MENU
DESTINATION GUIDES & ITINERARIES / EUROPE

The Best of Italy: Ultimate Ten Day Italy Itinerary

Venice Grand Canal view from Acadamia bridge

Once you’ve decided to travel to Italy (great choice, by the way!), your next big decision is how many days to spend in Italy. Of course, as much time as possible would be great. But ten days in Italy is the perfect amount of time to see everything “big.” What’s everything big? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This ten day Italy itinerary will efficiently guide you through Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, and Milan.

View of Florence from Piazza Michaelangelo

Now, I know that sounds like a lot. But I truly believe I’ve curated the perfect ten day Italy itinerary to maximize sightseeing and minimize stress.

I do have to warn you, though. This two week Italy itinerary is detailed. Like, how-the-hell-do-you-have-time-to-write-all-this detailed. And that is 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: get ready for a long article! (About a 17 minute read.) You might definitely 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!

Pssst! I highly recommend reading my itinerary for fourteen days in Italy and considering tacking on four more days to your Italy vacation! With those extra days, you can enjoy Positano and the rest of the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and Pompeii. Or, if you’re thinking ten days in Italy is too much (how?!), then my one week in Italy itinerary will be perfect instead.

Overview

Ten Day Italy Itinerary Summary

Let’s start off with an overview of this epic trip, so you have an idea for what to expect. (Or, you can jump straight to the actual itinerary.)

DaysCityOvernight In
Days 1 – 3RomeRome
Days 4 – 5FlorenceFlorence
Days 6 – 7Pisa & Cinque TerreCinque Terre
Day 8MilanMilan
Days 9 – 10VeniceVenice

Best Time of Year to Visit Italy

The absolute best time to visit Italy is definitely the shoulder seasons of April – May and September – October. This lets you see everything in comfortable weather, but you can avoid the extreme crowds (And heat! And prices!) of the summer. If you plan to swim, aim for September – October, so that the water has had all summer to get warm.

Grand Canal in Venice from Accadamia Bridge during sunset

Should You Travel Italy by Car or Train?

One of my favorite things about Italy is how wonderfully easy it is to travel Italy without a car. I actually believe trains are the best way to travel in Italy. This is especially true for your first time in the country. So, this ten day Italy itinerary is completely car-free, relying solely on trains and water taxis.

Sunset in Manarola Cinque Terre

One very 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. The fines are low-key high-key ridiculous.) How do you validate your train ticket in Italy? Simply stick the 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 train) before the price gets too high closer to the actual date. If you are taking regional trains (which work fine for shorter distances), just buy them at the station on the day of, to allow flexibility in case plans change.

In this itinerary, I include all the details and prices for each time you’ll use public transport to move around. 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. Just look up flights and see which direction is cheaper. Also, at the very end of this page, I have a section on how to adjust this itinerary if you need to. Ready?!

Rome

As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome. It’s the current capital of Italy and the former epicenter of the Roman Empire. As you’d expect, there’s a lot to see in Rome! Try to ignore the street vendors with no regard for personal space selling selfie sticks and whizzing gadgets, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Rome as I have.

Roman Colosseum

How to Get to Rome

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

  • Option 1: Take the train. Follow signs in FCO airport to the train platform. Then, ride 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 Roma Termini train station! Do not accept or ask help from anyone except official train station employees, and wear your backpack facing your front.
  • Option 2: Take a taxi. Taxis into central Rome from FCO airport are a fixed fare of €48. Make sure you get into an official taxi at the taxi pickup line. They should accept credit and debit cards, and you can double check this as well as the taxi fare before getting in. This will take 30 minutes, just like the train.

Rome’s other airport is Ciampino (CIA). This airport is actually slightly closer to central Rome. However, it is smaller and only used for budget airline flights within Europe, like EasyJet and RyanAir. 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 from CIA airport into central Rome.

  • Option 1: Take a bus to just outside Roma Termini train station. There are multiple options you have for this bus. These include the 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 into central Rome from CIA airport 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.

Things to Do in Rome (Three Days)

Sure, you can “see” Rome in a day or two if all you want to do is literally see attractions from the outside. But personally, I don’t think that’s the best way to actually experience a place. So for Rome, I highly recommend a minimum of three days (including the day you arrive). Take it easy on day one, since it’s the day your flight lands. 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 in the order I have it below will be 30 min (2km or 1.25 miles). I recommend starting at whichever end is closer to you and your accommodation.

  • Scalina Spagna: Also known as the Spanish Steps, this gorgeous staircase gets busy at night as a bustling hang-out spot.
  • Trevi Fountain: This beauty is Rome’s largest and most-famous fountain. Expect major crowds, and know you will need some patience to get your perfect pic!
  • Pantheon: It was transformed into a church in 609 AD, though it was built in 120AD as a Roman (pagan) temple for all gods. Everyone still calls it the Pantheon, which means “honor all Gods” in Greek. Free to enter!
  • Piazza Navona: This square is as popular as it is beautiful! Touristy cafes line the edges of the piazza, which has 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: Though it is now in ruins, back in its prime, this huge thing sat 50,000 guests and even had retractable shades. Tickets are €16 for 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 purchasing 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: These ruins used to be numerous important government buildings during the ancient Roman Empire. It’s amazing walking around them, seeing how huge the ruins are, and wondering how life must have been back then – almost 2000 years ago!
  • Palatine Hill: This is where all the cool kids lived during the Roman Empire – the aristocrats and emperors and all that jazz.
  • Arch of Constantine: This arc is the largest surviving one of its kind. It was built in 302 AD and is right outside the Colosseum.
  • Via dei Fori Imeriali: This street – especially at dusk – is my favorite part of Rome! You can look down below to the Roman Forum from one side and explore other incredible ruins on the other. It connects the Colosseum to the next attraction below.
  • Vittoriano: This white, marble building almost doesn’t fit in with its ancient surroundings.  But I love it, nevertheless. It is a memorial to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the united Italy as we know it today.

Day Three

  • Vatican City: Technically, this area is its own country! It’s the smallest in the world, ruled by the Catholic Pope. There are three main things to see in Vatican City: St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums. St. Peter’s Basilica is free to enter, but the dress code is very strict. Remember to cover your shoulders and knees! (This goes for all genders and ages.) There is a slow moving crowd to enter, but I felt it moved quickly enough back when I went (in August). Once inside the basilica, you can climb up to the dome for epic 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. To my knowledge, you can only buy tickets on site. They should be around €8 and €10. The Vatican Museums are home to 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. You can enter the Museums for 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 commissioned this as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Since then, it has been used as a fortress, castle, and currently a museum. I didn’t enter, so I can’t recommend entering, but I think enjoying this castle’s exterior and bridge over the river is worth it alone!
  • Wander: Explore on your own! Get lost! You’ve crossed off all the “can’t miss” things off your list, but who wants their trip to be just a to-do list? If you just rush around Rome ticking off attractions, I’m not sure you’ll like the city. But exploring it’s less-crowded streets, strolling along the river, sitting at a random restaurant – these are the things that will leave you loving Rome.

Florence

When you think of Florence, you probably think of art, and maybe leather handbags, too. While it is the birthplace of the European Renaissance, it’s also just a really beautiful Tuscan city. There are so many things to do in Florence, but I think two days in Florence is the perfect amount of time for a first visit or ten day visit to Italy.

Florence Duomo Cathedral

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.

Things to Do in Florence (Two Days)

Many travelers recommend the Firenze Card, since it covers a lot of attractions in Florence. But for two days in Florence (or even three days in Florence), I believe the card is not worth it. Instead, I recommend purchasing the Grande Museo del Duomo ticket. This 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, for everything 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 decide. Do you prefer to visit one museum a day, or have one big museum day? Do you want to avoid climbing stairs twice in the same day, or are you up for the challenge? Do you like a viewpoint for sunset, or prefer sunrise? These are the factors that will determine what things you do and see each day, so I can’t recommend that for you. Most sights in Florence are rather compactly located, anyways, so planning a route shouldn’t be an issue!

*Items with an asterisk are skip-able if you’re not interested, but I’ve listed them since they’re included in the ticket I recommended above. If you want a more-detailed breakdown of the below, plus pictures, check out my full Florence travel guide.

  • Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo): This is the third largest church in the world and is the symbol of Florence. Entry is free, but prepare for a massive line at least an hour long.
  • Cupola: Bruneschelli’s Dome is actually the most impressive part of the entire Duomo. Architecturally, it was the first of its kind. Climb up the steps for the 360 views over Florence from the top. But you have to select a specific time slot when you buy your ticket! Otherwise, you will be turned away and asked to return. (I saw it happen, and it’s sad.)
  • Campanile di Giotto: Yes you already climbed up the cupola, but there’s another viewpoint! This time, the view is the cupola itself.
  • Battistero di San Giovanni: This is the building right across the main cathedral. The inside was actually pretty cool! It has Byzantine-like mosaics, in contrast to all the typical-Renaissance paintings. All the tourists snap pics of the gold doors outside, but know that those are just copies. The real doors are in the Duomo Museum!
  • Duomo Museum*: Since you get free access with the Duomo combo ticket, it might be worth a quick walk inside here. It will help you understand why all this Duomo stuff in Florence is such a big deal!
  • Crypt of Santa Reparata*: This is included in the Duomo combo ticket, which was the only reason I saw it. But once I got there, it was actually much cooler than I anticipated! It’s basically church ruins from 405AD inside the main church. The slightly-annoying thing about visiting 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 the main squares in Florence.
  • Piazza della Signoria: This square has sooo much going on! The best part is definitely the Loggia dei Lanzi. It’s basically a free, open-air museum of insane sculptures that really ought to be tucked away in a museum. (Seriously though, I’m so surprised these are just out there in the open!) The square also has a copy of the David statue, for those of you who don’t end up paying to see the real thang.
  • Palazzo Vecchio: Apparently, it’s supposed to have a great view of the Duomo. But I didn’t enter, minus the free courtyard.
  • Ponte Vecchio: This unique bridge has become synonymous with Florence itself! It used to be a passageway so the Medicis (a super rich family that basically made Florence….well, Florence) didn’t have to walk with the commoners. But since then, shops have been added and create the look it has today. Expect a lot of tourists here.
  • Piazzale Michelangelo: This is the best viewpoint in Florence! I recommend trying to time your visit with sunset, but it’s beautiful anytime. (I went three times during my visit….so I would know.) It requires an uphill walk and is the furthest out you’ll get from the city center. So bring some snacks to stay a while and make the trek worth it.
  • Acadamia: Somewhat annoyingly, the sole reason to enter this gallery (for most of us) is for one piece of art. The David. 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 the Acadamia allows night visits! I got in right away! No one really knows about it, which is why it’s so empty, so let’s try not to tell too many people? *wink* Double-check the night time hours, or book online, at the official site.
  • Uffizi Gallery: Uffizi actually means “offices” in Italian, and this building used to be the Medici’s offices. But these days, it’s a world-famous museum. The most-famous art piece there 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: You can’t miss Florence’s most-famous market! Here, you can shop leather goods and chow down in the indoor food market.
  • Santa Croce: Since admission was not free, I didn’t enter this church. But I think it’s in a picturesque area that justifies passing by!
  • Palazzo Pitti: This palace was the Medici family residence. I personally have seen way too many European palaces at this point. So I skipped playing the €10 entry fee and only viewed the palace from the outside. But I did later wish I arrived earlier in the day than I did, to buy a Boboli Gardens ticket (€6)!

Pisa

Is there anything more synonymous with Italy than the image of the leaning tower of Pisa? It’s hilarious how such a famous Italian landmark is from the most random of Italian cities! Conveniently, Pisa is a the transfer station on the train ride route between Florence and the Cinque Terre. So you lose basically no time making a couple-hour stop to get out of the station, snap your funny photographs, and get back on your way to Cinque Terre.

Leaning Tower of Pisa next to the Pisa Cathedral

How to Get to Pisa from Florence

Take a regional train from Firenze S. M. Novella train station to Pisa Centrale train station. This is a 50 minute ride and costs €8.70. Once at the train station, head to the luggage storage in the station, and drop off your things for €5 per bag. Check out the storage website.

Things to Do in Pisa (Half Day)

Because this ten day Italy itinerary is so jam packed, I recommend you head straight to the leaning tower, snap your pics, and then return back to the train. The walk is about 30 minutes each way, plus I anticipate you’ll spend about 20 – 30 minutes getting that perfect leaning picture. So allow 1.5 – 2 hours for your stop in Pisa. The reason I recommend this is so that you can have as much time as possible in Cinque Terre.

But, if you want more than just a photo op, there actually are a good amount of things to do in Pisa.

  • Climb the leaning tower: It’ll cost you €18 and you’ll need to choose a time-slot! I didn’t do this, but the line looked very long.
  • Go inside the Duomo: Though this is free, you still need to get a ticket, and time slots do book out. Do this at the building with all the signs, right by the leaning tower.
  • Visit the Baptistery: I didn’t enter, but pictures instead look so pretty! This alone will set you back €5, or you can pay €7 or €8 for a two or three-monument combo, respectively. See the official website to understand!
  • Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina: I admit I know nothing about this church, but I think it looks super beautiful. It’s easy to walk by it by using Ponte Solferino bridge on the way back to the train from the leaning tower.

Also, Pisa is just a super pretty Tuscan city! So there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking around and actually seeing the city of Pisa. You can just budget extra time to walk around the city before hopping back on the train. Maybe even stop for lunch!

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre actually means the “five lands” in Italian. These five lands of Cinque Terre are the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. My only recommendation on which village to choose for your stay is not choosing Corniglia as a base. This is simply since there is a 350+ step staircase from its train station to the actual village! (Psst: Check out my guide on cheaper Cinque Terre bases.)

Riomaggiore colorful village in Cinque Terre

How to Get to Cinque Terre from Pisa

Take a regional train from Pisa Centrale train station to your preferred Cinque Terre village of choice. All journeys will require a train transfer at La Spezia Cenrale station. You might consider using La Spezia as your base, since it might be cheaper, saves some train hassle, and is included in the Cinque Terre Rail Pass (more on the pass later on – don’t worry!). Train times and prices are below.

  • Pisa to La Spezia: 75 minutes and €7.90
  • Pisa to Riomaggiore (the southern-most village): 1.5 – 2 hours, because it requires a transfer at La Spezia, and €8.60
  • Pisa to Monterosso (the northern-most village): 1.5 – 2 hours, because it requires a transfer at La Spezia, and €8.60

Things to Do in Cinque Terre (One & a Half Days)

The best things to do in Cinque Terre are visit all of the villages and hike between them. Sadly, more than half of the iconic trail is currently closed during reconstruction after an avalanche. Currently, the only open part of this specific trail is from Monterosso to Vernazza and from Vernazza to Corniglia, but you can check here for updates.

To hike the main Cinque Terre trail, you’ll need to pay (except during winter, when there’s apparently no one checking). For this ten day Italy itinerary, purchase the two-day €23 trails and train card. This allows you unlimited access to the paid trails and unlimited train travel between Levanto and La Spezia. It also grants you free public toilet usage in the villages and free WiFi at the train stations between Levanto and La Spezia. You can buy the card in person at any train station or information desk.

Aside from hiking, there is no real to-do list of attractions for each village. You just stroll around at your leisure, swim when you feel like it, and enjoy the beauty of Cinque Terre! If you want to get off the beaten path (literally), Check out the free Cinque Terre hikes you can do instead of the paid ones. The views are better, too, in my opinion!

Day One (Half Day)

Riomaggiore and Manarola: After arriving in Cinque Terre from Pisa, I recommend spending the remainder of this day relaxing and hanging out in both Riomaggiore and Manarola. I recommend timing your visit to Manarola with sunset, to get that cliché Instagram view. That café you see everyone take their pics at? It’s called Nessun Dorma.

Day Two

Hike Monterosso to Vernazza to Corniglia: Visit the last three villages, and get some hiking in! You can complete the hike either direction you please. I definitely recommend hiking wearing your swimsuit underneath, because there is nothing you’ll want to do more after a hike than jump into that sea!

Milan

You probably know Milan as the fashion capital of Italy… and maybe nothing else! Many visitors aren’t enthused by Milan, and I do not think Milan is worth visiting with just one week in Italy. But you’ve got ten days in Italy, so I think it makes sense to include on your itinerary. After all, Milan is home to the world-famous Last Supper painting and the iconic Duomo. In my opinion, it makes a perfect, not-too-hectic second-to-last stop on your epic tour di Italia.

Milan Duomo cathedral

How to Get to Milan from Cinque Terre

Take a train from La Spezia Centrale to Milano Centrale. I recommend taking the direct, 3.5 hour InterCity train. Expect to pay around €20 if you book a month out, around €25 if you book two weeks out, and around €29 the day of.

Things to Do in Milan (One Day)

  • See the Last Supper: Book this is as soon as you can! Tickets to enjoy Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece are available on the official site about three months in advance. They cost €15, plus a €2 online fee, and allow you a 15-minute viewing of the famous painting in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Tickets are free on the first Sunday of every month, so all you would pay is the online booking fee. Sadly, official tickets tend to get booked up on the first day they’re available by Milan tour operators. So if you don’t get a ticket yourself, the only other way is to book a guided tour. These run for around €40 and above.
  • Go to the Roof of the Duomo: Access to the roof is €10, entry to the church interior is €3, and the online booking fee on the official site is an additional €1.50.
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: This iconic and historic shopping center sits to the left of the Duomo. It’s simply way too glamorous not to walk through! Plus, for a rooftop view of the Duomo, you can take a €12 elevator up to the top.
  • Navigli Lombardi: Stroll around this super cute area of canals during the evening, or perhaps even enjoy dinner here!
  • Starbucks Reserve Roastery: I’m not even a coffee lover, but I just had to pop my head into the first Starbucks in Italy. The bougiest Starbucks I’ve ever been in, for sure!

Venice

Venice is more than just a place for cliche gondola rides. It’s honestly so beautiful, it’s unreal. But it is crowded beyond belief, particularly in the summer! I recommend you knock out all the tourist sights at less-crowded hours. That way, you can spend the middle of the day exploring the rest of Venice, where it’s much, much less crowded, but just as beautiful.

Rialto Bridge in Venice Italy during sunset

How to Get to Venice from Milan

Take a train from Milano Centrale to Venezia Santa Lucia. I recommend taking the direct, 2.5 hour Frecciarosssa train if you can book it a month ahead, when it’s around €29 for the morning train. If you buy closer to your departure date, it’ll be €52. In that case, the regional train (the type that costs the same no matter when you buy it) is €21.95, and the transfer in Verona only adds an hour more to your journey. So it’s worth considering if your on a budget!

Once in Venice, you’ll want a vaporetto pass. Trust me – you don’t want to be lugging bags up and down those bridges! If you are 29 years-old or under, I highly recommend buying the Rolling Venice Pass. I wish I knew about it earlier! It costs €6, but in order to buy it, you must also purchase (at minimum) an unlimited three-day vaporetto pass for €22. With the pass, you also get discounts on many attractions, like a €12 discount entrance to the Doge’s Palace! The one-day transport pass alone costs €20, and the two-day pass costs €30, so getting the Rolling Pass quickly pays for itself. You can buy these passes online or in person once in Venice.

Things to Do in Venice (Two Days)

You should take a reasonably-timed morning train from Milan, so that you can get to Venice in the late morning. Add some time for navigating the canals to locate your accommodation, and you basically have a little under two days in Venice. (If that sounds like too little, you can remove the Burano and Murano day trip from day two of this Venice itinerary.) If you want a more detailed guide to Venice, plus photographs of each of the below bullet points, check out my article on the best things to do in Venice.

Day One

  • Piazza San Marco: This is the main square and epicenter of the (tourist) action. Firstly, there’s the Basilica San Marco. It’s free to enter, but be careful what time you go to avoid a long line. 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 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 deets.
  • Bridge of Sighs: This famous bridge is named so because it connects the Doge’s Palace to the prisons. Legend has it, prisoners sighed while taking one last look over beautiful Venice as they walked through the bridge to their dooms.
  • Rialto Bridge: If you haven’t figured it out by now, Venice has a lot of famous bridges!
  • Accademia Bridge: Hands down, my favorite bridge in Venice because of its amazing view.

Day Two

  • Take a half-day trip to Burano and Murano: To be frank, I did find this a wee bit overrated. But maybe I’m just salty because I got bad weather? I have a detailed travel guide on how to visit the islands from Venice, as well as what each island is all about.
  • Fondaco dei Tedeschi: This shopping center has a unique rooftop view of Venice and the grand canal. Though it’s free, you’ll need to book in advance (I recommend at least a day or two prior to get your ideal time slot). It’s located right at the edge of the Rialto Bridge on Calle del Fontego.
  • The Grand Canal: The obvious way to ride the Grand Canal is on a Gondola. This costs €80 per gondola (with six people max) in the daytime, or €100 sunset and later. Prices are fixed, so check current gondola prices, and do not let anyone overcharge you. If you’re traveling Venice on a budget, I’ve got you covered! Instead of the gondola, you can ride the vaporetto between San Marco and the train station. This will be “free,” since the vaporetto pass for the Burano and Murano day trip you took earlier is still valid! I reeeeally recommend timing this during sunset. It’s so pretty (and a lot less hectic).

How to Get Out of Venice

Phew – that was a lot. After ten days in Italy, your epic vacation 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 couple ways you can get to VCE airport from Venice’s city center.

  • Option 1: By bus. From the Venice Piazzale Roma ATVO bus stop, take the bus for €10. The ride lasts about 30 minutes. Purchase tickets at the ATVO ticket office in Piazzale Roma, from the automated ticket machine outside that ticket office, or online.
  • Option 2: 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 3: By taxi. The fare for this 30 minute ride from Venice Piazzale Roma is around €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).

Adjustments to this Ten Day Italy Itinerary:

  • Starting in Venice instead of in Rome: You can absolutely do this itinerary in the opposite order as I have listed. I just personally would want to start in Rome.
  • Flying in or out of Milan instead of Venice: Venice and Milan can easily be reversed in the itinerary, in case you find a good Milan flight. In that case, I would suggest switching the order of the itinerary to be Rome > Cinque Terre > Florence > Venice > Milan (or the reverse). This is because taking the train between Venice and the Cinque Terre instead of Milan and the Cinque Terre would add about 1.5 hours to the train journey, due to to a recent change in the journey duration. It also requires two connections, whereas traveling between Rome and Cinque Terre does not require any.
  • Visiting Siena instead of Milan: If you already know you have no interest in Milan, consider replacing that day with adding an extra night in Florence. From there, you can make an easy day trip into Siena (or any other town in Tuscany!).
  • Skipping Milan if it seems too hectic: Does five cities in ten days sound like too much checking in and out of hotels for you? If so, I don’t blame you. It might be more enjoyable to save Milan for a return trip to Italy. Use the extra day as another day in either the Cinque Terre, or add an extra night in Florence for the Siena day trip I mention above. Again, I would recommend to change the order of the itinerary to avoid taking the train between Cinque Terre and Venice, like I explain in bullet point #2 of this list.

Any Questions on This Ten Day Italy Itinerary?

I know that was a lot! 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!

Save this Itinerary on Pinterest to Return to It Later

Italy travel this summer? This Italy ten day itinerary covers Venice, Rome, and Florence PLUS unique destinations, Pisa, Milan, and Instagram spot Cinque Terre. This Italy travel guide has all the things to do in Italy BY DAY, Italy budget travel tips, and more.
Italy travel this summer? This Italy ten day itinerary covers Venice, Rome, and Florence PLUS unique destinations, Pisa, Milan, and Instagram spot Cinque Terre. This Italy travel guide has all the things to do in Italy BY DAY, Italy budget travel tips, and more.
Italy travel this summer? This Italy ten day itinerary covers Venice, Rome, and Florence PLUS unique destinations, Pisa, Milan, and Instagram spot Cinque Terre. This Italy travel guide has all the things to do in Italy BY DAY, Italy budget travel tips, and more.

13 Comments

  • Heidi
    April 12, 2024 at 5:30 PM

    Hello! This looks like such a great itinerary! My mom and I may be visiting Italy together in a few years and we are looking to go sometime in the spring, probably in April. Can you please tell me a rough estimate of the cost (not including airfare, or food) if we were to stay in say 3 star hotels (sharing a room)? I’m just trying to get a rough estimate of how much it would cost us versus paying for a package tour where it is either fully guided or partially guided.

    Thank you!
    Heidi

    Reply
  • David
    April 5, 2024 at 7:07 AM

    I am excited to be curating a trip for my mom and I. She is 83 but very active and physically capable. Your 10 day trip sounds amazing and I believe we would trade Milan for Tuscany. Do you have any other suggestions or advice for people traveling with a parent such as I will be?

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 5, 2024 at 7:30 AM

      Hi David,

      I’m glad to know you like the itinerary! And that’s amazing that you and your mom will be visiting Italy together. You’re both going to have a great time!

      I just want to clarify that both Florence and Pisa are in Tuscany. Tuscany is just the name of a region, it’s not a specific city or town. So feel free to cut out Madrid and add another Tuscan spot to visit on top of Florence and Pisa, but I just wanted to clarify that will already be seeing some of Tuscany! 🙂

      As for suggestions or advice, I can’t speak from personal experience, unfortunately. Was there any concern you specifically had? The only thing that came to mind was giving yourself extra time at train stations if you want to use elevators instead of stairs, because sometimes they are obviously located and other times they are not, but you say your mom is very active, so that doesn’t seem like a concern.

      – Em

      Reply
  • Rita
    April 1, 2024 at 12:44 PM

    Hello, I’m grateful to have your Italy suggestions! We are considering travel in September but have no idea where to start! We’re going to review your 10 and 14 day Italy trips. We’re hoping to get to a waterfall/hiking a day or so, too. Is that realistic? And, what type of locations do you recommend for hotels, etc.?

    Thank you again, for all of your great information!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      April 2, 2024 at 11:03 AM

      Hi Rita,

      I’m glad my suggestions have been helpful so far in your planning!

      There aren’t any waterfalls reachable by public transport that I know of near the spots on my 14 day itinerary (the 10 day and 7 day itineraries are shorter versions of that one). There are several hikes around the Cinque Terre area, which is in both the 10 day and 14 day itineraries. In the itineraries, I only suggest doing the main/paid hikes, but I’ve linked my guide on free hikes in the Cinque Terre area. And the 14 day itinerary, I suggest a hike in the Amalfi Coast area called The Walk of The Gods.

      I personally would try to stay walking distance from the train stations (or ferry stations, if you plan to use ferries in Amalfi Coast). That’s what I normally do!

      I hope that’s helpful! You’re going to love your trip. September is my favorite time in Italy!

      – Em

      Reply
  • Kate Toll
    December 2, 2020 at 1:42 PM

    What a great itinerary! I’ve been to most places on this list, but I need to get back to Italy! I really, really want to visit Milan, it looks beautiful! Also Cinque Terre is truly paradise!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      December 10, 2020 at 9:28 PM

      Yes, Milan has a bit of a bad rep, but it’s a classic! I hope you get to go!

      Reply
  • Hannah
    December 2, 2020 at 1:17 PM

    Some good northern Italy choices here. I love the south of Italy personally, and the lakes in the north. Agree completely about Corniglia on the Cinque Terre. We stayed outside the 5 villages – in Bonassola – still on the train line, but without the crazy tourists 😉

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      December 10, 2020 at 9:27 PM

      Oh I’ve never heard of Bonassola, but I definitely am returning to Liguria and getting even more off the beaten path so I’ll look into that spot!

      Reply
  • Boletworldwide
    December 2, 2020 at 12:31 PM

    This is such an awesome and complete itinerary. I’ve been to Rome, Florence and Verona, but will definitely save it for Pisa and Milan!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      December 10, 2020 at 9:26 PM

      Oo those three are great! But yes, gotta see that classic leaning tower!

      Reply
  • Finding Falke
    December 2, 2020 at 9:45 AM

    I love all of these cities! Italy really has it all: beautiful architecture, incredible summers, delicious food. Great post!

    Reply
    • That Travelista
      December 10, 2020 at 9:25 PM

      Thanks so much!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.