Italy Itinerary

10 Days in Italy: 3 Amazing Itineraries

Julie Italy, San Marino 158 Comments

Italy is a country that is on many travelers’ wish list. And why not? Italy has it all: fabulous cuisine, gorgeous cities, towering mountains and beautiful beaches, and ancient historical sites. Throw in some gelato and wine and you have the perfect ingredients for a memorable 10-day holiday in Europe.

For first timers to Italy, Rome, Florence, and Venice usually make the “must-see” list. With ten days, you have just enough time to visit these three cities and add in a quick visit to a nearby destination. How to do this is spelled out in our “Classic” itinerary.

But for those who want different ideas of how to spend your time in Italy, we have two more recommendations for you.

With 10 days in Italy, you have just enough time to get a taste of this country. Don’t try to see it all at once. Italy is better visited at a slower pace, so you can sample the food, wander the streets, and get the full experience.

With these itineraries, we tried to strike a balance between visiting a handful of cities and moving slowly enough to have the best experience.

10 Days in Italy: 3 Itineraries

#1 The Classic

Our classic itinerary includes Rome, Florence, and Venice, with two days in the Cinque Terre.

Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre & Venice

  • Day 1: Arrive in Rome
  • Day 2: Rome
  • Day 3: Florence
  • Day 4: Florence/Tuscany
  • Day 5: Tuscany
  • Day 6: Cinque Terre
  • Day 7: Cinque Terre
  • Day 8: Venice
  • Day 9: Venice
  • Day 10: Fly home

Day 1 & 2: Rome

Rome

The first day in Rome can be challenging if you arrive on a red-eye flight. Do your best to get adjusted to the time change, visit a few sites in the afternoon, and consider going to bed a little early.

With less than two full days in Rome, you will not be able to see everything, but some of the must-see sites include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Borghese art gallery, and a tour of the Vatican. Stroll through Piazza Navona and consider having dinner in the Trastevere neighborhood.


Read more: 2 Days in Rome: The Perfect Itinerary


Day 3, 4 & 5: Florence and Tuscany

Travel by train to Florence. This journey takes just 1.5 hours, so if you leave early in the morning you will have most of the day in Florence.

Florence

On this itinerary, you have three days in Florence and Tuscany. Florence needs at least one full day to see the main sites. You should also spend one full day in Tuscany. There are numerous hill towns to visit as well as Siena, one of our favorite spots in Italy. You have to decide how to spend the third day: more time in gorgeous Florence or another day in Tuscany, visiting the small towns and vineyards.

To get around Tuscany, we recommend hiring a driver. This allows you to sit back and enjoy the views and the wine without the hassles of parking and navigating between the towns. If you are more independent, you can rent a car (this is what we did after our terrible experience with the public bus system in Italy). We do not recommend the bus. On more than one occasion, the bus failed to show up, leaving us stranded on the side of the road. This not only happened in Tuscany but also Sorrento and Amalfi.


Read more: One Perfect Day in Siena


Day 6 & 7: Cinque Terre

Manarola

On the morning of day 6, take the train from Florence to the Cinque Terre. It takes between 1.5 to 3 hours to get to the Cinque Terre. Direct trains take less time but there are many more options that have a transfer in Pisa. You can take a few hours to visit Pisa on the way to the Cinque Terre, but you would be missing out on some valuable time in the Cinque Terre.

If you are booking a train to the Cinque Terre, you will arrive in La Spezia and then take the local train to one the five towns of the Cinque Terre. It takes just 9 minutes to travel from La Spezia to the first town, Riomaggiore, and trains run very frequently.

The Cinque Terre is magical. Five picture perfect towns perched along the Mediterranean coastline just waiting to be explored. You can spend a full day hiking between them or use the train to hop between towns.


Read More:  Hiking the Cinque Terre and The Cinque Terre for Budget Travelers


Day 8 & 9: Venice

Take the train from the Cinque Terre (La Spezia) to Venice. There are no direct trains. Most trains transfer in either Milan or Florence. The quickest journey takes 4 hours but some can take over 6 hours. For your day of travel, book the shortest, most convenient train in the morning, so you have the afternoon to spend in Venice.

Venice

One day in Venice is really all you need to see the main highlights. Spend the extra time by cruising out to Murano and Burano or simply wandering the canals some more.


Read more: 20 Photos that will make you want to visit Venice

Where to Day in Venice: Best Neighborhoods and Hotels for Your Budget


Day 10

Begin your travels home. Or, for those with more time, continue onto your next destination.


#2 Rome, Florence & the Amalfi Coast

Venice and the Cinque Terre did not make this itinerary, but what you are getting is a drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast, a day trip out the beautiful island of Capri, a visit to Pompeii, and an extra day in Rome.

Rome, Amalfi Coast, Florence & Tuscany

  • Day 1: Arrive in Rome
  • Day 2: Rome
  • Day 3: Rome
  • Day 4: Sorrento and Pompeii
  • Day 5: Capri
  • Day 6: Amalfi Coast
  • Day 7: Florence
  • Day 8: Florence
  • Day 9: Tuscany
  • Day 10: Fly home

Day 1, 2 & 3: Rome

On this itinerary you have one extra day in Rome. This gives you plenty of time to explore this city. Even so, it will be a very busy three days.

Trastevere Neighborhood

Trastevere

Day 4: Pompeii and Sorrento

Today, you will visit Pompeii in transit between Rome and Sorrento. This is relatively easy to do. From Rome, take the train to Naples (70 minutes). Once in Naples you will transfer to the Circumvesuviana train. You can purchase tickets right before boarding the Circumvesuviana train so there is no need to buy them in advance. It takes 36 minutes to travel from Naples to Pompeii (get off at the Pompeii Scavi station).

Pro Travel Tip: The Circumvesuviana train is a local train (similar to riding the subway in New York City) and it can be hot and crowded, especially during the summer months. It’s not as nice as the faster trains in Italy, but is a convenient, budget friendly option for getting to Pompeii and Sorrento. Always beware of pickpockets while using trains and other public transportation in Italy. If you want to skip out on this “budget friendly experience,” you can hire a private driver in Naples instead of taking the Circumvesuviana.

While touring Pompeii, you can store your luggage in the luggage storage facility on the lower level of the Pompeii Scavi station.

10 days in Italy

After touring Pompeii, pick up your luggage and then take the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. Most likely you are arriving in the mid to late afternoon. After checking into your hotel (your home base for 3 nights), stroll along the marina, have dinner, and try the limoncello…it’s delicious!


For more information on how to visit Pompeii and travel to Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, read these posts:

How to Visit Pompeii when Traveling from Rome to Sorrento

How to Travel from Rome to Sorrento, Capri & the Amalfi Coast


Sorrento and Mt. Vesuvius

Vesuvius Sunset

Day 5: Capri

Capri is just 20 minutes away from Sorrento by boat. Once in Capri, take a boat tour around the island, enjoy the breathtaking view from Mount Solaro, and explore the Grand Marina. You can even go hiking if you like.

Capri


Read more: Is a Visit to the Blue Grotto Worth It?


Day 6: Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast

From Sorrento, take a day trip to the Amalfi Coast. This is described as one of the most scenic drives in the world. Along the way, visit the towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

Positano

Tim Rivenbark

The best way to get around is by private driver. Parking can be a huge hassle (avoid self-driving the Amalfi Coast during peak season) and using the public bus system can be a nightmare (been there, done that, and we had a miserable experience).


Read more: Positano, Our Favorite Town on the Amalfi Coast


Day 7, 8 & 9: Florence and Tuscany

The morning of day 7 is spent traveling from Sorrento to Florence. You can take the Circumvesuviana train (1 hour, cheap) or take a private driver (1 hour, expensive) to the Naples train station (Napoli Centrale). From Naples it is a 3-hour train ride to Florence. It is a gorgeous journey, especially the final hour, as you travel through Tuscany.

Divide your time between Florence and the hill towns in Tuscany.

The view from San Gimignano

Tuscany

Day 10

Begin your travels home. Or, for those with more time, continue onto your next destination.


#3 Off-the-Beaten-Path

For those who don’t mind skipping some of the more popular cities, this itinerary includes several wonderful, off-the-beaten-path destinations. We love this itinerary because it includes some of our favorite spots in Italy. You even get to explore a hidden gem of Europe, San Marino.

For this itinerary you will need to rent a car. You can pick it up on day 1 at the Venice airport or on the morning of day 2 before leaving Venice.

Venice, Dolomites, Verona, San Marino & Tuscany

  • Day 1: Arrive in Venice
  • Day 2: Venice
  • Day 3: Dolomites
  • Day 4: Dolomites
  • Day 5: Verona
  • Day 6: San Marino
  • Day 7: Florence
  • Day 8: Tuscany
  • Day 9: Tuscany
  • Day 10: Fly home

Day 1 & 2: Venice

With one and a half to two days in Venice (depending on what time you arrive on day 1), you have just enough time to explore the best of Venice and visit Murano, Burano, and/or Lido Island.

Venice Photography

Day 3 & 4: Dolomites

The Dolomites are one of the most gorgeous spots in Italy that we have seen. This is hiking paradise. There are numerous trails, from short easy hikes to all day affairs. The views are spectacular, and you don’t have to be a hiker to enjoy a trip here.

Dolomites

In the Dolomites, the two most popular towns to base yourself are Bolzano and Cortina d’Ampezzo. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to either town from Venice. Later, when you transfer to Verona, it is a 2-hour drive from Bolzano and a 3.5-hour drive from Cortina d’Ampezzo. The drive from both locations is gorgeous. Most of the hikes we did were located near Cortina d’Ampezzo.


Read more: Hiking the Puez-Odle Altopiano


Day 5: Verona

Verona

Verona is gorgeous, similar to Venice except without the canals, the decay, and the huge numbers of tourists. This is another one of those cities that is perfect for getting lost in (and eating a lot of gelato). Enjoy this low-key day exploring this beautiful city.


Read more: Falling in Love with Verona


Day 6: San Marino

San Marino

In the morning drive to San Marino (3 hours, mostly on the highway). You will have the rest of the day to explore this gorgeous, underrated destination in Europe.


Read more: San Marino: Europe’s Most Underrated Destination?


Day 7, 8 & 9: Florence and Tuscany

Montalcino

Since you have a car, take your pick of where you want to stay in Tuscany. You can choose Florence, Siena, or any of the Tuscan hill towns, such as Montepulciano, Pienza, or San Gimignano, just to name a few. Or even stay in a villa for three nights. It just depends on what kind of experience you want to have.

We recommend one day in Florence and two days exploring Tuscany.

Day 10

Begin your travels home. Or, for those with more time, continue onto your next destination.


With More Time

With only ten days in Italy, it’s tempting to squeeze in as many destinations as possible. But sometimes the best experience is going slower and visiting fewer cities.

If you are lucky enough to have more than ten days, consider adding more time to Tuscany, Rome, or any of the destinations listed in this itinerary, rather than adding a quick visit to another city. I know that it is tempting to try to see as much as possible, but your holiday may be more enjoyable if you slow down a little bit.

Best Time to go to Italy

Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit Italy. The weather is generally pleasant during this time.

Summer is peak season so expect huge crowds of people and more expensive accommodations. Italy can also be very busy during Easter week and around Christmas.

Italy Travel Guide

If you need more information about traveling to Italy, check out our Italy Travel Guide. It has lots of articles and advice to help you plan the perfect trip.


Are you planning a trip to Italy? Comment below if you have any questions.

Going to Italy? Buy the Guide:


 

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Italy Itinerary 10 Days

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10 days in Italy Itinerary: 3 Italy Itineraries including Venice, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Verona, Dolomites, Tuscany, and San Marino #italy #itinerary #venice #florence

Comments 158

  1. HI Julie, I’m so glad I found your site. I’m starting to plan my dream trip to Italy since we took my husband’s dream trip to Telluride this summer. After reading some information on your site, I think I want to go to Italy in May or possibly late September. My focus has always been Florence and Tuscany. A friend of mine also highly recommend the Almalfi Coast, so I want to add that too. We want to keep driving to a minimum, but we don’t want to waste time waiting on buses. We love beautiful scenery,easy shorter hikes, and history. It is possible that we will be taking our teenage boys 16 and 18 at travel time. Your itineraries are helpful, but I’m not sure that One of them fits exactly. Venice or Rome is not a must for us, but we also don’t want to be driving for several hours most days of the trip.

    1. Post
      Author

      I don’t know how much time you have, but here are some suggestions. If you like beautiful scenery and short hikes, you can’t beat the Dolomites in Italy. You will have to do some driving to get around here, and to get to the Dolomites, but it’s worth it, IMO. However, if you go in May it may be too early to hike the Dolomites since trails can still be covered with snow. September would be the better time to visit the Dolomites. Two to 3 full days is a good amount of time to spend in the Dolomites.

      Then, you could head to Florence/Tuscany, maybe visiting Verona on the way. Spend some time in Tuscany and Florence, and then travel by train to Naples/Sorrento and end at the Amalfi Coast. All of this fits nicely in a 10 day itinerary. With another day or two, you could add in Rome or Venice or Milan, since you will most likely be here, at least briefly, as you fly into or out of Italy. Think about it and I can make more suggestions if you like. Happy planning! Cheers, Julie

  2. Hi Julie love your site! We have two kids 15 and 12 taking to Italy next summer July, which I know for a number of reasons is not ideal time to go but its when we can. We were thinking of spending only 2 days in Rome, 5 in Sorrento and using it as a home base for Pompei, Capri, and Positano then heading up to Venice for 2 days. Do you think the kids will enjoy this or is their a better itinerary for teens you would suggest? Does not have to be Italy but we want them to experience Europe.. Thank you in advance

    1. Post
      Author

      I think this sounds wonderful! Your kids get to experience 2 big cities with lots of history, with some nice beach time in between. It will be crowded but it’s the same month we visited these same places. Cheers, Julie

  3. We are planning a Italy trip for December 26th- January 5th (10 nights) with our 12 year old daughter. This will be my 3rd trip but the 1st for our daughter. We are flying into Florence and out of Rome. My original thought was to do 5 days Florence, and 5 days Rome. Use the trains for day trips to Siena and possibly Venice or Verona. Now I’m thinking we could add a few more cities. What would you recommend for the winter month? I considered Sorrento- not sure on may places being open and not sure on ferries. Thoughts or suggestions?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Tammy. I have heard that Italy gets quite busy around Christmas, especially Rome and Florence. Including Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast could be a nice way to escape the crowds for a few days, if you don’t mind cool temperatures. I wouldn’t expect to swim in the Mediterranean Sea but you can still visit the towns and enjoy the coastal scenery. Here’s an article with a little more info for you. I also like your day trip idea but I think that Venice and Verona are a little far to go. If you did Rome, Florence (with a Siena day trip), and the Amalfi Coast, you’d have roughly 3 nights in each place, a good amount time to visit the cities and not be too rushed. Sounds like a great holiday to me!! 🙂 Cheers, Julie

      1. Hi, we are in planning stages of 10 day trip to Italy from South Florida in July with our 15 year old daughter. Ideally we want to skip Rome and go to Florence, Tuscany, Venice and Amalfi coast wouldn’t mind a trip to Capri. We are foodies mainly. Thoughts?

        Thanks so much!

        1. Post
          Author

          Sure, you can do that. I’d start by looking at flights. Ideally, you could fly into Rome or out of Venice (or vice versa). If you fly into and out of the same city, it may be cheaper, but you will spend at least half of a day getting back to your starting point. You will need 3 full days for the Amalfi Coast (easily accessible from Rome). This will give you enough time for a drive along the coast, Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii. Two days in Venice is perfect (with at least a one night stay in Venice). Then put the rest of your time into Florence/Tuscany. Florence, Siena, or another hill town could be your home base to explore the area. So, with 10 days, you will have about 3 days in the Amalfi Coast, 3 days in Tuscany, 2 days in Venice, with a day on either end for arriving in Italy and flying home. All 3 regions can be connected by train. Consider renting a car for 1 to 2 days to day trip around Tuscany. Let us know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi Julie,

    We are planning a 12 day trip in Aprl ’19 and have two itineraries we are considering. We may chose one but can you please tell us if it will be too hectic/not doable?This is our first time in Italy.

    Rome
    Rome
    Amalfi Coast Positano
    Amalfi Coast Naples
    Florence
    Florence
    Pisa/Corsica/Cinque Terre
    Venice
    Venice Dolomites
    Verona
    Milan
    Milan

    or

    Mumbai
    Rome
    Rome
    Tuscany Pisa
    Tuscany
    Florence
    Florence Verona
    Dolomites
    Venice
    Amalfi Coast
    Napes
    Rome

    Thanks for your time 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Darsh. Both are very hectic and do not allow enough traveling time between cities. Here’s how I would change your first itinerary: Rome – Rome – Amalfi Coast – Amalfi Coast – Amalfi Coast – Florence – Florence – day trip to Tuscany (sleep in Florence) – Venice – Venice – Verona – Milan. You will need 2 days minimum (for each) to add in the Dolomites or the Cinque Terre to make them worth it. Pisa isn’t that great…Verona is much better so I eliminated Pisa so you have time for Verona. The Amalfi Coast area needs 3 days because of travel time to get there and back.

      Here’s my modification on itinerary #2 for you” Rome – Rome – Florence – Florence – Tuscany day trip – travel to Cinque Terre and see Pisa on the way – Cinque Terre – Cinque Terre – travel to Venice – Venice – Venice – travel back to Rome. In this itinerary, I really don’t think you have enough time to get back to the Amalfi Coast but I did add in Cinque Terre. So you can pick which one you would rather see.

      Both of these itineraries are still very fast. I know it’s tempting to squeeze as much in as possible, but I think you will enjoy Italy more if you aren’t always on the train. 🙂 Cheers!

  5. Hi Julie! I am so grateful to have came across your site. My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe and we are planning for Dec 17 – Jan 1. We have not booked our tickets yet so the dates are completely flexible until our itinerary is fixed. I am keen on the itinerary #2 you have listed but I wasn’t not sure if incorporating Cinque Terre was possible at all and during which part? Would you also recommend us having a car to explore around Naples/Amalfi and Tuscany as it seems ideal to spend 3-4 nights in the southern coast and a couple nights in Tuscany? thanks so much!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Rita. You can add the Cinque Terre and a good way to do it is to take a train from Florence. You will arrive in La Spezia and then take a commuter train to one of the five towns (or stay in La Spezia). From the Cinque Terre, you can then take a train to Venice. I agree, having a car would be ideal in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. I don’t think the Amalfi Coast will be very busy so getting around by car should be OK. You could rent the car in Rome or Naples and keep it through Florence/Tuscany or rent two separate cars, one for the Amalfi Coast and one for Tuscany, and connect the 2 areas by train. Just run the prices to see which one is cheaper. This sounds like a great way to end 2018! Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi Julie!

    Your family trekking blog is fabulous and has been an absolute goldmine for me in planning a family trip to Italy. We are still in the planning stages, and I was wondering what the best possible month, in your opinion, is to travel to Italy. We are wide open for 2019, so any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks Julie,
    Lindsay

    1. Post
      Author

      If I could pick a month, I’d pick May. The weather is great and you don’t have the crazy crowds of summer, Easter, and Christmas. You’ll still have some crowds but it should be manageable. We have been to Italy in July and in September. September was surprisingly crowded and July is hot and crowded. August, from what I hear, is a terrible time to visit. October can be nice, as far as the crowds go, but you will have a higher chance of rain. Cheers, Julie

  7. Hi Julie. Been to the major cities with family before. Daughter studying in Bologna and flying into Milan. A day in Milan, daughter can come visit, heard should see Verona, Sienna, sorento and the Amalfo Coast, like to see Venice again and Lido beach., loved Murano and Burano. A touch of Tuscany Orvieto?, possibly Lake Cuomo then a day in Florence and Bologna to see her town . May daughter has 5 days to travel with us. Flying into Milan nov 25 and depart

    1. Post
      Author
  8. Hi Julie,
    I love your blogs and find them very informative. I would like some input from you. We will be traveling to Italy from Oct 1 (arriving on 10/2) and leaving on 10/15 (late morning-ish). I don’t have the tickets yet. My son is stationed in Aviano so the trip is to see him….and to see some sights. He has seen quite a bit of Italy already so I’m trying to plan somewhere he hasn’t been. I went to Italy last year and my wife has never been. So, trying to get something that will fit everyone….with limited time. I had a trip planned from August 29th to Sept 17 but due to extenuating circumstances, I had to push this trip and shorten it some. So, we will now have 12 days to spend rather than 19.

    I think the must do’s are Rome, Verona, Venice, Sorrento (with visits to Amalfi and Capri Island and possibly Pompeii). My son has not been to Sorrento or the surrounding areas. So, I thought that would be a definite spot to visit with him. He has 5 days leave he is taking. Venice we could see on a weekend day as well as Verona on another weekend day.

    My thought is to fly into Venice and drive to Aviano. This would allow us to have a car to see Verona, Venice and even Barchis Lake (beautiful site if you have not seen it). Then, my thought is to drive to Miestre (park the car at a parking garage) to catch a RyanAir to Naples – ferry to Sorrento. Figured flying would take much less time than going by train. The only other caveat is we would like to leave from Venice to head back to the States so this would allow us to see our son before leaving Italy. It may be over a year before we get to see him again so I’m trying to suck up all the time I can get.

    So given this information, what would be your suggestion for an itinerary? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Barb. I think you should spend the first part of your trip in the Aviano/Venice/Verona area. You could spend Oct 2 through Oct 6 or 7 here…that gives you a day in Verona, 1 to 2 days in Aviano, and 1 to 2 days in Venice. Then, spend your full week (Oct 10 to 14…I am assuming this is when your son has his 5 days of leave) in Sorrento. I agree, if you can get a direct flight to Naples, this will be much quicker than taking trains from the Venice area to Naples. In Sorrento, I recommend a minimum of 3 days (with a travel day on either side). This gives you enough time to see Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast. Another day would give you some more leisurely time. Then you will have your final weekend in Italy, which you can spend in Aviano/Venice with your son. The Dolomites are gorgeous, so if the weather is nice, consider driving to Cortina d’Ampezzo and checking out our favorite part of Italy! The Lagazuoi Tunnels is a nice easy hike to do in the area (or you can just ride the cable car up and admire the view). Just a thought.

      Enjoy your time with your son! Spend every moment you can with him. 🙂 Tyler is just 3 years away from college and I can’t imagine even going a few weeks without seeing him.

      Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you so much for the information Julie. I’m just curious, what time of year did you do this hike? The pictures are absolutely breathtaking. Also, is it possible to just drive there for a day, do the hike, enjoy the scenery and then drive back to Aviano? We have family in Asti and I was thinking my cousin could take the trip and hike with us on a Saturday prior to our leaving. Thoughts?

        There are two things in which things always costs…time and money. You can always make more money however, you cannot get more time not matter what you do. Time flies too fast. It’s so hard to believe my son has been in Italy for almost two years and his next tour is of South Korea. Great opportunity for him….stinks for mom. Don’t blink – the three years will be gone much too soon.

        Again, thank you for your time.

        1. Post
          Author

          We did the hike at the end of July. The hike only took us about 2 hours, if I remember correctly, because the cable car takes you to the top so you only have to walk back down. On this day, we drove up from Venice, checked into our hotel in Selva di Cadore, did the hike, and went out for dinner. Aviano looks closer on Google maps so I think you could do this as a day trip. Google says it’s 2.25 hours one way, so you would have a total of 5 hours of driving to get to the hike and back. If the weather is good, I think it’s worth it. The Dolomites are gorgeous and worth seeing in my opinion. I think in September it would still be nice. Have a great trip to Italy!! Cheers, Julie

  9. Hi Judy, amazing blog and super content! Really enjoyed this one. Even I’m planning Italy early next year and was thinkinh of doing Rome Pisa Florence Venice Verona Dolomites and the Amalfi coast along with Naples on a 10 day trip, do you think it is too much?

    1. Post
      Author

      Yes, that’s a lot to squeeze into 10 days. In 10 days, you can do Rome, Florence, Pisa and the Amalfi Coast (our #2 itinerary). If you really want to visit Verona and the Dolomites, take a look at itinerary #3 and instead of San Marino you can day trip to Pisa. Cheers, Julie

  10. Hi Julie,

    My wife and I are travelling to Italy this Sept. and we only have 10 days. We fly into Venice and depart from Venice as well.
    We would like to go to the following places – Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence, Amalfi Coast. What would be the best order to visit these knowing that we fly into and out of Venice? We are thinking of staying for 2 days at each place with 1 day at Florence. Also, what mode of transportation would you recommend to get to each place.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Post
      Author

      With 10 days, I do not think you have enough time to get to everything on your list, especially since you need to get back to Venice. I recommend saving the Amalfi Coast for a future trip. Your itinerary would look like this:
      1 – Arrive in Venice
      2 – Venice
      3 – early train to Florence (takes about 3 hours), see Florence
      4 – Florence, evening train to Cinque Terre
      5 – Cinque Terre
      6 – Cinque Terre
      7 – Train to Rome
      8 – Rome
      9 – Travel back to Venice
      10 – Fly home

      You could also do this itinerary in reverse, taking an afternoon train to Rome on the first day and working your way back to Venice.

      The trains are a great way to get around Italy. They are economical, fast, and convenient. To save time, book the high speed trains. You should do that now since your trip is next month. To book your tickets online, go to the Italiarail website.

      Cheers, Julie

  11. Hi Julie! I will go to Italy for vacation from 25 August until 2 September 2018. We also coming with 2 kids (10 & 9 years and 2 years old baby….big family I know haha) We will arrive & depart in Venice. At first, we just want to enjoy Venice & Rome. But after find your blog, I’m amazed! Can you suggest to me the suitable itenary? Maybe now I’m interested to see Pisa, Ferrari/Lamborghini Museum, Florence (Leonardo home/David statue), Cinque Terre, and everything that would be cover for 9 days! Please advise us! Thanks Julie!

    Kind regards,
    Bahrom

    1. Post
      Author

      You have 9 days to spend in Italy, and I am assuming that 2 of those days are travel days in and out of the country. So that gives you 7 full days (maybe 8, if you include the first day, but you might be jet-lagged depending on where you are flying in from). With that amount of time you can do Venice, Rome, and one other place. Getting around by train is fast and efficient, but it does take time, as does packing and unpacking at each city. Since you have to get back to Venice, this will take up some more of your time. Venice, Florence, and Rome works great, as does Venice, Cinque Terre, and Rome. But I do not think you have enough time to squeeze in both Florence and the Cinque Terre without driving yourself crazy. If I have your timing wrong please let me know. And if you have 3 spots you can prefer, I can give you a quick run down on how I think your itinerary should go. Cheers, Julie

  12. Thank you! This is so incredibly helpful! I’m liking the idea of #1 the best, but don’t have much interest in Venice. If I were to take that out, but still spend 10 days in Italy, would you do anything different to #1? Add an extra destination, or recommend a place to spend more time?
    Thank you!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Audrey. You could add more time to Rome. Having a third day would let you experience more here. More time in Tuscany/Florence would be good, too. The more time you have in Tuscany, the more time you have to explore the hill towns, see more of Florence, and visit Siena, one of our favorite spots in Italy. Or, rather than adding more time in Tuscany and Rome, you could spend a day in Milan and a day in Verona. Verona is great…a beautiful town at the foot of the Dolomites. Or, one more suggestion…you could travel north to lake Como, and get a taste of the Alps. Lots to choose from!! Cheers, Julie

      1. Hi Julie –

        Thank you for your fantastic blog. I’m traveling to Italy for the first time in September. I’m traveling with my parents and no children. The plan is 9 full days (11 days including bookend travel days) through Venice, Florence, and Rome. I’d like to add either Cinque Terre or Siena – which would you recommend? I’d like to do both but I assume there isn’t enough time. Thank you in advance.

        1. Post
          Author

          I think you’re right…with 9 days I’d pick the Cinque Terre or Siena. If you want to see Italian coastline and colorful towns, pick the Cinque Terre. You should plan on 2 full days to have the best experience here. If you want to spend more time in Tuscany and have a nice home base to venture out and see the smaller Tuscan hill towns, pick Siena. Two days is good here (one day for Siena and one day for the hill towns) but three days is better. You can’t go wrong with either spot…just pick the one that interests you more. Cheers, Julie

  13. Hello,

    Great informative blog. I am planning a trip for about 12 days Flying into Venice for 3 days, Florence 2 days Tuscany 1 day, Rome 2 days and Amalfi Coast 3 days and then fly out of Naples. I feel like its a bit cramped do you recommend skipping something or shortening? Please tell me anything!

    Thank you so much

    Sarah

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      Author

      Hello Sarah. I think your itinerary sounds great. It will be busy but it’s all very doable. By the time you get to the Amalfi Coast, you will be ready for some downtime and that is the perfect spot. Book high speed trains between cities early in the morning (around 8 am if you can) to maximize your time in each place. To visit Tuscany, consider joining a tour or renting a car. We tried to get around by public bus, which is cheap, but we lost hours of time waiting for buses that ran very late (or failed to show up). It sounds like a great trip! Cheers, Julie

  14. Hi Julie,

    I am planning Italy trip in April 2019 during kids spring break and I head that is good time and escape from crowd. I am planning to fly to Milan and fly back from Rome about 12 days. I will book the flight by myself but I need some guidance how and where to book trains / accommodation / attraction tickets. Is there any travel company that does similar ?I found few sites but they are not covering all the places that I am interested in.
    Do you have any suggestions? I can book or I can contact local tour guides separately if you have any information. We are thinking
    1. Milan
    2. Venice
    3. San Marino
    4. Florance
    5. Pisa
    6. Rome

    Please suggest.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello. From what I have read, Italy can get busy around Easter. So if you trip falls near Easter, you may not be escaping the crowds like you are expecting. You can still go, but I would expect to share the sites with lots of crowds.

      You could hire a travel agent if you do not want to book your tickets and hotels on your own. We use Booking.com to book our hotels and Italiarail or Trenitalia to book trains in Italy. I don’t have any local tour guides to recommend, but you can check Trip Advisor or Rick Steves for these. Planning a trip can be time consuming, but in our posts we try to recommend hotels and which sites you need to book in advance, just to make things easier for you. We have info for each of the cities in your list. Check these out and let us know if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie

  15. Hi Juile,

    Thank you very much for this informative post.

    I have a conference in Amalfi on 5-7 September, and I’m planning a trip in Italy.
    I think on the following itinerary:

    29 August – 31 August : Venice
    31 August – 03 September : Rome
    03 September – 04 September : Naples
    04 September – Travel to Amalfi from Naples by ferry and stop for short time in Postiano.
    04 September – 07 September: Amalfi
    07 September travel from Amalfi to Sorrento (I’ll travel after the conference ends at 15.00)
    08 September – A day trip from Sorrento to Capri and return to Naples (the route Sorrento – Capri – Naples)
    09 September – Back home from Naples

    I’ll appreciate your input on my itinerary. In particular, how long is the trip on 04 September from Naples to Amalfi by ferry? is the trip on 07 Sepetmber from Amalfi to Sorrento possible? How long is it? Also ,how long is the trip on 08 September (Sorrento- Capri-Naples) by ferry? is it possible in one day (I’d like to arrive Naples around 17.00).

    Thank you very much,
    Hussien

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      Author

      Hello Hussien. This looks like a good itinerary. You have plenty of time in each city to have a nice experience. We have a post on getting from Rome to Sorrento that will help you out and give you the links to look at ferry times and how things work. To get from Amalfi to Sorrento, you can hire a driver, take the public SITA bus, or even take a ferry. They are only a few hours apart. To learn more about visiting Capri from Sorrento, take a look at the link I provided or check out our Blue Grotto post. It should possible to go from Sorrento to Capri to Naples by 17:00, although I do not know what you should do with your luggage. You may want to contact the ferry company directly. If you have a hotel already booked on the Amalfi Coast or in Sorrento, they can also help you with the details of how to get around, just in case you can’t get all of the info online. Have a nice trip to Italy!! Cheers, Julie

  16. Hi Julie!
    Thanks for all of your informative posts! They’ve been so helpful as I am planning an Oct trip! We are going follow itinerary 2. We are leaving Newark, NJ Oct 8 2019 to arrive in Rome the 9th- stay til fri 12th then head to sorrento til 15th then head to florence for the rest til we fly out of Rome the 19th. I’ve gotten some discouraging feedback that weather in Oct around sorrento, specifically Capri can be rainy and that a lot of the town closes. I know you cant predict the weather but do you know any of this to be true? Maybe I should replace those days in sorrento with another destination? Thanks so much for your time and help!

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      Author

      Hello Jamie. From what I know, the temps will be cooler and you could have some wet weather, but I don’t think it will be rainy everyday. You should read this info from Sorrento Insider. It still sounds like it would be worth it to keep it in your itinerary. Sorrento Insider says that it is still peak season in October, but I have to imagine that it’s less crowded than the summer months (and that’s a good thing!). In general, Italy gets more rain in October than the summer months, so those rainy days may affect you in more places than just Sorrento. Even if you swapped the Cinque Terre with Sorrento, you could have rainy days there as well. So you can keep your fingers crossed for nice weather and stick with your original itinerary. Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you so much for the advice! We feel much more confident in our decision to stick with the plan after talking to you!

  17. Hi Julie!

    Love the itinerary options -thanks so much for the helpful planning tips. Just a few questions…

    Do you think renting a car and driving the route for itinerary #1 would be helpful and make life easier or do the exact opposite? Is it more conveinent to take the trains when traveling in italy? We’ll be going in the end of May 2019.

    Also – in the section where you visit tuscany/florence, do you make a day trip to Tuscany from florence or do you suggest spending the night there before heading to cinque terre?

    Thanks so much!
    Julia

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      Author

      Hello Julia. The trains are great in Italy – economical, fast, and very convenient. For this itinerary, travel by train and consider renting a car to self-drive through Tuscany. For the 3 days in Florence and Tuscany, you can split the days (2 in one spot, 1 in the other) depending on your preference. Tuscany deserves at least one full day so you can visit several of the small towns. If you love art and history, spend 2 days in Florence. If museums aren’t your thing, spend 2 days in Tuscany. You can make Florence your home base so you are not switching out of hotels every night. On the morning of day #6, take a morning train from Florence to the Cinque Terre. You will have all afternoon to visit one or two of the 5 towns and then all day on day #7 to explore more. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  18. Would love some help planning. Our daughter will be studying abroad this fall 2018 in Milan. She has a fall break Nov. 1st thru Nov. 4th. My husband, younger daughter (17) and myself would like to visit Italy and see her. We have never been to Europe. We would like to arrive on Thursday, Nov. 1st and depart Nov. 10th, 2018. We thought about flying into Rome and having our daughter meet us in Rome. Spend that day, Thursday and Friday in Rome and take train to Florence on Sat. early morning. Spend day in Florence and then get up early Sunday and take train to Pisa, Clique de Terre and have our daughter take train back to Milan b/c she has to be back for classess on Nov. 5th. We would take train back to Florence and spend one or two more days in Florence. Take train to Milan and spend one night and take day trip to Lake Como and then head to Venice and fly out there? I am overwhelmed and have no idea how to plan this. Also, going the first week of November/ will the Clique de Terre even be open? How do I find out when trains will be coming and going from there b/c our daughter has to get back to Milan. Also, would love to stay at small local places instead of fancy hotels. We are on tight budget. Open to all suggestions. Thank you

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Janet. The first part of your itinerary works well. However, one day is not enough time to visit Pisa and the Cinque Terre. If your daughter has to be back in Milan that day, a day trip from Pisa works well from Florence. From Pisa, you return to Florence and your daughter will travel on to Milan (so you will skip the Cinque Terre). You may want to take one of your Florence days and put that time into Venice instead. In November, the Cinque Terre will be “open.” It’s a cluster of five towns where people live and work so it will be open. Some restaurants may be closed in the low season but I don’t think it would be an issue finding restaurants that are open. You can check out the train schedules on Italiarail.com and take a look at our other Italy posts for hotel recommendations or check booking.com. Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply. However, our number one on our list to see is Clinque Terre. Maybe we should just go from Rome on Saturday to Clinque Terre and stay there Saturday night and Sunday night and our daughter go back to Milan Sunday night and we head to Florence on Monday? Any suggestions and where to stay in Clinque Terre? Thank you

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          Author

          Yes, that works. I don’t have specific hotels to recommend in the Cinque Terre. As far as which town to pick, they are all a little bit different (and you can’t go wrong at any of them). Our favorites were Vernazza, Riomaggiore, and Monterosso. It’s easy to get from town to town by train. We use booking.com to find our hotels, and typically don’t stay in a place unless it gets at least a 9 rating. Cheers, Julie

  19. Hi,

    I’m going to Italy October 15-26th. I’d like to do itinerary #2 with 1 less day in Rome and 1 extra day on the Amalfi coast or in Tuscany. Can you give me some suggestions or recommendations for booking budget-friendly accommodations in these cities, please?

    Thanks

    1. Post
      Author
    2. Hi, my wife & I are coming to Italy next June, with one more day than your 10 day [amazing] itineraries you have here. No kids with us is the best part! So excited as I have never been, and my wife was in and out for a day in college. Is there a feasible way to fit Venice into your Trip #2 itinerary? It seems from everything I read from your travelers here that it may be too much in and out of trains/hotels. Making it seem even harder is we are flying into & out of Rome so we have non-stop flights from the East Coast of the U.S.

      Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Your website and blog are amazing! We will be relying on it for a Western U.S. trip that is on our horizon with our young children in a few years. Cheers!

      1. Post
        Author

        Hello Andrew. That’s great…your first trip to Italy!! If you need to be back in Rome, I don’t think you have enough time to see Venice. Sorry!! You are right, it would be a lot of moving around, but I know it’s tempting to try to get there. You could add your extra day to Rome or Tuscany (that would be really nice, especially if you are traveling without kids). And the western US is amazing…one of our favorite places to explore. Please let us know if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie

        1. Julie, thanks for your pass on Venice advice; we will follow it. I should have mentioned we arrive and fly out of Rome in the mornings. Am I right it would be too difficult to leave Florence/Tuscany and head back to Rome on the morning of our departure from Italy? [We depart from Italy/Rome airport at 10:40 A.M.].

          So if logistically we need to spend our last night in Rome, should we should reverse order your trip #2 recommendation, and head to Florence/Tuscany 1st, and end up in Rome last?

          Thanks so much!

          1. Post
            Author

            Yes, I think it’s too much to take a train from Florence in time to catch a 10:40 am flight. You need to be to the airport about 3 hours early, so you would have to arrive at 7:40 am. That would be a very early day, so I think you should arrive back in Rome the night before. I don’t think you need to reverse the order (unless you just like the idea of doing it that way). I think you could take a later train from Florence the night before your flight, stay at a hotel near the airport, and then just get up and fly home on your last day. That way you can still get almost a full day of sightseeing in and still get to Rome at a reasonable hour. Cheers, Julie

  20. Hello Julie!!
    Help, we’ve just bought tickets for our family of four to travel in and out of Rome, arriving April 2nd, 2018 @ 9am and departing April 11th @ 10am.
    We don’t have any must see locations, but we’re thinking Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice. Big side note, we are traveling with our 2 & 4 year old children …. eekkk, we know …. so, we would love your input as to where we should best spend our time. We’d also love to hearyour opinion on whether or not we should rent a car or travel by train. Also, we live on a farm in the states, so staying in more rural towns would be amazing, but of course we want to see the amazing historical cities of Italy, so we are ok staying in cities too.
    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
    Thank you.
    Kayla.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Kayla. I think you should do our classic itinerary, but instead of 2 days in the Cinque Terre, use that time to stay in Tuscany and/or spend more time in Rome. In Tuscany, you can stay in a villa, which would be more of a rural experience, but it might be expensive. Another option would be to stay in a smaller hill town in Tuscany and day trip to Florence. To get between the big cities (Rome, Florence and Venice) take the train. It’s economical, fast, comfortable, and convenient. For your days in Tuscany, rent a car to give you more freedom. And with young kids, you want to keep the # of hotels you stay in at a minimum, so only having 3 main destinations will be a better experience for all of you. On the afternoon of your final day in Venice, take a train back to Rome to complete your tour of Italy. Let us know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

  21. Hi Julie!
    I love your post. I have been researching like crazy to make sure my itinerary will make sense. Could you give my your input? Trip will be from Sept 3 – 11

    Fly into Naples (Sept 2)
    Naples (Day 1,2,3) Sept 3-5
    – visit Pompeii
    -Capri

    Rome (Day 4&5) Sept 6-7
    -Colisseum/surrounding attractions
    -Vatican city

    Venice (6&7) Sept 8-9
    – Murano &Burano
    -Gondola, St.Marks Basilica
    -Ferrari Museum

    *I have one more day that I would like to go to Cinque Terre. Or perhaps 2 if I change Naples to just 2 day. Where do you recommend I add it? Or should I rearrange the itinerary?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! 🙂

    Travel l

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello,

      Yes, I would take a day from Naples if you want to visit the Cinque Terre. Here’s a sample itinerary.
      9/2 – arrive Naples
      9/3 – Pompeii
      9/4 – Capri
      9/5 – early train to Rome/ visit the Vatican
      9/6 – Rome: Colisseum etc
      9/7 – early train to Cinque Terre
      9/8 – Cinque Terre
      9/9 – early train to Venice
      9/10 – Venice
      9/11 – fly home
      This is assuming you are flying home from Venice. By adding in the Cinque Terre, you will lose a little time in Venice, but you will have enough time to see Murano, Burano, and St. Mark’s Square. Is it the Ferrari museum in Maranello that you want to visit? That is not located near Venice (it’s near Bologna) and it would be very difficult to fit into this itinerary. If the Ferrari museum is a must visit, you may want to skip the Cinque Terre to make sure you have enough time to do this.

      Let me know if you have more questions. – Julie

  22. Hi Julie – would love your help on our trip. Heading to Italy mid-June 2019. Fly into Venice and out of Rome most likely, 10-12 day trip. Family of 4 with 12 and 14 year old. Kids like to explore and can do some museums but like active stuff – some hiking is good. Would like to hit coast maybe but unsure of CQ or Amalfi. Definitely want to spend a few nights in a small, uncrowded village in Tuscany area with day trips by car. Unsure if we should do Venice (I could fly into and out of Rome instead) – heard teens may get bored but it’s sort of a big city to hit for everyone so for now thinking of keeping it.

    Looking at something like this:

    DAY 1- Fly into Venice
    DAY 2- Venice
    DAY 3- Train to Florence, rent car and drive to small village in Tuscany
    DAY 4-Tuscany
    DAY 5-Tuscany
    DAY 6- turn in car and train to Rome
    DAY 7-Rome
    DAY 8-Rome
    DAY 9- Train to Naples, private driver to Sorrento
    DAY 10- Ferry to Capri
    DAY 11-driver and train back to Rome
    DAY 12 – depart

    What do you think? Better to hit CQ or Amalfi considering transportation, crowds and enjoyment for kids? Better to hit Tuscany or someplace like Basilicata or San Marino? Really want to hit a small village somewhere and maybe do some wine drinking.

    Thinking of hotel in Venice and Rome last night and apartments/VRBO in Tuscany, Rome and Sorrento. Is Sorrento the best place to stay with teens or better to try and stay in Amalfi?

    Thanks for all!

    1. Post
      Author

      Overall, I think your itinerary looks great. I think one full day in Venice is a good idea. Our kids liked Venice a lot. It’s so different from other cities of course, with the gondolas and canals.

      You can’t go wrong with either one, but Tyler and Kara liked the Cinque Terre a little bit more than the Amalfi Coast (it was fun hiking between the towns, eating gelato along the way, and the towns are just so colorful and fun to visit). However, we also had a terrible experience trying to get around the Amalfi Coast by bus. If you pick the Amalfi Coast, you also have the option to visit Pompeii while traveling between Rome and Sorrento. Tyler and Kara thought Pompeii was boring, but they were only 9 and 11 years old, and it is one of those historic places everyone learns about in school so it’s really neat to see it in person (they appreciate having seen it, now). However, we LOVED Positano. Amalfi is really small. I think staying in Sorrento, especially since you have just a few days, is better, because it’s easy to get to everything from Sorrento. Just don’t take the bus!! If you wanted to do the Cinque Terre instead, add it in between Venice and Florence.

      Without a doubt, go to Tuscany. It’s amazing. Stay in a small town like Montepulciano or Pienza (there are a lot to choose from) and drink your wine. That sounds so nice! You can take bike tours of the vineyards…that may be fun for the whole family. And it would be worth taking a day trip to visit Florence. You could even do this on day 6: drop your car 1st thing in the morning, store your luggage in the train station, hit the big sites in Florence, and take a late afternoon/evening train to Rome. Just a thought.

      Let us know if you have more questions!

      Cheers, Julie

      1. Thanks Julie – one more question. Between Italy and Ireland/Scotland trip which would you choose for a 12 and 14 year old? Airfare is the same for both places and the trip would be mid-June regardless. Thanks

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          Author

          That’s a tough question and I’ll just start by saying that you can’t go wrong with either destination. Tyler and Kara loved our trip to Ireland and Scotland and they were 12 and 13. Their favorite spots were Edinburgh, Isle of Skye, and the west coast of Ireland. There’s hiking and outdoor activities but not a lot of museums and the stuff that’s boring for kids. Tyler still talks about how much he loved Scotland. However, Italy is great, too, and we all really enjoyed our time here. Italy is good for history, world class cities, and food and wine. We had 18 days when we did Ireland and Scotland (we took our 18 days and made the 10 day Ireland and Scotland itineraries). You can do it with less time but it would be hard to give something up. If you are considering Ireland and Scotland, any chance you could add on a few days to your vacation?

  23. Hello,

    Very informative article.
    I am planning in late September and early October. I really need your suggestions that way I’ve planned it.

    Day 1: Fly into Rome and directly take a train to Venice.
    Day 2: Venice.
    Day 3: Venice to Cinque Terre. I plan to cover Pisa this day.
    Day 4: Cinque Terre.
    Day 5: Cinque Terre to Rome.
    Day 6: Rome.
    Day 7: Rome.
    Day 8: Rome to Salerno and ferry to Positano.
    Day 9: Capri.
    Day 10. Amalfi.
    Day 11: Amalfi to Naples and back to Rome. Fly out of Rome.

    Please share your suggestions. All my journeys will be by train. Is it possible to rent a car somewhere in the itinerary if not all days?

    Thanks

    1. Post
      Author

      For your time in Amalfi/Capri, pick one place as your home base. Sorrento, which you don’t have mentioned, is the easiest place for a home base, since you can easily take the ferry to Capri and the train to Rome. To get around the coast, renting a car is an option. It’s late enough in the year that I don’t think the Amalfi Coast will be a traffic jam of cars. If you haven’t seen it, here’a a good post to help you work out transportation in Sorrento/Amalfi Coast. You could also visit Pisa in transit between Cinque Terre and Rome (rather than on the way from Venice). One more suggestion would be to travel directly from the Cinque Terre to the Amalfi Coast on day 5 (it’s a lot of travel but makes day 11 easier). Spend days 6 and 7 on the Amalfi Coast, day 8 travel to Rome, and end the trip in Rome. This saves you a big travel day on day 11 and avoids any transportation catastrophes that could potentially make you miss your flight. Cheers, Julie

      1. Hey Julie!! Thanks a lot for your reply. So, effectively itinerary would look like:

        Day 1: Fly into Rome. and directly take a train to Venice.
        Day 2: Venice.
        Day 3: Venice to Cinque Terre.
        Day 4: Cinque Terre.
        Day 5: Cinque Terre to Sorrento. Covering Pisa in transit.
        Day 6: Day trip to Capri and Blue Trotto.
        Day 7: Day trip to Amalfi/Positano.
        Day 8: Sorrento to Naples. Take lunch and leave for Rome.
        Day 9: Rome
        Day 10: Rome
        Day 11: Fly back.

        How’s it now? I know day 5 is going to be hectic. I hope it’s doable.

        Any other suggestions you would like to give?

        1. Post
          Author

          This looks good. Yes, day 5 will be a little hectic. It’s about one hour by train from the Cinque Terre to Pisa. It really only takes about 1.5 – 2 hours to visit the Leaning Tower (buy your tower climb tickets in advance if this is something you want to do). Then you will take a train to Sorrento (you might have to change trains in Florence or Rome) and finally in Naples you can take the Circumvesuviana or hire a driver to get you to Sorrento. Look into buying an Italian rail pass because you will use the train a lot in this itinerary and you might save some money. The Man in Seat 61 is a great resource for learning how to buy tickets for train travel. Cheers, Julie

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      Author

      Milan is the fashion capital of Italy so this is a good spot to visit to go shopping. If you pick itinerary #1, in Rome you could go shopping for clothing, but I think Venice, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Florence wouldn’t be as good. You can modify the itinerary and take a day from Venice and use it to spend one day in Milan. You will pass through Milan on the way to Venice. Just a thought. Cheers, Julie

      1. Hi JUlie,

        My plans have changed. I will now be flying into Milan. Our travel dates are from 8/3 – 8/12

        Do you have an itinerary for Milan and the area. My wife has Venice as a must on the list. I know Rome might be too far. Any advice since we cant do itineray #1

        1. Post
          Author

          We have a post on how to spend a few hours in Milan which you can read here. We visited Milan while traveling between the 5Terre and Venice. Are you flying out of Milan also? Cheers, Julie

          1. Yes. I would like to see Venice, Rome,, Florence and the 5 citys. What order would you recommend?

          2. Post
            Author

            You could do a “loop” and connect everything by train: Milan to 5Terre (3 hr train); 5 Terre to Florence (1.5 hr); Florence to Rome (1.5 hr); Rome to Venice (3.5 hr); Venice to Milan (2 hr). And you could also do this in reverse order. Consider getting a rail pass, it might be cheaper. Cheers, Julie

          3. Hi Julie,

            Thank you. What are your thoughts on this itinerary?
            We arrive 8/4 in Milan &;45am and depart 8/12 @ 9:45am

            Day 1 – Arrive in Milan 7:45am from JFK. Tour the day and stay 1 night.
            Day 2 – 3 Leave early am to Venice. Spend 2nights
            Day 4-5 Rome
            Day 6 – Florence
            Day 7 – Tuscany
            Day 8 – 9 Cinque Terre
            Day 10 – Milan to JFK

            Do you think this is too much? Should we stay in one place longer?

          4. Post
            Author

            It’s not too much but it will be rushed. If you are OK with that, then go for it. Ideally, it would be nice to have more day in Rome or Florence/Tuscany, but I also get it that you want to see as much as you can while you are there. It will be a bit of a whirlwind and you should schedule early trains to maximize your time in the cities, but it will still be a great trip. Maybe in the future you can come back, visit your favorite spots, and add some new ones into the mix. Have fun! – Julie

  24. Hi,

    Your site is informative and helpful – Thanks! I am trying to plan a trip to Italy first week of August ofr Mid August? What’s a better time? Will only be there 10 days. My wife wants to see Venice and Rome and Pisa. I am more eccentric and hate the cookie cutter tourist traps. We love the coastal cities and picturesque villages. Barca was a favorite, and driving through the Rioja valley to Pamplona to run with bulls then eating pintxos in San Sebastian was memorable, I don’t want to spend too much time in museums and galleries. You really have me intrigue with Cinque Terre, however my wife doesn’t like to hoof around, but I think its beautiful enough she’ll go. So what would be your recommendation? Itin #1?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello John. If your wife wants to see Rome, Venice, and Pisa, #1 is the best itinerary. You get to see picturesque villages in Tuscany and the Cinque Terre. Plus, in August in Siena, you get to see the Palio, a horse race through the center of town. That would be awesome to see. Just so you know, in August, a lot of Italians take a month long vacation, and this can have an impact on your trip. Read this article to learn more. It may help you decide what part of August works best for you. Cheers, Julie

  25. No one ever says how you get from trains to hotels ? Are you walking or taking taxis? Cause I’m sure your not getting off the train and your hotel is right next door.

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      Author

      It depends. Sometimes your hotel is within walking distance. In some cities, you can take the metro from the train station to your hotel. In other cities, you can take a bus, taxi, or Uber. It really depends on the city and where you book your accommodation. Cheers, Julie

  26. Hi Julie

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in the fall. We found some really great flight deals in and out of Paris (CDG) so we’ve booked our round trip flights through there. We arrive to Paris on Sept 24th (around noon) and depart Paris on Oct 7th (evening). We really like the sounds of Itinerary 1 that you’ve suggested here (with likely a bit more time in Rome and a little less in Florence since I’ve been there already). Since we won’t be flying directly to Italy, I’m wondering if you would still recommend that order? Should we be looking at flying from Paris to Rome to start, and then from Venice back to Paris to end?

    1. Post
      Author

      You have so much time to work with so that’s wonderful. To determine a starting point for Italy, take a look at flight prices and times between Paris and Venice and Paris and Rome. You may find that one flight is cheaper or more convenient. The same goes for the flight back to Paris. I don’t think the order through Italy matters much. Rome just seems like a good starting point, but the trip would work just as well in the other direction. Cheers, Julie

  27. Hi Julie!
    Thank-you for the amazing information. So glad I found your site. We are doing a family vacation to Italy this summer and wanted your feedback on the itinerary below. We will be traveling by train in between cities. Any recommendations on Air bnb or hotels in these places? Really appreciate any feedback.. thanks again!

    • Day 1: Arrive in Venice – take train to Rome, Dinner in Rome
    • Day 2: Rome – Colosseum,
    • Day 3: Rome – the Pantheon, the Borghese art gallery
    • Day 4: Rome- , Vatican
    • Day 5: Rome – Stroll through Piazza Navona and dinner in the Trastevere neighborhood.
    • Day 6: Rome – Travel by train to Florence. This journey takes just 1.5 hours
    • Day 7: Florence –
    • Day 8: Florence/Tuscany – small towns and vineyards
    • Day 9: Florence
    • Day 10: Tuscany – Siena,
    • Day 11: Cinque Terre – Florence to the Cinque Terre. It takes between 1.5 to 3 hours. Leave early and visit Pisa
    • Day 12: Cinque Terre – Cinque Terre (La Spezia) to Venice.
    • Day 13: Venice
    • Day 14: Venice
    • Day 15: Venice
    • Day 16 : fly home

    1. Post
      Author

      Awesome!!! I love your itinerary. You are giving yourself plenty of time in each spot. You will be able to see all of the big sites, go off-the-beaten-path a little, and not feel like you are rushing through your trip. In the cities you are visiting, we never stayed in a place that was like “Wow!” to be able to really recommend it, so sorry, I have no specific hotels or B&B’s to recommend. We use Booking.com to book our hotels and you can find apartments on Booking.com as well. Believe it or not, we have not used Air BnB yet. For the best experience, stay in the heart of the city so you are right down in the action. It’s more expensive but it’s more enjoyable. Cheers, Julie

  28. Thanks for your input julie!

    Yes we are travelling with train.
    So i might have to drop castello romani for additional 1 day in florence, and forget about beach in italy.

    On bolzano I choose because it have train access from venice and to Milan. Unfortunetely we have already bought the ticket home from Milan.
    The shorter hike you recommend would be avail / accesible on early May right? Because I read on the previous comment the cable car might not operate until june.

    Thanks again

    1. Post
      Author

      Yes, the cable car, from what I know does not operate until June. However, there are shorter hikes near Bolzano. It doesn’t sound worth it to go all of the way out to the Lagazuoi area of the Dolomites. You could do some research into hikes around Bolzano and consider purchasing the book listed at the end of our posts about hikes in the Dolomites. In May, not all of the cable cars are running and some roads can still be closed due to snow. Cheers, Julie

  29. Your trip plan is amazing and very through, thanks for sharing your trip plan. I am currently planning a road trip to Italy, so this post is going to be very helpful. Thanks so much for the pics and sharing your experience.

    1. Post
      Author
    2. Dear Julie,

      I am planning to go to Italy in early May. We are family of 3 with 8 year old Boy. I wonder if this iterary plan can work out well

      01 may Arrive Rome
      02 may Rome
      03 may Vatican
      04 may Tivoli
      05 may Frascati Castello Romani
      06 may Florence
      07 may Venice
      08 May Venice Bolzano
      09 may Bolzano
      10 may Bolzano Milan
      11 may Leaving from Milan

      A question: is there any interesting beach near rome / venice?

      Also, I would like to try one of your hikes from bolzano. I think after so many history and old building a mountain view and short hike would be a good closing before going home.

      Your view would be really appreciated
      Thanks !

      1. Post
        Author

        Hello! Just a few things I want to add from looking at your itinerary. It looks like you will only have the afternoon of May 6 to see Florence. This is fine, but there is a lot to do here so you will have to be very selective with your time. On May 8 I recommend spending as much time as possible in Venice before traveling into the Dolomites. Bolzano is a bit far from the shorter hikes that we did in the Dolomites. You can stay in Bolzano, but it will be roughly a two hour drive one way to get to Tre Cime and the Lagazuoi Tunnels. A better home base will be Cortina d’Ampezzo. The disadvantage of staying in Cortina is that you cannot take a train from Venice to Cortina (however, I am not 100% positive about this). Renting a car gives you the most freedom to travel through the Dolomites. I don’t know how you plan to travel through Italy (trains are awesome!!) but having a rental car for these last few days is advisable. It is also a longer drive to get to Milan from Cortina. You could fly home from Venice if flights are convenient and not too expensive (rather than going all of the way to Milan). There is a beach in Venice on Lido Island (but in my opinion it’s not very interesting). Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  30. Hi Julie! My mom sister and I are meeting for a little Euro trip and I seem to be struggling to make decisions about where to go and my Italy time frame. We arrive in the evening of the 12th into Rome and leave the 22nd in the evening out of Rome (I know we should have flown into Venice, but we didn’t so that’s that haha). We have 3 nights booked in Rome (so 2 full days), and now we have 7 days to play around with. The itinerary I have so far has us:

    12-15th Rome
    *3hr 45 min train
    15th & 16th Venice
    *2 hour 5 min train
    17th& 18th Florence (day trip to Tuscany wine region)
    *2 hour 25 min train
    19th, 20th, 21st, Cinque Terre (maybe 1/2 day to Pisa)
    *4.5 hour train to Rome
    *Rome to airport
    22nd Rome to fly out 6pm (complete waste of a day travelling)

    The only thing has been booked is Rome the first 3 nights then flight out of Rome.

    I really want to see Venice, but my mom and sister are a little less fussed. Do you think by cutting out Venice it will give us more time to explore some tuscany hill sides and cinque? If so , where would you add/cut more time.

    We want to relax while still seeing as much as possible. Are we missing any other highlights. I know Almafi Coast is one, but not sure how to make it fit. We aren’t super keen on renting a car, so that plays another portion.

    Basically I have been planning for weeks and have gotten no where other than realizing we shouldn’t have flown into and out of Rome haha. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I love you site!

    Thank you,
    Katie

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Katie. So much to see and so little time, right? It’s a problem that many people face when trying to decide where to go in Italy. Everything looks great, and it is. So just go into this with the thought that you will be back someday.

      OK, you do not have enough time for the Amalfi Coast in this itinerary. And on your first trip to Italy, I think you picked right with the Cinque Terre. This is one of our favorite spots in Italy and you have given it enough time on this itinerary. What you have to decide is if you want to rush through Venice and Tuscany or take your time in Tuscany and skip Venice on this trip. There’s no right answer…just what sounds more interesting to you. You can leave your itinerary exactly how it is, or remove Venice and put that time into Florence and Tuscany. I recommend staying in Florence if you do not want to rent a car. When you want to day trip into Tuscany, hire a driver or take a tour or take your chances with the public bus system. Think about it and don’t hesitate to comment again if you have more questions. I hope this helps you! Cheers, Julie

  31. Hello,

    I see that in multiple places you recommend using a private driver for places in Sorrento such as the Amalfi coast. Do you have a driver or company you recommend. Or does local taxi work fine? Also is uber available in Italy?

    1. Post
      Author

      Yes, in some places we recommend a private driver (Sorrento and Tuscany in particular). For Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, I would recommend Sorrento Silver Star. We did not use them ourselves but it is the company that Rick Steves recommends and he always seems to be right on about things like this. Check out our post for more info about this company and getting around the Amalfi Coast. Taxis are good if you are going a very short distance. I am not sure about Uber but you can check the Uber website for updated info. Cheers, Julie

  32. My boyfriend and I are planning to go to Italy for about 10-12 days sometime between mid December and mid January this year. I know this is against peak season and weather won’t likely be ideal, but this time of year works best with both of our schedules and we like the idea of smaller crowds. This will be both of our first times there.

    Which of these itineraries would be most ideal for the this time of year? Any other recommendations for traveling to Italy during this time of year would be greatly appreciated as well!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello. I recommend the first or second itinerary. Skip the Dolomites unless you want to go skiing. I would also skip the week between Christmas and New Years if you can because Italy can get very crowded during this time. Cheers, Julie

  33. Hi Julie!

    What would you suggest for luggage size? With all of the walking and train rides I am hesitant to bring anything to large but it is ten day! Any tips or tricks here?

    1. Post
      Author

      I recommend trying to pack your things into a carry-on size suitcase or slightly larger. Plan on wearing clothing more than once, only bringing 2 pairs of shoes max, and downsizing your toiletries into smaller, carry on size containers (every little bit helps). Don’t pack for every circumstance than may arise, just pack enough clothing for 10 days. We also pack rain jackets and dirty clothing into compressible sacks (they shrink down to a much smaller size). If you really need something, you can buy it in Italy, but rarely is that necessary. Also, we pack an extra duffel bag in our suitcase, just in case we go shopping or buy wine that we want to carry home (so sometimes we come home with another checked bag). Cheers, Julie

  34. Hi Julie!

    My boyfriend and I are thinking of going to July, it is the first time for the both of us and had a hard time deciding between Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. We are thinking of #1, but I have read that the Cinque Terre is awful in July. Do you recommend substituting for Capri/Positano?

    Thank you!

    1. Post
      Author

      Both the Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast can be terribly crowded in July. We visited both in July. Capri and Sorrento were OK, however, getting around the Amalfi Coast was a bit of a nightmare, but we did this by public bus. If you choose the Amalfi Coast, spend the money and hire a private driver…this is the best way to day trip along the Amalfi Coast without having to worry about parking or waiting for the dreaded bus that never shows up on time. We really enjoyed our time in the Cinque Terre. Sure, it was crowded, but it’s still amazing. So, it’s up to you if you want to do the Amalfi Coast or the Cinque Terre, but crowd levels are about the same in both places in July (in our experience). Cheers, Julie

  35. Hello!
    My fiancé and I are currently planning our 10/11 day honeymoon in Italy. So far this is what we have- I just want to make sure we’re not biting off more than we can chew and any suggestions for what to do where would be amazing! You’ve already helped us so much so far!

    May 21(day one)-Rome
    May 22 (day two)- Rome
    May 23 (day three)- Rome
    May 24 (day four)- Leave Rome to Naples to Pompeii to Sorrento
    May 25 (day five)- Capri
    May 26 (day six)- Amalfi Coast
    May 27 (day seven)- Leave Sorrento to Naples to Florence – rent a car?
    May 28 (day eight)- drive around Florence/Tuscany?
    May 29 (day nine)- still explore Florence/Tuscany – open days to explore
    May 30 (day ten)- Travel to Venice early
    May 31 (day eleven) – Back to Rome in am and fly home

    Also, would you suggest renting a car in Florence? Should we book our stays at the same place in Florence because it’s accesible to get around or would it be easier to find a spot in Tuscany to stay? Is one day in Venice enough and is it easy enough to travel back to Rome? Should we keep a car to get to Florence to Venice to Rome?

    Thank you for all the help and sorry for all the questions! Just trying to get the most out of our trip!

    Thanks again!

    Amy

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Amy. What a great spot for a honeymoon! Here are some ideas. On May 27, take a train from Sorrento to Florence. The Circumvesuviana, the takes you from Sorrento to Naples, is a bit of a pain, but you can travel quickly and comfortably from Naples to Florence by high speed train (should save you some time). Once in Florence, rent a car. I would stay in one location your entire time in Florence/Tuscany so you are not transferring hotels over and over again. You can stay in Florence or a Tuscan hill town, your choice, and both are good options. However, I recommend staying in Florence, because it will be more convenient to travel by train to Venice from here. On May 30, make sure you book a direct train to Venice (only takes about 2 hours). If you take an early morning train, you will have almost one full day in Venice, which is just enough time to wander the city, go for a gondola ride, and see one or two big sites. I recommend taking the train between Florence and Venice because it is fast and economical and comfortable. There are also high speed trains that connect Venice to Rome in 3.5 hours (much better than driving). Let us know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

  36. Hi Julie!

    This information has relieved so much stress from my planning. I have never been to Europe, and have always wanted to explore Italy. I am planning a girls trip for a friends 30th birthday, and had no idea where to start. After reading through your itineraries, I really like #1 with the addition of the Amalfi Coast. Ideally, this is how I would like to travel, but want to make sure it sounds reasonable. We plan to use trains for transportation mostly, unless exploring and we will hire a personal driver. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Day 1: Fly into Venice
    Day 2: Venice
    Day 3: Milan
    Day 4: Milan
    Day 5: Cinque Terre
    Day 6: Florence
    Day 7: Florence
    Day 8: Rome
    Day 9: Rome
    Day 10: Amalfi Coast/Island of Capri
    Day 11: Naples
    Day 12: HOME

    Thanks for your help Julie!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Tara. Here are my suggestions. Take a day from Milan and put it somewhere else. You need to spend at least one night (preferably two) in the Cinque Terre to make a visit here worthwhile. Two days in Florence is good and two days in Rome is good. Two days in Amalfi/Naples is tight. Adding a third day to the Amalfi Coast region makes this more “doable.”

      Day 1: Arrive Venice
      Day 2: Venice
      Day 3: Morning train to Milan, see Milan, evening train to La Spezia, sleep 5Terre
      Day 4: 5Terre
      Day 5: Train to Florence
      Day 6: Florence
      Day 7: Train to Rome
      Day 8: Rome
      Day 9: Train to Naples and then Sorrento, sleep in Sorrento
      Day 10: Capri Day Trip from Sorrento
      Day 11: Amalfi Day Trip from Sorrento, transfer to Naples or Rome for tomorrow’s flight.

      The easiest way to get between Sorrento and Naples is with a private driver. If you already have a driver for the Amalfi Coast day trip, it may not add much cost on to have the driver take you to Naples (but it will be a lot of time spent in the car for one day). The day 10 and 11 day trips can be switched depending on where you are flying home from.

      I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

      1. Julie,

        This sounds absolutely wonderful!

        I haven’t booked flights for November yet, but plan to travel from the 15th-26th. Itinerary all aside, where would you suggest we fly into, and how much do you think we would have to move our itinerary around?

        Thank you so much for your help!

        1. Post
          Author

          If you can, fly into Venice and out of Rome. Then you can follow the exact itinerary I laid out. If you start and end in either Venice or Rome, you will have to make one of your sightseeing days a day to get back to the starting point. Cheers!

      2. Hi Julie

        Thanks for the info.

        What would you estimate the cost be for a private driver (uber or taxi?) be for a family of five for day trips? Traveling in the cities or nearby places to see.

        What is the cost for the train between the cities for a family of five?

        Regards
        Christiaan

        1. Post
          Author

          Hello Christian. To get a rough idea of how much a driver costs, I would contact a company in the area you are considering. Costs can vary depending on the location in Italy. From what I have read, a private driver averages about 250 euros per day. As for trains, the general cost also varies quite a bit depending on the class of train, time of day, and distance you are traveling. For example, for a family of 5 to travel from Rome to Venice, it can cost a total of $103 at 5 am or $186 at 8:50am (on the same class of train on the same day). The ItaliaRail website is very easy to use. Simply enter in the towns you want to travel between and it will provide you with available options. The local/regional trains are generally slower but very budget friendly. The high speed trains cost more but they are more comfortable and save you time. Sorry I can’t give you any concrete numbers…there’s just too factors to generalize the cost. Cheers, Julie

  37. Hi Julie! We love your website! The pictures and the detailed itineraries and advice are amazing!!! My husband and I are planning an 11 day trip to Italy in mid October (day 12 is a travel home day – arriving in the morning on Oct 10 and leaving in the morning on Oct 21). Your #2 Rome, Florence & the Amalfi Coast itinerary looks great to us! The only thing we’d like to add is a stop in Venice. Where would you suggest we add that in? And would you suggest we take something out of the suggested itinerary if we plan to go to Venice? We really are flexible, but we’d like to book hotels soon so that we have a tentative plan. Thanks for any suggestions!! As an aside, our daughter is entering PA school in June (PCOM in Phila) and she is inspired by you and the possibility of traveling the world some day :))

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Bridget. To add in Venice, follow itinerary #2, and then on Oct 19 take the train to Venice, spend the 19th and 20th in Venice, and then fly home from Venice on the 21st. Of course, this assumes that you will fly into Rome and out of Venice. This saves you some time but it could make your flights expensive. You will have to see if it is worth the cost. If you need to (or already booked) round trip tickets via Rome, try this: on the 17th (day 8 of this itinerary), take a day trip from Florence to Tuscany, on the 18th see Florence in the morning and take an afternoon train to Venice, on the 19th tour Venice, on the 20th, see Venice in the morning and in the afternoon take an afternoon train to Rome, and on the 21st fly home via Rome. This shortens your time in Florence and gives you just enough time to see Venice, with the opportunity to see it at sunset and sunrise, if you like that sort of thing.

      Congrats to your daughter…being a PA is a great job and it was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. She has a very exciting career ahead of her.

      Cheers, Julie

  38. Hi Julie:
    I like your blog and all the information in it! My friends and I are planning a 10 days trip to Italy in July 8. Two of us had been there few years ago. The others are new comers. We are thinking to arrives in Milan, then Cinque Terre, Verona,Venice, Rome, Florence and Amalfi.
    We have another 3 days free to visit a friend in Stromboli. From Naples to Stromboli and back to Rome.
    What do you may advise to us?

    1. Post
      Author

      With 10 days, I don’t think you have enough time to visit every place on your list. From Milan (1 day), I’d pick Venice (2 days) or the Cinque Terre (2 days) as your next destination. Then, from that spot, go to Florence (3 days), then Rome (2 days), then Amalfi/Naples (2 days) and then your 3 days for Stromboli. You can take one day and visit Verona in transit between Milan and Venice. If you tried to squeeze both the Cinque Terre and Venice into this itinerary, you will spend almost every day on the train and checking into and out of hotels. I know it’s tempting to get to every place on your list, but I think you will have a better experience if you save at least one of these cities for a future trip. Cheers, Julie

  39. hello there !
    thank you for your helpful wonderful report.
    i’m a little bit disappointed hearing that the public transportation in Tuscany isn’t good! , i would like to visit tuscany so much , but i won’t be able to rent a car or hiring a driver , so please , isnt there any other solution ?

    thanks in advance .

    1. Post
      Author

      You can still use the public transportation. Buses connect the bigger towns in Tuscany. We just had terrible luck with the buses not showing up on multiple occasions. That was 4 years ago. Maybe things are different now? Cheers, Julie

  40. Hi Julie! I randomly came across your website and I want to thank you for how amazing it is! You provided so much detail about all the different options and things to do in Italy. My friend and I are going the end of May (23-31) and we wanted to see if you had an addition suggestions or comments about our tentative itinerary. Do you have any idea if the weather at the end of May will be warm? Also is there anything you wish you did different with your 3 days in Sorrento? Would you spend one night staying in Amalfi? Also any wine tour suggestion in Tuscany?
    5/23: Arrive afternoon Rome
    5/24: Rome
    5/25: Train to Naples – Pompeii and then Sorrento
    5/26: Capri (blue grotto and mount solaro)
    5/27: Amalfi coast (Positano)
    5/28: Train to Florence
    5/29: Forte dei Marmi
    5/30:Tuscany
    5/31: Leave Rome

    Thanks!
    Bisola

    1. Post
      Author

      You’re itinerary looks great. Forte dei Marmi looks really cool! At the end of May Italy should be nice and warm. I think that’s a great time to go because the weather should be good. I would not spend one night in Amalfi just because that would mean packing and unpacking one more time, and then on the 28th, you will have a longer travel time to Florence. It looks like you only have about a half a day in Florence right now and you will want to maximize your time there as much as possible. I don’t know any wine tours to recommend. You could look on Trip Advisor for ideas and reviews or see if Rick Steves lists any in his travel guide/website. Cheers, Julie

  41. HOLY COW! So happy to have discovered this. Here I am spending hours trying to figure out what to in with 15 days in Italy, and here you have it all broken down perfectly. THANK YOU! This is a lifesaver! So my question is, when you did the 10 day itinerary, do you overnight in hotels at all the destinations you went to? Also did you make use of some sort of Euro Rail pass that can be used in many European countries?

    I cannot way to read about all the other destinations that my family and I will similarly be traveling too.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Willem. Let me know which itinerary you like the most and I can give you more information about which cities to stay in and what would be your best mode of transportation. We look forward to hearing from you!

  42. You’ve graciously answered SO many questions I hesitate to throw another itinerary at you, but here it goes anyway! We are a family of 6 – four kids. Youngest is 4, oldest is 14. I don’t like to move too fast on vacation especially with the little one, but prefer to relax and enjoy each location. So, right now with just 8 full days in Italy I only have two main cities planned (Rome and Florence) with a few day trips. Since I haven’t booked any apartments yet, I thought I would run it by you.

    Arrive 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20th. (FCO) – spend the rest of the day in Rome settling in and maybe seeing a spot or two.
    Wednesday: Rome
    Thursday: Rome (Vatican City)
    Friday: From Rome – Day trip to Pompeii
    Saturday: Morning train Rome to Florence (1.5 hrs)
    Sunday: Florence
    Monday: Florence
    Tuesday: Florence (Day trip to countryside/Tuscany)
    Wednesday mid-day – train Florence to Rome (1.5 hrs)
    Depart 5 p.m. Wednesday, November 28th. (FCO)

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Allison. I think your itinerary is brilliant. I love it that you are slowing things down rather than speeding things up, especially since you will be traveling with kids. My advice would be to rent a car or hire a driver for your Tuscany day trip (it’s a little expensive but a much better experience than using the public buses). You have a lot of time in Florence, so I think it’s possible to take 2 day trips into Tuscany, if you want. We love answering these itinerary questions, so feel free to write back if you have more questions in the future. Enjoy Italy! Cheers, Julie

  43. hi, we are travelling to Italy in Mid June and our flight lands in Milan and the return flight it booked from Rome. Our plan was to take a train to florence from Milan (2 nights) then head to tuscany for 4-5 nights and explore the area around, and then head to rome for the return flight. We also want to include venice in the trip. Can you sugest where we can squeeze that in?

    S

    1. Post
      Author

      You could take time from Tuscany and go to Venice. I would go from Milan directly to Venice (one night and one full day is enough time to see the main sites, 2 days is better but you have to decide how much time you want to take from Tuscany) and then to Florence. Check the train schedules to see if this works, but it should if I remember correctly. Cheers, Julie

  44. Hello Julie – My name is Sandeep and I am from Mumbai, India. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your website, it is very informative and for travelers like our family (4 of us including our 12 yr old daughter and 8 yr old son), who want to explore while on vacation but also be informed before hand, this works perfect. I have a few queries, if that wouldn’t be too much trouble for you.
    We are taking a 7 days cruise from Rome and back to Rome in May. We will have 7 nights post the cruise and fly back from Rome. Queries:
    1) Reading your 3 suggested itineraries, I was thinking of a combination – Florence (1 night), then to Verona (1 night), then to Venice (2 nights), then to San Marino (1 night) and finally Rome (2 nights). Please suggest, if any changes to be made.
    2) We plan to rent a car and drive everywhere – how easy or tough is it to manage the drive and follow maps/signs, especially considering we do not speak Italian?
    3) Any suggestion on which car rental company should we prefer? I have read some bad experiences online with certain car rental companies.
    4) Final question – our preference is to stay in maximum 3 places for 2/3 nights in each place in apartments. Any possibility of doing a day tour to 1 or 2 of the above destinations in order to reduce the number of cities to pack/unpack in?
    Thanks for your help in advance.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello Sandeep. Your itinerary is good, it might be a little rushed but it is still “doable.” Driving between cities is very easy in Italy. The highways are fast and the signs are easy to follow if you speak English, which you do. The challenge is finding parking once you get to each city but your hotel can give you advice on where to park. You can visit Verona in transit between Florence and Venice. So, leave Florence in the morning, visit Verona midday, and end in Venice in the evening. This will save you one hotel. You could also visit San Marino as a day trip from Florence, but with a drive of 3 hours one way, it would be a total of 6 hours driving so you have decide if it is worth it to you. When we rent a car, we price out the major companies (Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, and Sixt) and pick the cheapest. In general, we have had good experiences with all of them, but every once in awhile it can be a nightmare. So, I don’t have any particular company to recommend. Cheers, Julie

  45. Dear Julie,
    First of all thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience of your family trips with us, i loved all the blogs and the pictures are amazing.

    I was planning to visit Italy between 28 March (arriving) & 6 April (Departing) , family of 4, 5 yr boy, 6 month girl
    According to your suggested itineraries i was thinking of Rome 2 days, Tuscan 1 day, Pisa tower 1 day, Cinque terre 2 days, Venice 2 days.
    I was planning to rent a car to move between cities, What do you think (putting in mind family of 4 including baby) ? or should i stick with trains?

    Also in Cinque terre,
    i read that its all hiking, is their any activities or even small hikes suitable for my family situation ?
    Do you also recommend staying at one place and visit all 5 towns in the 2 days from the same site, or switch between hotels in diff towns?

    In Venice, What is best to stay in ? to be near from the site seeing areas for easy access ?

    Thank you in advance and looking forward for your reply

    1. Post
      Author

      Hello. I would recommend using the trains. It’s going to be difficult to find parking in Pisa and the Cinque Terre and you won’t need a car while you are in the Cinque Terre. In the 5Terre, you can hike between one or two towns and connect the rest by the local train. Check out our hiking the Cinque Terre post to learn more. I would stay in one town. That way you don’t have to keep transferring hotels (and it only takes 10 – 15 minutes to get between the towns by train). In Venice, I would pick a hotel that fits in your budget. Staying in the heart of Venice is wonderful but it can be expensive. Cheers, Julie

  46. Hi Julie –

    My fiance and I are going to spend our honeymoon in Italy – late June through early July. We’ve been to Rome and hope to spend this trip in Venice, Florence, and Naples, with possible day trips throughout. What do you think would be the best use of our time? We fly into Venice and arrive on a Tuesday afternoon (around 1:00) and then fly out of Naples two weeks later (very early on Monday)? We plan to take the train between each of these cities, so we have flexibility on the number of days/nights in each, but we don’t know how long we should stay in each place (unfortunately, “forever” is not an option!). Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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      Hello Sara. I would start with 2 days, 3 nights in Venice. The first day (Tuesday) you’ll be tired and won’t do much more than wander a little and go out for dinner (but that will still be wonderful). Since it’s your honeymoon, you have to decide if you want your Italy vacation to be a whirlwind sightseeing trip or a more leisurely, enjoyable experience. With 2 whirlwind weeks, you could go Venice (3 days) – Verona (1 day) – Milan (1 day) – Cinque Terre (2 days) – Florence/Tuscany (3 days) – Sorrento/Amalfi/Capri (3 days) – Naples (1 day). A more leisurely trip could look more like Venice (3-4 days) – Florence/Tuscany (7 days with potential day trips to Pisa or San Marino) – Sorrento/Capri/Amalfi (3) – Naples (1). I hope this gives you a basic itinerary to think about. Let us know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

  47. Hi Julie – great pics and fantastic information! Italy trip question for next month! My daughter (20) is studying abroad in Seville, Spain and I will be flying out to meet her in Italy. Never been to Europe myself and she will be there 5 months travelling county to country. Decided on Italy due to both of us wanting to see it and she won’t be travelling there w her college. We both are big coast, water, ocean, scenic view people. Understand the weather will not be warm in March but I have 3 other children and this is the only time I can get away to see her and have care for them back home! Thats ok – we love the sea anytime of year!
    Our hearts are set on Amalfi Coast area – we have no NEED to see any typical areas (Rome, etc) – really want to spend this time alone with her relaxing, eating, a nice glass of wine, views, and enjoying! Can you recommend some day trips, or even overnight, any MUST SEE for natural beauty, we are willing to rent a car and drive, we will have about 8 days or so (haven’t booked flights yet) sometime around March 27 to April 3 or 4 is my guess….any advice on making this a special trip for my daughter and I would be greatly appreciated! I think Florence and Tuscany and Amalfi Coast sound exactly what we are looking for but I am happy to do more or less! Also, big question – any personal favorites for airports that are easy to fly in and out of? I am flexible and don’t mind driving or a train etc…I like simple, less is more airports! Also, thoughts on just how cold it will be so I can plan my clothing – I am flying in from Boston! Thanks again! Lori

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      If you really like the coastal scenery, I would recommend the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre. As far as what city to fly in and out of, just look at what is convenient from Boston. For example, right now, Milan usually shows up as our cheapest option from Maryland. If it works out, Rome would be perfect to fly into and out of since it is located near Florence and Sorrento and has lots of train options. Trains connect the big cities in Italy quickly and economically, so this is the best way to get around in our opinion. I would recommend 3-4 days in the Amalfi/Sorrento area and 3 days in Tuscany/Florence. You will need time on either side for arrival and departure into Italy. If you have time, you could squeeze in the Cinque Terre (1-2 days with one overnight stay). Hop between the big towns by train and consider hiring a private driver to see Tuscany and towns on the Amalfi Coast. As for the weather, Google “weather in Amalfi in March” and there are a bunch of websites that will give you averages for your time frame. But everything in Italy should be much warmer than Boston! Let us know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

  48. Hi Julie!

    I stumbled across your blog and love all of the detailed information! It is such a great resource. Thanks for sharing. I would love to pick your brain on an upcoming trip to Europe. My husband and I are planning a trip to Austria & Italy in June 2018. I have been to Europe once before several years ago and this will be his first trip. We are trying to balance seeing what we want to see with not feeling rushed and still getting to enjoy each place. We do love to just relax and soak in the places we visit too. He loves the mountains/alpine and I love the countryside, mountains as well but also am excited to explore beaches/coastal areas (i definitely enjoy museums more than he does too 😉 ). My husband would love to squeeze in Lucerne, Switzerland as well but I am thinking that may need to be another trip? Our ideal places at this time in Italy would be Cinque Terre, Florence/Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi Coast (+/- Venice?). We will be traveling June 8-24. I have a first go around at a rough sketch of our initial itinerary and would love your thoughts on what you would tweak or if it is too much/not enough in certain places? Is it too much to try to hit Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast? I have had such trouble choosing between those two as I am dying to see both at some point! We are planning on spending our first few days in the Salzburg area and then thinking of taking a sleeper train to Italy.
    June 8 plane to Munich
    June 9 arrive Munich early AM
    Train Munich → Salzburg
    Salzburg PM (sleep) – Check in to Hotel, Explore
    June 10 Salzburg (sleep) – Berchtesgaden/Eagle’s Nest, Konigsee – can you see both of these places in one day?
    June 11 Salzburg (sleep) – Hallstatt, Dachstein?
    June 12 Salzburg – Explore, Castles, Etc.
    Sleeper train salzburg → Milan (or venice?)
    June 13 arrive Milan
    Train Milan to Cinque Terre (about 3 hours) AM
    Cinque Terre PM (sleep) – Check in to hotel, get there by lunch?, explore, beach?
    June 14 Cinque Terre – hike, beach, explore
    Late train cinque terre → Florence (check in to hotel, sleep) OR we could spend a second night in Cinque?
    June 15 Florence (sleep)
    June 16 Florence (sleep)
    June 17 Florence (sleep) – day trip to Tuscany?
    June 18 Florence → Naples
    Naples → Amalfi Coast (sleep)
    June 19 Amalfi Coast (sleep)
    June 20 Amalfi Coast (sleep) – day trip to Capri?
    June 21 Amalfi Coast AM
    Amalfi Coast → Naples
    Train Naples → Rome (1hr 10mins) (sleep)
    June 22 Rome (sleep)
    June 23 Rome (sleep)
    June 24 Travel home from Rome

    I REALLY appreciate your feedback and again, thank you for the great info on planning!!

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      I think you have done a great job with this itinerary. In my opinion, you are giving yourself enough time at each destination to see it well and not feel too rushed. We stayed in Berchtesgaden and visited Salzburg as a day trip. They are only about an hour apart by car. One day in Berchtesgaden is enough time to see the Eagle’s Nest and Konigsee. Just start as early as possible so you have enough time. You can do a day trip to Halstatt (we haven’t been here yet) but from what I know, it’s easiest if you have a rental car. So you might want to look into renting a car for 2-3 days while in Salzburg. Later in your itinerary, Milan makes more sense that Venice, just because of its location. Plus, trains run all day between Milan and 5Terre. You could spend several hours touring Milan, if that interests you. We spent about 5 hours here when traveling between 5Terre and Venice. That would shorten your time in the 5Terre, so then you might want to consider staying there a 2nd night. And the rest of your itinerary looks great.

      It’s definitely not too much to visit the 5Terre and Amalfi, both are wonderful. But, if you eliminated Naples and Amalfi, you could take those 4 days and visit Venice (you really just need one day to see the best spots) and go hiking in the Dolomites for 2 days. I mention that because of your husband’s interests and I have a love affair with the Dolomites. It’s my favorite spot in Italy and it’s one of the best places in the world that we have gone hiking. Just throwing that out there. 🙂 If you did this, you would add it in between Salzburg and the 5Terre and end in Rome (without going to Naples/Amalfi). Hope this helps!! Have a great time!

      Cheers, Julie

  49. Hi Julie!

    Came across your site and love your insight on traveling within Italy! My friend and I will be arriving April 12th AM and departing April 24th AM. Our ideal trip consists of Rome (where we are flying in and out of), Almafi Coast, Cinque Terre, and Florence/Tuscany. With that being our time frame, any words of advice? Places you strongly recommend we visit outside of those listed? Places to spend more days in than others? Any hostel/AirBnB/hotel recommendations? Restaurants? We are in our middle 20’s and want a relaxing vacation consisting of lots of wine and breathtaking views 🙂

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      Hello Kinsey. Well, the wine and breathtaking views will be easy. 🙂 If you spend 3 days in Sorrento, you could spend a day in Sorrento/Pompeii, a day on the Amalfi Coast, and a day in Capri. Two full days, 1 – 2 nights is enough time for the Cinque Terre. Three days in Rome will let you see most of the big sites. Then put the rest of your time in Florence/Tuscany. I would do Rome to Sorrento to Florence to 5Terre/La Spezia and end back in Rome. You can take the train between Rome/Sorrento/Florence/Cinque Terre/Rome. I recommend hiring a driver for the Amalfi Coast (finding a parking spot for a rental car can be a challenge) and hiring a driver or renting a car to tour the hill towns in Tuscany (the buses were a nightmare in our experience). For hotels and restaurants, we use Trip Advisor and we don’t book any hotels with less than 4 out of 5 stars (the rating, not the level of hotel). If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to write back again! Cheers, Julie

      1. Did you book trains/drivers there or in advance? Based on your response this is what I came up with: Day 1: Arrive AM in Rome, travel to Pompeii/Sorrento, Day 2: Sorrento/Amalfi Coast (Amalfi, Positano, Ravello), Day 3: Sorrento/Capri, Day 4: Sorrento (?), Day 5: Florence/Tuscany, Day 6: Florence/Tuscany, Day 7: Florence/Tuscany, Day 8: Florence/Tuscany, Day 9: La Spezia/Cinque Terre, Day 10: La Spezia/Cinque Terre, Day 11: Rome, Day 12: Rome, Day 13: Rome, Day 14: Depart AM in Rome.

        I’d love your insight if you feel any time frame I have listed is too long or if there is something you feel is along these routes that would be awesome to see! Thanks for the response!

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          I think your itinerary looks great. The only thing I would say is that arriving in Rome and doing a day trip to Pompeii on the way to Sorrento might be exhausting. If you are flying into Europe from the US or a place that far away, doing anything the first day of the trip, whereas not impossible, can be tiring. What if, on day 1, you traveled directly to Sorrento then relaxed in Sorrento with whatever time you have left in the day. Then use day 4 to day trip to Pompeii. A better option might be to visit Pompeii in transit between Sorrento and Florence on day 4. This will save you some time sitting on trains. We have a post on how to do this between Rome and Sorrento but it would work the same way between Sorrento and Florence. Four days in Florence and Tuscany might sound like a lot, but there are so many great ways to spend your time here (especially if you want great views and wine). You could consider a day trip to San Marino, but it would be a long day.

          We booked our trains in advance. There are different “rules” for how soon you can book your tickets…sometimes it’s 30 days and sometimes it’s more. The Seat 61 website is a great resource for learning how train travel works, not only in Italy but around the world. As for a driver, you can get recommendations from your hotel or on Trip Advisor. We never used a private driver (but wished we had) so I have no one specific that I can recommend.

          Cheers, Julie

          1. Perfect! We are having a hard time deciding if we want an extra day in Sorrento doing another day trip to an extra day in Florence/Tuscany or Cinque Terre. Is there a location you recommend we add an extra day to based on your experience?

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            Our personal order of favorite to least favorite is Tuscany (1), 5Terre (2), and then the Sorrento area. Two days gives you enough time to see all 5 towns of the Cinque Terre well. A 3rd day here would give you time to see Portofino or a day trip to Pisa (although Pisa is just OK). You might even be able see Milan when traveling between Florence and the Cinque Terre (just have to check if train schedules work out). We saw Milan when traveling between Cinque Terre and Venice. Or, you could just relax in Tuscany. That’s what I would do. There are so many cool towns to explore in Tuscany. Florence for 2 days, Siena for one day, then your other time hopping between the hill towns. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  50. Hi Julie,
    I just came across your site I appreciate all of the information you provide. I am trying to plan a trip to Italy for my family 26 y.o girl and 24 year old boy. We are going over the week of Thanksgiving. I would like to cover Rome (2-3 nights), Naples/Sorrento, Pompeii (3 nights). Is that doable and fun for the kids to experience or would going to Florence/Pisa be a better choice over Sorrento and the coast-especially if the weather is bad. I’ve never been southern Italy and the kids have never been to Europe. Trying to make everyone happy. Any recommendations are appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    Amy

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      Just so you are aware, November is a rainy month in Italy (in Florence, Rome, and Sorrento). That doesn’t mean it will rain everyday, just that it might rain half of the time you are there. In general, I would say that Sorrento (with day trips to the Amalfi Coast and Capri) is more fun than Florence. But if it rains, then your time might be better spent in Florence, where there are more indoor things to do (like museums). And there are some great museums in Florence. With spend 3 nights in Florence, you could spend the rainy day (if you had one) in the museums, and visit Tuscany or Pisa on the nicer weather days. It’s just a thought. But you could take your chances on Sorrento with the hopes that you have clear weather. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  51. Hi Julie, what a great article! I would like some advice if its not too much trouble. My partner and I are spending 4 weeks in Europe. After 2 weeks in the UK and Paris, we are thinking of arriving in Cinque Terre for 2 nights after spending 3 nights in Avignon and 2 nights in Nice. We are then thinking of travelling to Venice for 2 nights, Florence for 3 nights and finally Rome for 4 nights before flying back to New Zealand. We are concered that this may be too much travelling in a short period which will leave us feeling rushed.
    We will be using public transport. Since we have never done a trip like this before, we would really appreciate your advice on the itinerary. Thanks in advance!

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      It is a busy itinerary, but I don’t think you are trying to fit in too much. I think your timing in each place is good. You’re just going to be a little worn out because you are doing this for one month rather than 10 days. Maybe, while you are in Nice or Avignon, since they are about halfway through your trip, plan on having one day where you don’t need to do anything, just to recharge your batteries before Italy. You will also get some downtime while you are on the trains. Your itinerary sounds wonderful…what an amazing trip to look forward to! 🙂 Cheers, Julie

  52. Planning a three week trip back to Tuscany, Rome and Amalfi Coast. My wife is a travel agent and we have been to many similar countries as you. Like your site. May pick your brain later on ?❤️?

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  53. Love your blog. Thank you. I would love your advice for my trip with my 16 year old daughter. We are flying into Rome (2 nights), then via Pisa (mid-day) to Florence (2 nights) and then we have 3 more nights we can spend in Italy (thinking Venice and ?) before we go to France. First stop is Nice (2 nights), somewhere between Nice and Paris – maybe go right to Versailles on the fast train – for one night, and then end in Paris (3 nights). We have a Eurail Select pass. I would love your feedback on how / where to spend the duration of our trip in Italy? Perhaps France too?

    Thank you!

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      I don’t know how set in stone your plans are, but you could go Rome (2 nights) to Florence (2 nights) to Venice (1 to 2 nights) to the Cinque Terre and Pisa (1 to 2 nights). By ending Italy in the Cinque Terre you would be closer to Nice. With limited time, I recommend that you skip Pisa, unless this is something you really want to see, although I think your time would be better spent in Venice and the Cinque Terre. Two nights in Nice is good because you can use one day and see Monaco or some of the French Riviera towns. On the way to Paris, you could visit Avignon in Provence or Lyon. Both are convenient by train from Nice and to Paris. Colmar, in the Alsace, is a beautiful town, but it’s a long train ride from Nice (roughly 8 hours) but then it only takes 2 hours to get to Paris. Let us know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you! My daughter is set on the Pisa classic photo. So perhaps — Rome (2) to Pisa (0 nights) to Florence). Then Venice (1 to 2 nights) then back again, to the Cinque Terre (1 to 2 nights). Do you think a 15 year old teenager would like Cinque Terre – and if so, what part (we are sticking with train travel)? I was told that maybe not? You have a good point about being closer to Nice.

        I think Colmar sounds great. We can have our “down time” on the train. I think it will be a great contrast to the rest of our trip. I have your guides to Paris – and will certainly follow that. Any absolute highlight for a 15 year old?

        Thank you!!!!

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          I think your itinerary looks good. If you have your heart set on Pisa, look into getting tickets to climb the tower. We never did this (tickets were sold out when we arrived) but I hear that it’s a fun thing to do. We have a link to the official website to purchase tickets in our post about Pisa. Our kids really liked the Cinque Terre, and they were 9 and 11 at the time. You can hike between all of the towns, or just hike between a few and take the train between the others. Along the way, eat gelato, Italian food…it’s so much fun. When you’re done, relax on the beach and go swimming. Check out our hiking in the Cinque Terre post if you want to learn more. I don’t know when you are traveling, but we are going back to Paris at the beginning of April. Sometime in April/early May we will have a LOT of updated info on this site about Paris. This summer we are going to Colmar (but that may be too late to help you out.). In Paris, climb the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, eat at an outdoor cafe, take in the view from the top of Notre Dame, try escargot, walk up the Champs-Elysees, go to Musee D’Orsay, see the painters in Montmartre, and take in the view from the Sacre Coeur. The catacombs are really cool too. One week ago, on our Facebook page, I asked people for restaurant recommendations in Paris and got a LOT of responses. Check that out for ideas, too. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

          1. Thank you!! I will check all of this out. I did reserve tickets to climb the tower or Pisa already – as I have seen this before and was a bit indifferent. But it is fun to see- and probably climb. My daughter wants to add Versailles!! She is not sure about Colmar – but I will look forward to your Paris updates to help guide me a bit more. We are going in mid-June. So still not sure about our train travel between Nice and Paris… as we have one extra day there – but I can finalize that a bit later. Thank you!

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            You’re very welcome (and I always have fun helping people with their itineraries). Versailles is great, we visited it in 2012, on a crazy crowded rainy day in October and didn’t have the best experience. It’s easy to get to on the RER and only takes a half of a day from Paris, so it should be easy to fit it into your itinerary. You could always add your extra day to Paris…it’s a big city and there’s lots of great things to do. 🙂 Cheers, Julie

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      We didn’t use a personal driver. We used the Italian public bus system and it was a nightmare…don’t do this if you can afford a driver. I don’t have any driver recommendations…check Trip Advisor or have your hotel make some recommendations for you. Cheers, Julie

  54. Hi Julie –

    My fiance and I are looking to travel to Europe for the first time and we decided we want to visit Italy. After doing a lot of research, I found your page, which was very helpful. We are planning on visiting October 29 – November 11th.

    We are very interested in visiting Verona, The Dolomities ( we love to hike), Venice, Rome and spend a lot of time in Florence. If we want a home base, where do you prefer we stay? Is there a train we can take to all of these cities or do you recommend renting a car? We are going on our honeymoon and we don’t want to be changing hotels too often… maybe only 2-3 times.

    Your trips look amazing and I’m so glad I found this page! It has been a helpful. Can you recommend any sleepy towns in Tuscany to visit?

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      If you only want 2 or 3 hotels, you are going to have to narrow down this itinerary or be prepared to do a lot of driving. If it’s your honeymoon, I recommend spending a big chunk of your time in Tuscany. You can stay in a hill town here, rent a car, and go into Florence for one or two days. On the other days, you can relax and road trip through Tuscany. Siena is close to Florence and an awesome town (one of our favorites) but it can be touristy. The sleepier towns that I know of (Pienza and Montalcino) are farther from Florence so expect to drive more to get back and forth between Florence and these towns (or just spend 2 nights in Florence). There are a lot of great options of places to stay in Tuscany, so do some more online research or check out the Rick Steves guides.

      As for the Dolomites, Oct/Nov may be too late to go hiking. Not all of the cable cars are running and with the possibility of snow this time of year, driving and hiking can be difficult. Look into this a little more. We stayed in Selva di Cadore, a wonderful, non-touristy town that gave us easy access to most hiking spots (we had a rental car here). Bolzano is a popular town to stay in the Dolomites, and you can take the train here, but it will a little more touristy. But if the weather is unfavorable, you might want to save the Dolomites for a future trip. It’s great in the summertime.

      If you skipped the Dolomites, here is a sample route: arrive in Rome, spend three nights here (this gives you about 2.5 days to see Rome), transfer to your Tuscan hill town for 7 nights (with road trips to Florence and other hill towns; consider renting a car and keeping it until you reach Venice), see Verona on the way to Venice, end in Venice. I know you only want to stay in a few hotels, but if you could spend a night in Verona, I think it would be awesome. We didn’t do this but I wished we had. Two nights in Verona would give you a day to drive into the Dolomites. Just a thought. If you add in the Dolomites, consider seeing Verona on the drive there and spend only 1-2 days each in Venice and Rome. Lots to think about!

      Cheers, Julie

  55. Hi! Holy smokes that’s a busy but wonderful trip! Which city or cities would you most like to come back to? My husband and I want to do a low key trip- 3 cities (day trips are also great and exciting!) but not Florence or Venice because we’ve seen those.

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      Verona is the #1 city on our list for a return visit. We only spent a few hours here and fell in love with it. It’s similar to Venice and you could take day trips from here into the Dolomites and nearby spots. Siena is another city we really like, although I would also consider staying in a Tuscan hill town as well. San Marino is worth it if you haven’t been there yet. One night is all you need (the city is tiny). And finally, the Dolomites are one of my personal favorite spots in the world, so I’m dreaming of going back someday. We stayed in the small, lovely town of Selva di Cadore, but you could also consider Bolzano or Cortina d’Ampezzo. Cheers, Julie

  56. I’m headed back to Italy tomorrow Oct 26 – Nov 5, 2017 from NYC. Will be based out of Florence for 6 days with a few day trips in Tuscany and Cinque Terre then off to Rome. Looking forward to using your valuable information.

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  57. Hi,
    I just want to share my experience in Italy,
    I spent 15 days there,
    I arrived rome on Friday 25 august noon,
    Spanish step afternoon,
    Saturday : Vatican and arround
    Sunday: colosseum and arround
    Monday we rent a car to pisa and afternoonwe left to milan
    Tuesday, milan full day, at night we left to bellano bear lake como,
    Wednesday, we went to mendriso for shopping, and dinner in Lugano Switzerland, late night we came back to bellano.
    Thursday: before noon in varena, we moved to stresa lake maggiore.
    Friday: tour in lake maggiore,
    Saturday morning we went to verona, and then venice.
    Sunday. Venice, murano and burano,
    Monday: Padua, Modena, bologna
    Tuesday: bologna and noon to florence,
    Wednesday: florence and afternoon to assisi, passing by city’s de Castillo,
    Thursday: assisi and cascia and afternoon to Rome.
    Friday back home
    Cheers

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