you’ll get from the city center. So make the trek worth it Bring some snacks and hangout for a while like everyone else does.
  • Acadamia: Unfortunately, the only reason to enter this gallery is for one piece of art. The David. Don’t at me, art fanatics. You decide if that’s worth it for you, but I have such FOMO that I had to pay €12 and see for myself. Pro-tip: avoid the lines AND the €4 online skip-the-line fee to book by visiting on one of the days they allow night visits! I got in so quickly! No one really knows about it, which is why it’s so empty, so let’s try not to tell too many people? *wink* Confirm the night time hours, or book online, here.
  • Uffizi Gallery: Uffizi means “offices” in Italian, and this building actually used to be the Medici’s offices. Nowadays, it’s a world-famous art museum. Its most-famous art piece is the Birth of Venus painting. Entry costs €12, plus €4 for the skip-the-line online booking fee on the official site
  • San Lorenzo Market: This is Florence’s most-famous market. Stop by here to shop leather and eat in the indoor food stalls.
  • Santa Croce: I didn’t enter this church, since admission was not free. But I do think it’s in a picturesque area and warrants passing by.
  • Palazzo Pitti: Normally, palaces are for royalty…but not in Florence! This palace belonged to the Medici’s (shocker). I personally have seen way too many European palaces at this point. So I did not pay the €10 entry fee and simply observed from outside. However, I did regret not having arrived earlier in the day than I did, to buy a Boboli Gardens ticket (€6)!

Venice

Beautiful Venice is the perfect last stop for your week in Italy. It’s an insanely beautiful city built on canals, and it’s become famous amongst travelers for the chance to ride a gondola. As beautiful as Venice is, the crowds (especially in summer) can be brutal. Thus, I recommend knocking out all the main attractions at less-crowded hours. Then, spend the middle of the day exploring the rest of the city, where it’s much less crowded, but no less picturesque.

Venice Grand Canal view from Acadamia bridge

How to Get to Venice from Florence

Take the train from Firenze S. M. Novella to Venezia S. Lucia. For a direct, 2.5 hour Freccia train, expect to pay €39.90 if purchased a month in advance, but €57 if purchased the day before. If you use the slower trains, priced €20.35 – €26.90 and requiring one to two transfers, the travel time jumps to 4+ hours!

What to Do in Venice (Two Days)

Venice is pretty small and easy to walk compared to Rome or Florence, so you should have no trouble “seeing everything” with two days in Venice. You’ll also be able to fit in a half-day trip to the Instagram-famous island of Burano. If you want a more detailed walkthrough (plus photographs of each of the below!), skim through my guide for the best things to do in Venice.

Day One

  • Piazza San Marco: Venice’s main square is where a lot of the city’s (tourist) action is. Firstly, there’s the Basilica San Marco. It’s free to enter, but there can be a very long line most hours of the day, so be careful what time you go. I went in the middle of the day when I saw it was shorter, and was in and out in 10 minutes! If you’d rather not risk it, you can book your time slot online during high season for a €2 booking fee. Large bags are not allowed inside, but there’s a free luggage storage the basilica will tell you to use. Across from the basilica is the Campanile (the bell tower). You can take the elevator up it for €8. If you want to skip the line, it’s the same website as the basilica. There’s also the Doge’s Palace. Entry is €25, but only €13 with the 29-year-old Venice Rolling Card I mentioned above. See the official site for more details.
  • Bridge of Sighs: Walk around the Doge’s Palace, making a left turn around the corner along the water. From the first bridge, you’ll spot the famous Bridge of Sighs from the left. It’s named so because it connects the prisons to the palace, and prisoners sighed while taking one last look over Venice as they walked through the bridge to their dooms.
  • Rialto Bridge: If you haven’t figured out by now, Venice has a lot of cool bridges!
  • Accademia Bridge: This was my favorite bridge, because it has such an amazing view.

Day Two

  • Take a half-day trip to Burano and Murano: I wrote an in-depth guide on how to visit the islands from Venice, plus what each island is all about.
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi: This shopping center has free rooftop views of Venice, but you need to book in advance. It’s located right at the edge of the Rialto Bridge on Calle del Fontego.
  • The Grand Canal: The iconic way to float around Venice is on a Gondola. This will set you back €80 per gondola (six people max) in the daytime, or €100 sunset and later. Prices are fixed, so check current gondola prices, and don’t let anyone overcharge you. If on a budget, you can instead just ride the vaporetto between San Marco and the train station. This will be “free,” since the vaporetto pass necessary for the Burano and Murano half-day trip is still valid!

How to Get Out of Venice

Like all good things, your epic one week in Italy has come to an end! You’ll need to get out of Venice. Venice’s international airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). There are a few ways you can get from Venice’s city center to VCE.

  • Option 1: By water bus. From any of Venice’s Alilaguna water bus stops at San Marco, Rialto, Fondamenta Nuove, or Guglie, ride the water bus for €15. The ride takes up to 1.25 hours. Purchase tickets onboard the water bus or online for a €1 discount. Private water bus rides are also an option.
  • Option 2: By bus. From the Venice Piazzale Roma ATVO bus stop, ride the bus for €10. The ride takes 30 minutes. Purchase tickets at the ATVO ticket office in Piazzale Roma, from the automated ticket machine outside that ticket office, or online.
  • Option 3: By taxi. The fare for this 30 minute ride from Venice Piazzale Roma is €40. Make sure you get into an official taxi. They should accept card, and you can double check this as well as fare before getting in. You can also purchase online in advance (select “Town > Venice (P.Roma)” for Venice city center).

Questions on this One Week Italy Itinerary?

If you’re planning your own trip to Italy soon and want some personalized advice, drop a comment below with your questions. I love playing travel agent for people – especially for Italy!

Save this Itinerary to Return to Later on Pinterest

Planning Italy travel? This Italy one week itinerary has every detail you need. Seven days in Italy is a nice amount of time for first time visitors to visit the top Italy destinations of Rome (Roma), Venice (Venezia), and Florence (Firenze). Whether summer, fall, or spring, this Italy seven day itinerary is perfect.
Planning Italy travel? This Italy one week itinerary has every detail you need. Seven days in Italy is a nice amount of time for first time visitors to visit the top Italy destinations of Rome (Roma), Venice (Venezia), and Florence (Firenze). Whether summer, fall, or spring, this Italy seven day itinerary is perfect.
Planning Italy travel? This Italy one week itinerary has every detail you need. Seven days in Italy is a nice amount of time for first time visitors to visit the top Italy destinations of Rome (Roma), Venice (Venezia), and Florence (Firenze). Whether summer, fall, or spring, this Italy seven day itinerary is perfect.

91 Comments

  • Sharon C
    June 22, 2024 at 12:10 PM

    Hello, I’m trying to plan a first trip to Italy with some family members and your blog is very helpful. But we will likely do the trip in the reverse order and are thinking about visiting Cinque Terre instead of Florence. Can you tell me how we would get to Cinque Terre (probably staying in La Spezia) from Venice, and how long would it take?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 22, 2024 at 3:51 PM

      Hi Sharon,

      I’m glad my blog has been helpful! From Venice, take the fast trains to La Spezia, which will require two transfers — one in Florence and one in Pisa. The total journey time should be a little under 5 hours.

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • fathima
    June 10, 2024 at 1:30 AM

    What a fantastic week in Italy! See the Vatican and the Colosseum first in Rome. Then ride the train to Florence to see the history and art. See the countryside of Tuscany before travelling to Venice to see its stunning canals. Come to an end in Milan’s breathtaking Duomo. Savour the ideal fusion of history, culture, and landscape.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 10, 2024 at 11:38 AM

      Hi Fathima,

      I’m glad you like this itinerary!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Anandita
    June 6, 2024 at 7:50 AM

    Hi Em,
    Thank you for curating this amazing itinerary. I’m planning a trip to Italy in October and this is saving me so much time and effort, thank you so much!
    I’m looking forward to a post about your accommodation recommendations.
    As Italy is known for its delicious food, could you please also talk more about where to eat and the must-eat places?

    Thanks in advance,
    Anandita

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 6, 2024 at 8:47 AM

      Hi Anandita,

      You’re welcome! I’m glad to know it’s saved you time in your planning! 🙂

      I’m not sure if you’ve taken a look yet at my two week Italy itinerary, but recommends what foods to try in each destination. It has more destinations than this one week itinerary, you can just search “What to Eat in Rome,” Florence, and Venice.

      I don’t have specific restaurant recs, except that for I like the Grom ice cream chain, and that I think Trattoria al Gatto Nero is where Anthony Bourdain ate in an episode of his show where he visited Burano (the day trip from Venice). I didn’t eat there because I wasn’t visiting during their opening hours, but I had it on my list.

      I hope that helps a bit!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Anandita
    June 6, 2024 at 7:49 AM

    Hi Em,
    Thank you for curating this amazing itinerary. I’m planning a trip to Italy in October and this is saving me so much time and effort, thank you so much!
    I’m looking forward to a post about your accommodation recommendations.
    As Italy is known for its delicious food, could you please also talk more about where to eat and the must-eat places?

    Thanks in advance,
    Anandita

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 6, 2024 at 8:55 AM

      I’ve responded to your other comment. 🙂

      Reply
  • Demi
    June 4, 2024 at 9:32 PM

    Hi! We haven’t booked anything yet but we are planning to have 7-10 days trip in Italy. I wanted to know if it is practical to have a RT flight to Milan or Venice or Flying into Milan and leaving from venice. Would 10 days be enough to be able to visit Rome – Milan- Venice – Florence? Sorry to ask you a lot of questions since this will be our first trip to Italy.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 5, 2024 at 5:18 AM

      Hi Demi,

      Ten days is enough to visit those 4 cities. Milan would require just one more day on top of this one week itinerary for the other 3 spots.

      Any combination of airports is doable, especially since you have extra days on top of my recommended 8 for these 4 spots to travel back to your airport of choice. But what I recommend is doing a flight that starts in Rome and ends in either Venice or Milan. OR the exact reverse. This will save you a couple hours of train time overall vs not using Rome as an airport.

      The order would then be Rome > Florence > Venice/Milan > Milan/Venice (whichever you didn’t see after Florence) OR the exact reverse.

      You could the extra days to add extra time in the 4 spots, and/or use one of the days tack on a day trip to Lake Como from Milan.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Quiana W.
    June 1, 2024 at 1:22 AM

    Hello there,

    Thank you for such a detailed and lovely site. I am taking my hisband to Italy next week, and am oplanning to do Venice, Florence and Rome. Would you please assist me with the travel portion, as I would like to take the fast train from venice to Florence, and the Fast train from Florence to Rome. I would also like to know if taking the bus around Florence and Venice is convenient and worth it, or just walk.

    I have been to Florence and Rome before, and have seen all the sites. I was considering doing something more romantic with my husband and maybe cutting short a day in Venice or Rome to add to Florence so we could stay in Tuscany on the coutryside. Please share your thoughts, as I would like a romantic,non-stressful and memorable trip. One that includes sighteseeing, but more taking in the town and dining and hanging with the locals. Please advise.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      June 2, 2024 at 3:20 AM

      Hi Quiana,

      I’m glad to know my site has been helpful to you!

      As I mention in the itinerary, you can go to the official TrenItalia website to book your high speed tickets in advance. Just copy and paste the train station names from my itinerary.

      I don’t see much to benefit from taking the bus in Florence. It’s quite compact. Venice is also compact, and instead of the bus, you would actually be using the water taxi service, since it is all canals instead of roads. This isn’t necessary unless your accommodation is far from the train and you would like to avoid walking up and down the many small bridges. But I think working the public transport via bus or water taxi in places as compact as Florence and Venice can sometimes make things less convenient than simply walking.

      My itinerary only allocates two days to Venice. If you have never been to Venice, I wouldn’t recommend cutting one day from those two days. It is considered the most romantic city out of the three due to its beauty, and you can even hire the gondola ride to be at sunset. If you have already been to Rome, I would remove the one day from there.

      You could maybe look for a romantic countryside day trip tour from Florence, or rent a car for a day and go at your own pace. I’m sure you can find some lovely restaurants with stunning views. You could also look into AirBnB experiences. I’ve never tried them, but I’ve heard nice things from friends who have. It allows you some more personal interaction with the locals.

      I hope some of that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Nawanshu Sehrawat
    May 30, 2024 at 7:05 AM

    Hey Em,

    I am planning from India to Milan (Italy) in coming Nov. Can you help me in giving a day wise itinerary starting from Milan (flight will land), Venice, Rome & Florence. And I have to board flight from Milan again. This will be a 7 day journey for me.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 30, 2024 at 12:14 PM

      Hi Nawanshu,

      As you can see from this itinerary and maybe my 10 day Italy itinerary as well, I recommend 3 nights for Rome, 2 nights for Florence, 2 nights for Venice, and 1 night or Milan. So in order to fit all 4 cities into 7 days, you’ll have to remove 1.5 days from Rome/Venice/Florence in order to make room for Milan and the additional travel time.

      You can really do whatever order you prefer for the loop. But something like Milan > Venice > Florence > Rome > Milan might be slightly most efficient train-travel-time-wise. You might consider going from Milan straight to the next city for your first night, if your flight arrival time allows for it, to save moving hotels by one time.

      The train station you use in Milan would be Milano Centrale.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • EJay
    May 24, 2024 at 7:06 PM

    Hello, What would you estimate a safe dollar amount this trip would cost. I tried looking on your 2 week itinerary but trying to gauge cost as well. Thanks

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 25, 2024 at 5:11 AM

      Hi EJay,

      The biggest cost is going to be housing, and that is going to depend entirely on your personal preferences, your party size, the month or even week that you are visiting, and how far in advance you book. So it’s hard for me to ballpark that for you. I would recommend you look at some places in each city on a booking site (like Booking.com or Expedia) to get an idea of a per night rate for the type of accommodation that you personally will be ok with.

      Besides that, I’ve tried to put all the prices of attractions and transport in this guide, so you can just add up all the attractions you would enter (for example, not everyone will do a gondola ride or enter every attraction) and the transport you would take (for example, using a cab is different than using a bus or ferry).

      If you plan to have a restaurant meal 3 times a day, I’d budget around €60-80 per day to be super safe. But I personally usually spend less than €25 a day on food in Italy, because I have pastries for breakfast, simpler meals for lunch and dinner, and don’t care for wine.

      Sorry to not be of more help!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Dileep Yadav
    May 20, 2024 at 2:59 AM

    Dear That,
    You have already done a great help for the first time tourist traveler like us to Italy by this itinerary.
    Please can you also suggest decent 3star / medium range Hotel at centralized location for all three cities ?
    Self (75yrs) with my daughter (41 yrs) are planning the trip in first half of October 2024. Visa takes time so we need to apply now.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 20, 2024 at 7:31 AM

      Hi Dileep,

      I’m glad this itinerary has been helpful!

      I unfortunately don’t have specific recommendations, but am working on a guide for that and can let you know when the post is live, in case you are still planning at that time. Otherwise, I can say that I usually use Booking.com to search, because I like that their interface allows you to filter criteria (like 3 stars, for example, or maximum cost) and then view the results on a map, which allows me to see where the accommodation is relative to the train station and attractions. (I’m not currently affiliated with Booking.com.) I then copy the hotel address into google maps and see the walking time from the train station.

      Sorry to not be of more help!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Dileep Yadav
        May 27, 2024 at 3:24 AM

        Thanks. You responded and am happy for that.
        Will it be possible for you to at least define the area where we should be looking for the Hotel? central area from where the sightseeing spots/train station is closer as we intend taking trains and not cabs. Thank you for your additional support in advance. Kind regards.

        Reply
        • That Travelista
          May 27, 2024 at 7:03 AM

          Hi Dileep,

          I personally always try to book something walking distance to the train station, beacuse I also avoid taking cabs, since I usually travel solo and thus don’t have others to split the cost with.

          In Rome, I liked staying in the area between the Repubblica and Viminale metro stops, because it’s flat walking distance from the main train station, but also reasonable walking distance to all the attractions, minus the Vatican.

          In Venice, I would recommend staying on either the same island as the main train station, or just one bridge away (so one of the bordering islands). Otherwise, you will have to go up and down many bridges to reach your accommodation (like I did, and regretted!). There is the option to take a public water taxi, but I think it could add a might more stress to the journey to have to figure out the water taxi system through the canals immediately after arriving and with all your luggage. So that’s why I suggest staying on or near the island with the train station.

          Florence is more compact than Rome and has no canals, so anywhere walking distance to the train station should be fine.

          I hope that helps a bit!

          – Em

          Reply
  • Yannie
    May 19, 2024 at 11:45 PM

    Hi Em!
    I appreciate you for sharing this itinerary.
    We’ll be visiting Europe this coming July and already booked one way flight ticket to Rome (no return ticket yet for a flexible schedule). We’ll be in Italy for a week so this itinerary works for me and my fiancé.
    We’re planning to stay in Hamburg and other cities in Germany too for about 7-10 days as we have relatives to visit. But other than those two countries, we want to add one more to visit even just for 2-3 days only. Can you suggest one where we can go from Italy via train and from there we’ll be flying to Germany? Or Italy-Germany-Another Country? Which route do you think would work best? TIA.♥

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 20, 2024 at 7:25 AM

      Hi Yannie,

      The only place outside Italy that I personally think could be reasonable to suggest you go to overland from Venice would be Slovenia. You could travel to the capital, Ljubljana, from Venice by bus, and do a day trip to Lake Bled before flying to Germany.

      If you are willing to travel to Milan first, there are various cities in Switzerland that are a reasonable train ride away from Milan, so you could spend a couple days in Switzerland before flying to north Germany.

      But I think it could be better to fly from Venice to Germany and then train from Germany to country two. If you depart from Hamburg to country #3, you could consider the Netherlands or Denmark. If your travels in Germany take you further west, you could also consider Belgium, which you can reach by train from Cologne or Dusseldorf. You could also reach Paris from Cologne (I’ve actually done this train ride!). If your travels in Germany take you further east, you could consider the Czech Rep, which you can reach by train from Berlin. You could also do the reverse – fly from Venice to one of the country #3 options and then train from them into Germany. Your most convenient airport options to get back home are probably going to be Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, or something in Germany, so keep that in mind too when deciding your end point.

      You have a lot of options, depending on your other stops in Germany, but I hope some of that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Yannie
        May 20, 2024 at 9:20 PM

        Thank you so much for that response and taking your time to suggest all of these. I’d definitely discuss this with me fiancé!
        Also, I was thinking, upon checking the map, is it possible to go Rome-Florence-Pisa-Venice-Vienna or Salzburg-Munich-Cologne (might skip!)-Hamburg? What do you think of this route? We are coming from UAE btw.

        Reply
        • That Travelista
          May 21, 2024 at 10:16 AM

          Hi Yannie,

          Austria crossed my mind, too, but it would take you around 6 hours to get to Salzburg, or 7.5 hrs to Vienna. For me, 5hr+ train rides are where I start to consider short flights instead, because at that threshold, it would take the same amount of time door to door.

          So as much as I personally loved Salzburg, I can’t really recommend that kind of long journey for either that and/or Vienna. I would also recommend a place like Hallstatt on an Austria itinerary, and I’d feel bad to suggest you go all the way to Austria on a long train ride without being able to also fit Hallstatt in, which would be hard with so few days and your public transport options.

          Munich is similar. It would take so long to get there that I personally wouldn’t really consider it worth it for what it is. Munich to Hamburg will also be a long train ride (6hrs minimum). (If you guys do decide to go to Munich, I would just recommend also doing a day trip to Schloss Neuschwanstein!)

          I don’t know if you’ve already seen my 10 day Italy itinerary, but since you mention adding on Pisa, you might consider using your extra 2-3 days to see more of Italy, and then flying to Germany from Venice. You could also thrown in a day trip to Lake Como from Milan.

          – Em

          Reply
  • Fleur
    May 17, 2024 at 5:23 AM

    Hi. Can you recommend hotel for each city?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 17, 2024 at 9:36 AM

      Hi Fleur,

      I am currently working on a guide to that for different budgets and such, and it should be up in the next month or so. I can comment back on this thread to let you know when it’s live, if your trips isn’t for some time!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Dina
    May 9, 2024 at 7:49 AM

    Hello there,
    Thank you so much for your detailed itinerary. It will be my first time in Italy in August(I know I know, worst time to go but hubby only has time off during this time).
    We have friends that live in Pescara and want to visit them…..however I am not sure where to start off. I am coming from Lisbon…..I want to skip Rome….we will have about 8 days in Italy…..feeling lost on where to start. Any recommendations?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 9, 2024 at 11:40 AM

      Hi Dina,

      My first visit to Italy was to Rome in August, and I had a lovely time. And my next trip will be this summer, again in August! 🙂 So don’t worry – you’ll have a great time. Especially considering you’ll be spending some time in a less-touristy place and along the coast.

      If you are wanting to roughly follow this one week itinerary but replace Rome with Pescara, this is what I would recommend:

      Fly into Venice from Lisbon. Spend 2 days in Venice. Then take the fast train down to Florence. Spend 2 days in Florence. Then take the fast train down to Pescara. This will require a transfer in Bologna and take around 4 hours. This gives you 4 days in Pescara with your friends.

      To return home, fly out from Rome (FCO) airport. If your friends aren’t dropping you off, the fastest way to get there (besides private transfer) is via Flixbus to FCO. Option two would be to take a train to “Fiumicino Aeroporto,” which requires a transfer at Roma Tiburtina station.

      If you don’t need to spend that many days with your friends, you can tack on the days you don’t need as extra nights in Florence or Venice, to go slower and be less rushed. You could also add on day trips from either Venice or Florence with any extra nights you give those two cities.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Victoria
    May 7, 2024 at 5:22 PM

    I didn’t see a mention on the best hotels or where you stayed; I was just skimming but also saved the link to revisit. Any recommendations for hotels and also thoughts on renting a car. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      May 7, 2024 at 10:13 PM

      Hi Victoria,

      I would not rent a car for this itinerary. You cover the distance way faster via train. To give you an idea, just from Rome to Florence is 3-4hrs
      by car but just 1.5hrs by fast train.

      I am currently working on an accommodation guide and can respond back to your comment to let you know when it’s ready, in case you are still planning your trip. 🙂

      – Em

      Reply
  • Lydia
    April 30, 2024 at 8:54 AM

    Hello! I’ve read both this and your 10 day guide – thank you so much for going into so much detail, it’s amazing! My husband and I love to travel by train so I’m excited that it seems to be the preferred way to get around.

    I think we’re likely to have 7-9 days, and we’re most interested in seeing the Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. Do you have any recommendations for the order of them and the best way to get between them? I know you have Florence-Venice here, but you also have Cinque Terre between the two on the other guide hence me asking. We’ll be flying in/out from London.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 30, 2024 at 11:51 AM

      Hi Lydia,

      I’m glad the posts have been helpful in your planning! And I’m glad you’re also fond of trains! They cover SO much distance so much more quickly than by car in Italy when traveling between the main tourist stops.

      If you’d just like to stick to those 3 spots and not Rome, I’d recommend flying into Pisa airport to start. From there, head to Cinque Terre (either La Spezia or whichever village of your choice). Next, train to Florence. And then train to Venice. Fly home from Venice airport. OR, the exact reverse order – whatever you prefer or whatever works out best for accommodation offerings, etc. This way, you have the least backtracking. 🙂

      If you want to tack on Rome, add it before or after Cinque Terre and replace Pisa airport with Rome airport. So Rome > CT > Florence > Venice OR the reverse. Make sure to get the direct fast train between Rome and La Spezia.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Lydia
        May 9, 2024 at 1:50 AM

        Thanks so much – very helpful indeed!

        Reply
  • Divya
    April 28, 2024 at 11:37 PM

    Hello…this is such an awesome site and very nice and practical too.
    Would love to hear your recommendations for 4 days to Tuscany region ( Florence plus countryside / wineries )
    Planning to do Rome for 3 nights according to your itinerary and then Tuscany for 5 nights and fly out of Rome .

    Appreciate your time..thank you!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 29, 2024 at 4:09 AM

      Hi Divya,

      I’m glad to know you like the itinerary!

      I think what you suggest sounds like a fine plan! You could find some organized tours from Florence for the 2 extra days there, that combine wine tastings with smaller villages or just show you the Tuscan countryside. I’m not a wine enthusiast, so I’ve never done these tours, but I’ve seen them offered online. You could also rent a car from Florence for 2 days and see whatever interests you most in Tuscany.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Christal
    April 28, 2024 at 6:29 PM

    Where do we go for the extended if we have 2 weeks for Italy and have you ever been to Greece? Never been anywhere much as I’m solo and new to all of this! Much help appreciated haha 🤣 thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 28, 2024 at 7:11 PM

      Hi Christal,

      I haven’t been to Greece yet, but this is a detailed guide to how I’d spend two weeks in Italy as a first timer.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Akbar
    April 22, 2024 at 3:09 PM

    Thank you so much for a detailed post! really helped take away some of the anxiety as a first timer in Europe. I will be staying in Tallinn Estonia for 3 weeks in May, plan to go to Italy for 5 days and maybe Germany for 2 days during last week of May.

    I have couple of questions:
    Out of 3 cities you mentioned, can I still do all 3 or you think I can stick to two cities. In my mind, Rome is must. Considering I only have 4-5 days in Italy.

    Secondly, I have no proficiency in Italian language, do you think I can roam around Italy, especially countryside near Florence with only speaking English and using google translate?

    Finally, this one might be a bit controversial, are people there friendly to foreigners? Especially, if I look like I am from India or Egypt.

    Thanks again
    Ak

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 23, 2024 at 8:41 AM

      Hi Akbar,

      I’m glad this post has help reduced your pre-trip anxiety!

      If you really want to see all 3, you can, but you will need to cut 1 day each from 2 cities (or 1 day from 1 city and a half day from 2 cities). You will have to be OK with rushing through those cities and maybe not seeing everything. I can understand this perspective if you may not be back in Italy in the future and prefer to see a little of everything. But if you want to see each place that you visit “fully,” then choosing 2 is the way to go.

      You will be fine with English and Google translate. (You’ll honestly be fine without Google Translate too, unless you are going to a place with literally no tourists.)

      Your final question is totally valid. I have never felt racism directed towards me in Italy, but I have first-hand witnessed it occurring to other people (sometimes from other tourists), and I’ve of course heard others speak about it happening to them. In my experience, Italians are friendly in that they are quite chatty/curious and willing to help if you ask or look like you need help. But you are going to find those people who work in something touristic and just seem sick of tourists and might take it out on you on that day. There’s really no way to predict whether you’ll face racism/xenophobia or not on your trip, but I would sum it up by saying I don’t think your experience will be much different than in other western nations. Another thing is that passport privilege is real, and my experience is that of someone with a US passport and a native US accent. I don’t know what nationality you are, so I wanted to mention that.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Ashish
    April 22, 2024 at 2:16 AM

    Hello, your post is great and very detail oriented. I just wanted to ask one thing, We are a couple travelling with a child, how convenient is travelling with a Child Buggy in Italy, especially on the public transports everywhere.

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 22, 2024 at 4:17 AM

      Hi Ashish,

      I’m glad to know you like my post!

      I’ve never traveled with children, so I’m probably not the best to answer how it will be traveling with a child. If your buggy is foldable, you can put it up in the storage above your seats, and there is also storage for large luggage at the ends of of the train carriages. You can book your seats in advance and choose the seats that face a table, so that your child can have some room to draw/play and eat, if you want. And the train stations have elevators, in case you are concerned about carrying things up the stairs.

      That’s all I can say from the perspective of someone who’s never traveled with kids. I hope some of that helps! 🙂

      – Em

      Reply
  • Cheryl
    April 19, 2024 at 2:02 AM

    Thank you so much for the details and also the cost saving ideas. This is greatly appreciated as we are doing our visit on a very tight budget. A work colleague and I are doing a week in Italy after a work conference in Athens. We fly in and out of Rome. What would you recommend that we take out of this itinerary to add a night in Monza to check out the race circuit and then go onto Venice or something along those lines. Keep up the great work in helping people enjoy their holidays more 😊

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 19, 2024 at 10:55 AM

      Hi Cheryl,

      I’m glad the tips in this itinerary have been helpful for you! 🙂

      If you weren’t flying into/out of Rome, I would say to take out Rome and just stick to the main spots in the north of Italy (Venice, Florence, Milan + Monza, which is near Milan). Then, you can return to Italy and do Rome + Amalfi Coast in the future, if you want.

      But since you are in Rome anyways, I say to keep it in your itinerary. That’s 3 nights. You also say Venice, so that’s 2 nights. Monza is 1 night. With the 1 extra night, you could see Milan. Or you could an extra night in Venice or Rome.

      So you could do something like Rome > (Milan/)Monza > Venice > Rome or the reverse.

      An alternative would be to just do one less day in Venice or in Rome than this one week itinerary suggests. But that would be quite rushed.

      I hope some of those ideas help!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Anonymous
        April 19, 2024 at 11:35 PM

        Thank you for your reply, appreciate it 😊

        Reply
        • That Travelista
          April 19, 2024 at 11:55 PM

          You’re welcome!

          Reply
  • Aria
    April 17, 2024 at 8:09 PM

    We are doing a family trip to Italy in early June with a 2 year old and 8 year old. Excluding flights we are there for 8 full days. We fly into Rome and want to just see a few of the major sites so our adult daughter and 8 year old can see them (we have been before). Next we hope to travel to Sorrento/Amalfi coast, Florence and finally Milan to depart.

    Would you be able to provide some recommendations of how many days to stay in each location and things to do with the kiddos in tow? I don’t want to be burnt out from too much movement but know we have to get to Sorrento & Florence as our main locations. Rome & Milan are a means to an end for flights. I would love to do some shopping in Milan and see the highlights but I won’t be sad if we don’t have more than a day there.

    Thank you in advance for your guidance and this blog! It’s SUPER helpful!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 18, 2024 at 12:03 PM

      Hi Aria,

      I’m glad the blog is helpful!

      I’v never traveled Italy with kids, but I would suggest something like:

      Day 1 – 2: Rome
      Day 3 – 5: Sorrento, other Amalfi Coast
      Day 6 – 7: Florence
      Day 8: Milan

      If by “just see a few of the major sites” in Rome, you mean just view the Colosseum from the outside and maybe enter the free Vatican Basilica, then I think you can cut Rome down to one full day if you really don’t want to spend too much time there. Then you can add that extra day elsewhere, maybe Florence if it’s one of your main spots. I think Sorrento will be easier as a base for the Amalfi Coast with a toddler, because Positano is very steep. You can day trip to the other parts of the Amalfi Coast by either ferry or taxi.

      I don’t really have kid-specific activities to suggest, unfortunately! Maybe a pasta making class, or the gelato making class I link to in the “What to Eat in Florence” part of my two week Italy itinerary? There’s also going to the beach, if you are interesting in doing that in the Amalfi coast.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
      • Aria
        April 21, 2024 at 8:32 PM

        Thanks so much Em!
        We got our flights into Rome and out of Milan.
        We’ll do Sorrento for 3 nights but will have another 3 nights for somewhere between there and Milan (which will be our final night).

        We are rethinking Florence because it sounds like it’s mainly an art draw. We’d rather focus on food and shopping with some Fulton art classes for the kids.

        If you had your choice, where would you pick? We’d love to focus more on local culture than city if that’s feasible with the kids, transportation, and time.

        Thanks for your input!

        Reply
        • Aria
          April 21, 2024 at 8:38 PM

          *culinary classes not Fulton art classes lol

          Reply
        • That Travelista
          April 22, 2024 at 4:12 AM

          Hi Aria,

          Florence definitely doesn’t have a city feel, like Rome or Milan. Its role in the European renaissance is definitely the reason for its relevance, but it’s not that you just stare at paintings and sculptures in museums while there. The outdoor architecture itself is art, and there are a lot of vintage and artisanal markets to shop at. And I would say you can find culinary classes to book in any touristic destination in Italy, and that you will also find good food anywhere in Italy. So I just want to be clear that Florence isn’t at odds with any of the things you’ve listed that you’re looking for! 🙂

          That being said, what do you mean by “local culture?” Do you mean a place that is less tourist-oriented? If so, you might consider the region of Emilia-Romagna. The main city there is Bologna, and from there you can visit Parma and Modena as day trips. It’s the region where a lot of the most famous Italian foods come from (bolognese sauce, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar), and it’s a lot less touristy than Rome, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast.

          – Em

          Reply
          • Anonymous
            April 22, 2024 at 8:00 PM

            This is super helpful! Thanks sooooo much!!

          • That Travelista
            April 23, 2024 at 2:24 AM

            You’re welcome!

  • Jewel
    April 16, 2024 at 12:35 PM

    Thank you, this was very informative. We are doing 4 days in Italy split evenly between rome and venice. Do you have suggestions on areas to stay?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 16, 2024 at 12:41 PM

      Hi Jewel,

      I’m glad this was helpful!

      For Venice, I’d recommend to stay on the same island as the train station or just a few canal crossings away. I stayed closer to the attractions, and regretted having to drag my luggage over so many bridges. There is obviously the water taxi service, but I didn’t really want to navigate it first thing after arriving.

      In Rome, you can stay walking distance from the station if you prioritize being close to transport.

      Other than that, I don’t have suggestions on neighborhoods or anything. I usually just booked based on where I find the best accommodation available for a fair price and the distance to the train!

      Hope that helps a bit!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Lisa Boano
    April 15, 2024 at 5:38 PM

    My husband and I are flying out of Pittsburgh 9/27 at 10 pm and arrive in Italy the next day at 4 pm. We fly into Rome and fly out of Rome 10/12 to return home. Can you do a itinaeray for us where to stay , how to get around , what to see like your one week plan. Ty

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 16, 2024 at 8:10 AM

      Hi Lisa,

      It sounds like you have 14 days in Italy. In that case, my recommendation is what I lay out in my 14 day Italy itinerary. At the end of the final day in Venice, just add a fast train to Rome that night/evening. Then, fly out of Rome the next day.

      Hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Liz
    April 15, 2024 at 2:58 PM

    Thank you so much for such detailed post. It is exactly what I needed to start planning my Italy trip, and now I hope you can help with that 🙂.
    I plan on doing a 7 day solo trip to Italy, Easter 2025. I want to visit Rome, Florence and mostly Naples, and if I can squeeze in Tuscany great, but not a must for this trip. For me it’s more of a spiritual/mental retreat, a treat to myself. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 16, 2024 at 9:27 AM

      Hi Liz,

      I’m glad this post has been able to help you plan your Italy trip!

      Florence (a city) is in Tuscany (a region). So you’ll already be squeezing in Tuscany by going to Florence. 🙂

      Assuming you are flying in and out of Rome, I would recommend Rome (3 days) > FLorence (2 days) > Naples (2 days) and then take the fast train (1.5 hours) back to Rome on the final evening to fly out of Rome the next day. OR the exact reverse. If you want an extra night in Florence to do a day trip to somewhere in the Tuscan countryside or a smaller Tuscan village, or if you want an extra day in Naples (since you write “mostly Naples), take it from Rome.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Thao
    April 14, 2024 at 5:58 PM

    Thank you so much! Love this site so much.

    We are doing Paris, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, , Merzouga, Seville, Madrid, Barca, Rome, Florence (checking out Pisa), and finishing off at Venice. We’ve learned so much from your site. Appreciate you so much for wonderful suggestions.

    However on my last day – I’m actually flying out from Milan…I cannot really fit Milan anywhere on my schedule.
    I have 28 (from the morning) to 30 Sep in Venice. On the last night (30 Sep), would you suggest me to stay in Venice, the next morning take the train to Milan Airport or should I move to Milan on that night? My flight is at 2PM in the afternoon.

    Appreciate it very much 🙂

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 15, 2024 at 8:05 AM

      Hi Thao,

      Thanks so much for the kind words on the site! 🙂 You trip sounds like it’s going to be amazing!

      The decision on Venice/Milan is really up to you. If it’s an international flight, they usually tell you to arrive 2 hours in advance, sometimes 3. So assuming they say 3, you’d need to arrive by 11am at MXP. The drive or train from the center is 1 hour, so you’d need to arrive in Milan by 10am. The train from Venice is 2.5 hours, so that means you’d need to depart Venice’s station by 7:30am.

      Personally, I’d prefer to sleep in Milan and be able to wake up later on that morning of the flight, so I would move to Milan the night before. It would also make me not be worried about any train delays from Venice to Milan. But it’s all up to your personal preference!

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • El
    April 12, 2024 at 1:06 PM

    I am planning a 10-day trip to Italy with Thursday as my departure day from the US, and the following Sunday will be departure from Italy. Friday morning is arrival in Rome. Upon arrival, I don’t feel like I’d be able to do much except wait around until 2-3pm hotel for check-in because we’ll have our luggage with us, and we can’t lug that around the city. Then, if we add 2 more cities, we’ll have do do the same process of checking out of a hotel by 11 or noon, traveling to the next destination, and most of the day is already gone by the time we’re checked in and settled.

    How do you manage an itinerary considering luggage and hotel check-ins?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 12, 2024 at 1:26 PM

      Hi EI,

      You can normally show up at the hotel at whatever time, as long as it is within their opening hours, and leave your bags with reception. Sometimes they will even have a special room to store luggage. Then you can leave to explore and return after check-in time. The same for check out. You check out when you need to, but leave your bags with reception. Then you return to pick it up before heading to your next city.

      If you are staying in an AirBnB or something that doesn’t have reception, you can look for luggage storage in the city. This can be lockers or left luggage places with a person there. Train stations often have them nearby or even inside. Just google “left luggage [city name]” and find one close to you. Some even let you reserve in advance. But this is only if you don’t have reception. If you have reception, you should be fine! 🙂

      Hope that helps! Enjoy your trip!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Philcho
    April 11, 2024 at 6:20 PM

    What a gem of a site Em! I’m wondering if you could make a recommendation on how to fit Naples (specifically Pompeii) into this itinerary. I’m taking my daughter there this coming September and Pompeii is on her “must-see” list. Would you add it to the Rome portion of the trip or tack it on at the end or the beginning somehow? She also has the Amalfi Coast on her list but I’m not sure we could add both Naples and Amalfi Coast onto this itinerary on an 8 day trip. Would love your thoughts. I love your itinerary though – it hits a lot of the other places she wants to see (Rome and the colosseum; Florence in the Tuscany area; Venice).

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 11, 2024 at 11:53 PM

      Hi Philcho,

      I’m glad you like the site! 🙂

      You can fit Pompeii easily as a DIY day trip from Rome by adding one day to this 7 day itinerary to make it 8 days, which it sounds like you have. So just add one more night to Rome. You can take a look at my 2 week Italy itinerary and scroll down to the “how to get to Pompeii from Rome” section. Then, just do that same journey backwards to return to Rome afterwards.

      If you absolutely must see Amalfi Coast as well on this trip, then I’d recommend booking a group tour to Pompeii and Positano from Rome on that extra 8th day instead of doing a DIY trip to just Pompeii. It’ll be very rushed, but you’ll be able to “see” both Pompeii and the main star of the Amalfi Coast that way.

      I hope that helps!

      – Em

      Reply
  • VAUGHN
    April 10, 2024 at 5:35 PM

    Thank you for the awesome itinerary. It is truly impressive and I am excited to save it for future reference. However, I would appreciate your advice on the following matter:

    I am participating in the London Marathon this year. We are planning to spend 10 days in Europe and would like to visit the following cities: Brussels (2 days), Paris (3 days), and Italy (the remainder). Our intention is to finish our Italian journey in Rome and then return to England.

    We would like to visit Rome and Florence during our time in Italy. Given the limited time we have, do we have to prioritize one city over the other? Would you recommend visiting Florence first, followed by Rome?

    Your expert opinion would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply