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Whether you want to sip wine in the rolling hills of Tuscany, swim in the sparkling waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea on the Amalfi Coast, or explore the architectural and archeological wonders of Rome, Italy has something to capture every traveler’s heart. This is a country overflowing with history, culture and stunning landscapes, leaving you longing to come back again and again. With so much to do you will often find yourself struggling to choose between destinations and activities — browse Renaissance art in the galleries of Florence or watch the sunset over Cinque Terre? Regardless of how long or how short your visit is, planning a well-rounded Italy itinerary can help you pack a punch to your Italy vacation.

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How many days to spend in Italy?

The vault and dome over the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy
Wonder at the brilliance of the Sistine Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy.

Although there is enough to do in Italy to fill a week, we recommend a stay of at least 10 days in Italy for the complete experience. However, if you’ve only got two or three days in Italy, you will still be able to cover many of the main highlights of the country.

Rome is certainly worth a full few days of exploring and it makes an excellent jumping-off point for day trips all over the country. We recommend checking out the gorgeous Umbrian town of Orvieto or taking a chilled-out trip to the beautiful mountain village of Tivoli. Taking a longer trip? Get off the beaten path and visit some stunning locales that not many tourists seek out. A tour to Sicily anyone?

The Colosseum during the night.
Visit the Colosseum at night to get access to the spectacular underground area, Italy.

A week in Italy is enough to visit most popular sights and cities. You’ll have to move quickly and focus on the main attractions, but with all the gorgeous sights, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.

Take two or three days in Rome to see its most famous sights, like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican. Then, hop on a train to explore Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. You’ll have a couple of days to enjoy the world-class artwork, Michelangelo’s “David”, and scope out the city’s iconic Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. Be sure to fit in some time to visit the Uffizi, it’s one of the best art galleries in the world for Renaissance art.

Spend a day travelling Venice; cruise down the canals with a singing gondolier and climb the bell tower in the Piazza San Marco. It’s an incredible city to get lost in and you’ll never forget the time you spent there. 

Finish your trip in Milan, the fashion capital of the world. No trip to Milan is complete without climbing up to the Duomo Terraces in the Piazza del Duomo — try and get there for sunrise or sunset for some incredible views and photo ops! Plan ahead and schedule a trip to the Cenacolo Vinciano to see Da Vinci’s famous painting, The Last Supper.

For more ideas, check out our recommended itineraries for 1-week in Italy. You can also browse our entire list of 1-week Italy itineraries.

The Borromean Islands with hills in the distance in Italy.
Go island-hopping and enjoy the marvelous gardens and palazzos of the Borromean Islands in Italy
The Milan Cathedral on a clear day in Italy.
Head to the rooftop of Milan Duomo for a closer look at the famous needle-spires holding religious statues, Italy

A 10 days Italy itinerary allows you to see some of the best cities and still be able to leave the city behind and visit other wonderful destinations. Start your trip with a visit to Rome and Florence. Include a tour to Pisa in your Italy itinerary and see the famous Leaning Tower. Make sure to check out the cathedral and baptistery as well, they’re just as photo-worthy!

Head to Cinque Terre and hike the trails connecting the villages. Don’t forget to stop and catch the sunset in Monterosso, the largest of Cinque Terre’s villages. It will be one of the highlights of your 10 days Italy itinerary.

You can travel to Milan from Cinque Terre and spend a day there. If you can, get tickets to see an opera at Teatro alla Scala, Italy’s world-famous opera house. It’s guaranteed to be a highlight of your stay. Take a trip to Italy’s Lake District and spend a few days soaking up the gorgeous mountain views. Do some hiking, take a cooking class, and check out Ristorante Mistral, Bellagio’s best restaurant, run by a Michelin-starred chef.

For more ideas on planning a trip to Italy, check out our recommended itineraries 10 days in Italy. See all our 10-day Italy tours and decide on an epic Italy travel adventure! 

With two weeks in Italy, you don’t have to skip much. Fourteen days gives you enough time to do everything we covered already and also spend some time lounging on the Amalfi Coast and hiking in the Italian Lake District, plus a few other select destinations.

A tour in Naples is a great to add to your Italy itinerary after you’ve seen the sights of Rome. It’s the birthplace of pizza and the perfect place to use as a base to visit Pompeii. We recommend making the short trip to Mount Vesuvius if you’ve got time. You can climb up to the top of this ancient volcano for some stunning panoramic views. 

The Almalfi Coast dotted with colorful houses overlooking the sea in Italy.
Include a boat trip on your 2 weeks Italy itinerary and take in the scenic views of the Amalfi Coast.

Throw in a trip to the Amalfi Coast for a relaxing retreat if you're in Italy for two weeks. Gorge on some fresh seafood with a limoncello to celebrate your arrival, and review our Amalfi Coast itineraries to ensure that you don't miss out on anything. You can ferry-hop all around the Amalfi Coast. Make sure to visit Positano (home of an incredible grotto nightclub, Music on the Rocks) and the island of Capri. If you want to visit Florence to get your Renaissance fix, it’s an easy train ride. Plus, you can catch a bus to San Miniato al Monte for some stunning sunset views of Tuscany.

You’ve got enough time to squeeze in Venice—enjoy the quintessential gondola ride and stroll across Rialto Bridge, and Milan before cruising on to the mountains.

Finish your trip in the Lake District for some grade A hiking and some kayaking if you’re feeling frisky. Local guides will show you around the lake and offer insights into the area’s history and ecology.

For more ideas on how to spend two weeks in Italy, check out our recommended itineraries for 2 weeks in Italy. Feel free to explore our list of 14-day Italy tours.

3 weeks in Italy

After three weeks, you’ll practically be a local. You can spend a little extra time in your favorite places or you can stuff your Italy itinerary full of everything we’ve mentioned above and include some island hopping to Italy’s largest islands, Sicily and Sardinia, to binge on truffles and bask in the sun.

The cathedral of Palermo during the day in Italy.
Pay a visit to the Cathedral of Palermo and travel back to the time of ancient Roman emperors in Italy
Mount Vesuvius in Naples in Italy.
A trip to Naples in Italy could be capped-off by climbing the iconic trail of Mount Vesuvius

Sicily is like nowhere else in Italy. Its capital, Palermo, is a beautiful medieval city with a delightful mixture of Italian architectural styles denoting the island’s unique history. Catch an outdoor performance at the Greek Theatre of Syracuse or make the trip to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento to get your history fix.

Sardinia is an island full of ancient archeological sites and people whose hospitality will leave you delighted and possibly buzzed! Of course, you can also spend plenty of time exploring the island’s gorgeous white-sand beaches. If you like truffles, you’ve come to the right place to feast — catch the famous eight-week long annual White Truffle Fair.

When you’re in Naples, add a day trip to Pompeii to see the ruins of a city trapped in time by Vesuvius’ massive eruption. You can head there on your own or join a tour group to get the full down low on the history of the region, the disaster that changed everything, and present-day efforts to restore and preserve the city.

Planning a trip to Italy

If you like any of these Italy trip itineraries or would like to create your own, connect with our local travel experts in country to plan the best itinerary for Italy for your upcoming adventure. If you’d like to join a group tour or just explore Italy as solo traveller, you can also check out our Italy tours page.

For a seasonal overview, read our travel article on the best time to visit Italy.

Published by Lisa Hopp, updated on August 3, 2023

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