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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.
Although there is enough to do in Italy to fill a week, we recommend a stay of at least ten days for a complete Italy experience. However, if you’ve only got a couple of 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. Sicily anyone?
One week is enough time to hit Italy’s 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 days to see all of Rome’s most famous sights, like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican. Then, hop on a train to Florence to experience 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 in 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.
Ten days is the perfect amount of time to enjoy 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 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 walk the coastal trail 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 in Italy.
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.
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.
Naples is a great place 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.
Throw in a trip to the Amalfi Coast for a relaxing retreat. 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.
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.
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.
If you like any of these itineraries or would like to create your own, connect with our local Travel Expert in Italy to plan the best Italy itinerary for your upcoming Italian adventure. If you’d like to join a group tour and explore Italy while making new friends, you can also check out our Italy tours page.
Travelling to Italy? Chat with a local travel specialist in Italy who can help organize your trip.
Matteo Piccardi Travel Expert in Italy
Antonio Mauriello Travel Expert in Italy
Danilo Catania Travel Expert in Italy