Julie Italy, Itinerary, San Marino 343 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. If you have 10 days in Italy, we have three great ideas for how you can spend your time. 

For first timers to Italy, Rome, Florence, and Venice usually make the “must-see” list. With 10 days in Italy, 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” Italy 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 Italy itinerary includes Rome, Florence, and Venice, with two days in the Cinque Terre.

10 Days in Italy: 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

10 days in Italy map


IMPORTANT!! We get a lot of comments and emails about how to add one or two more destinations to this itinerary. We know that it is tempting to squeeze as much in as possible, but we do not recommend adding more to this itinerary. This is already a very busy schedule. If you add on another city, you will get to “see” a lot, but you will end up spending most of your time in Italy on the train. If anything, consider adding more time to Rome before adding on another destination.


Day 1 & 2: Rome

Rome 10 days in Italy

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.

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 10 days in Italy

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.

You can also join one of these tours to Tuscany from Florence.

 

Day 6 & 7: Cinque Terre

Manarola 10 days in Italy

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.

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 10 days in Italy

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.

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.

10 Days in Italy: 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

Italy Itinerary Map with Sorrento

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 10 days in Italy

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 10 days in Italy

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 10 days in Italy

Day 6: Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast 10 days in Italy

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).

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. Ideally, fly home from the Florence airport. While researching flights, if you find that you don’t have great options from this airport, you might have to return to Rome and fly home from here.

Optional Variation of this Italy Itinerary

For this itinerary, you can fly into Naples, visit Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, and then continue north to Rome and Florence. This saves you some time traveling back and forth from Rome to the Amalfi Coast. However, for many people, it might be easier and cheaper to fly into Rome, which is why I have the itinerary written the way it is.  


#3 Off-the-Beaten-Path

For those who don’t mind skipping some of the more popular cities, this Italy 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 Italy 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.

10 Days in Italy: 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

Italy Itinerary with Dolomites

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.

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.

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.

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. Ideally, fly home from the Florence airport. While researching flights, if you find that you don’t have great options from this airport, you might have to return to Rome and fly home from here.


With More Time

With only 10 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.

If you have 14 days, you can visit Rome, Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, and the Cinque Terre. Learn how to do it in our 14 Day Italy Itinerary.

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.

Designing Your Own Italy Itinerary?

These three itineraries make a great starting point for designing your own custom itinerary to Italy. For more tips and tricks to help you plan the perfect itinerary, consider reading this article:

7 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip to Europe


Are you planning a trip to Italy? If you have any questions about how to plan your Italy itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

 

Going to Italy? Buy the Guide:


 

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Comments 343

  1. Hi Julie. Thank you so much for your blog. We are family of 4 from Canada- two adults and two sons (18 and 13) and planning trip to Italy mid June.  We will have 10 days including travel, so really just 8 full days there… For main sights ( such as Rome, Florence, Venice) we are not planning to spend a lot of time inside the museums, art galleries or cathedrals – more so to get a general feel of cities and hit the main sight seeing by walking around. In addition we would like to see small towns (thinking Tuscany) and must fit in some hiking and preferably some activities such as zip lining or ATVs (if at all available) and maybe some sea time (snorkeling if available) – do you know if any of those are available and where?  I looked at your itineraries and the best nature views I think are at Dolomites, but this too far from Rome… What would you recommend in our situation?  Thank you so much!!!
    Julia

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      Author

      Hello Julia. I don’t know anything about zip lining or ATV rides in Italy. I imagine that you can snorkel from the Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast, but I don’t really think of Italy as a snorkeling destination. If you like the idea of visiting the Dolomites, take our itinerary #1, remove the Cinque Terre, and day trip or spend one night in the Dolomites. To make this work with your time frame, you would have to fly into Rome and out of Venice (or vice versa). Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you so much Julie for the quick reply!!! Which one of the two would you recommend – Cinque Terre or Dolomites (form the scenery point of view)?

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          Author

          If you like hiking and the mountains, the Dolomites is the winner. If you want a coastal destination and 5 colorful, beautiful towns, go to the Cinque Terre. Personally, I’d pick the Dolomites…it’s my favorite place in Italy, but I also really love the mountains and hiking. Cheers, Julie

  2. Your itineraries are very helpful in planning my first trip to Italy in May with my adult daughter. We plan to be in Italy 7, possibly 8 days and would like to visit Rome, Florence for sure. My daughter would like to visit the coast also so thinking Cinque Terre and Venice would be nice but don’t think we would have the time to do it all. My daughter likes to hike, so thought Cinque Terre vs Venice. We also would like to do a wine tour while in Florence. My initial thought was 2 – Rome, 3 -Florence/Tuscany, 2 – Cinque Terre but struggling on where to end the trip as direct flights back to our city are from Rome or Venice. Can we possibly day trip to Cinque Terre? Looking for suggestions on how to get the most out of our 8 days but not too hectic of a schedule? Thank you!

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      Author

      Hello Kris. The amount of time you have for each place is good. However, there are no airports in the Cinque Terre. If you end your trip here, you will have to get to Rome or Venice if you want a direct flight. These cities are 3 to 5 hours away from the Cinque Terre by train, so it will take a nice chunk of your time to get to the airport if you pick the Cinque Terre. So, as far as your timing goes, Venice makes more sense. If you really want to see the Cinque Terre, you could into flights from Milan or Florence, since these airports are closer (but they might not be direct). You can take a day trip to the Cinque Terre from Florence. It will be a long day and you won’t get to do much hiking, but you can quickly visit the 5 towns. It is something to consider on your schedule. Cheers, Julie

  3. Hi Julie,

    We’re very happy to have found your travel blog. It is very informative and helpful. My partner and I are visiting Italy for the first time between April 6 – 21 (about 15 full days), so we aim to take it slow. Coincidentally, the places we plan to visit matches your #1 Classic itinerary, except that we’re going the opposite way.

    It roughly goes like this:
    Our flight will arrive at 8am in Rome, we plan to take an internal flight or train to Venice directly.
    Stay 2 full days in Venice, take train to Cinque Terre.
    Spending 1 or 2 full days in Cinque Terre.
    Taking your suggestion to stop by Pisa when traveling from Cinque Terre to Florence.
    Having at least 4 full days in Florence so that we can take day trips to Siena and San Gimignano.
    Last but not least, Florence to Rome and spend 3 full days there.

    Our concern is traveling from Venice to Cinque Terre as we know it is going to be a long route. Do you have any recommendations on what we can do during the journey, like places to stop by? Which transportation mode is most recommended?

    Do you recommend us spending 2 or 3 nights in Cinque Terre?

    We also noticed it is Easter weekend during our trip to Cinque Terre, do you foresee any issue?

    Thank you in advance for helping us with our questions. If you have any other suggestions to our itinerary, that will be so wonderful! Thank you thank you!

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      Author

      Hello Elki. I’m glad you found us too! You can add in a few hours in Milan when traveling between Venice and the Cinque Terre. Take a look at our article on Milan for the details on how to do this. But I recommend traveling by train. It’s relatively fast and comfortable…we really like traveling by train in Italy. I think 2 nights in the Cinque Terre is sufficient, since this gives you about 2 full days. As far as Easter is concerned, I’m not totally sure, but I don’t foresee any issues. See if you can find any information about train schedules, to make sure that trains are running on Easter, because you will use the train to get around the Cinque Terre. But since the best thing to do is to wander the towns, you don’t have to be concerned with museum closings and things like that. That’s so nice that you are extending your time in Tuscany…it’s amazing. Your itinerary looks great and it should be a very nice trip. Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi Julie, your blog is amazing and so kind of you to inform everyone. You give more information then a travel agent, thank you so much! My husband and I would like to depart JFK on 9-5-20 & arrive back to JFK on 9-25-20. I will be traveling on 9-5 w/extended family and they would like to stay 10-14 days. The only info I have is the departure date from JFK and our wish list is to go to the Amalfi Coast & surrounding towns/cities & to Rome, all within the 10- 14 day period and spending two complete days in Rome & they depart on the 3rd day. After they depart from Rome, my husband and I would like to continue North to Tuscany, Florence. We would like to take the slower pace and not sure if I include my family to go North in their time frame, if i would be rushing thru the South of Italy.
    Is it possible to draft an itinerary for us to review so I can present it to them? They are not planning on North of Rome but it would be an added pleasure. Thanking you in advance, All the best to you & your family.

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      Author

      Hello Donna. With 10 to 14 days, you have lots of time to explore Rome/Sorrento/Amalfi etc. From JFK, you could see if you could fly into Naples, this would save you a little time over Rome as your arrival city. With the amount of time you have, I recommend putting 3 days into Rome (at least) because there is a lot to do here. So, if you spent 3 days in Rome and 4 to 5 days around the Amalfi Coast, with a day for travel time, that puts you at 8 to 9 days. If you have 14 days, you could add on something else, and Florence would work, without being too rushed. We haven’t been any further south than the Amalfi Coast, but I know that there are great little towns to visit like Matera, Castelmezzano, and Alberobello.

      Here are two sample itineraries. Fly into Rome or Naples and go to the Amalfi Coast (stay in Sorrento-lots of transportation options and convenient location; or Positano – less transportation options but a lot a charm). Stay here for 4 to 5 nights and day trip along the Amalfi Coast, to Capri, and to Pompeii. You will have some leisurely time here (3 days is just enough time in the area but more time lets you relax a little more). Take the train to Rome and spend 3 days in Rome. Take the train to Florence. You need two days minimum here. With more time, take day trips into Tuscany. The extended family can fly home from Florence or Rome. You could spend a few nights in Tuscany (Siena, Montalcino, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, or a villa) and then continue north if you like.

      #2: Fly into Rome or Naples and spend 4 to 5 nights on the Amalfi Coast. Then, spend several days in southern Italy…don’t know the specifics but a car might be best for this region. End with 3 days in Rome and then you continue to Florence.

      Let me know if you have more questions! Cheers, Julie

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      Author

      No, but you should be able to save a PDF of this article (I do it all the time…after I publish a new post). Using Google Chrome, to go File -> Print -> More settings -> save as PDF. You should be able to print the PDF. Cheers, Julie

  5. My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy on April 27 arriving Rome morning of April 28. We are leaving on May 9th. Our plan is to spend 28 ,29 and 30 in Rome. Take a train from Rome to La Spezia (Cinque Terra) on May 1 since it is a holiday (do trains run on May 1?). Stay n Cinque Terra May 1 and 2. Head to Florence by train on May 3 and stay May 4 and 5 (maybe a day and a half in Florence and then a day trip somewhere in Tuscany?). Leave early for Naples (Pompeii) by train on May 6 and then go to Postitano to stay for 3 nights or another town in Amalfi from Pompeii. Go to Capri on May 7 or 8 depending on weather and plan on exploring Amalfi on the other day. Head to Naples on May 9 for a 1:30pm flight out. Thoughts?

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      Author

      Hello Robin. Your itinerary sounds great. I’m not sure about train schedules on May 1. You could see if you could find out more on the ItaliaRail or Trenitalia websites. Or just do a Google search and see what you find. But it looks like a very nice trip!! Cheers, Julie

  6. Love your travel blog!! My family of four (two adults and twin 10 yr. old boys) will be arriving in Milan mid-day on June 16th with a family of 5 (two adults and 21, 16, and 15 yr. old boys). We fly out of Rome June 26th mid-morning. We are all trying to stay together and possibly rent a van for all of us to travel. Problem is our itineraries. Here are the definite: Rome, Florence, Pompeii, Pisa, and Amalfi Coast (my suggestion is staying in Positano). Venice was on the list, but we are not sure if we can swing that in the amount of time. We also would like to hit Tuscany or Bologna for a very quick stop at the Lamborghini factory. My itinerary: fly into Milan for Lunch and head to Venice. Day in Venice on the 17th. Leave Venice for Florence on the 18th and hitting Bologna on the way. Florence on the 19th and 20th. Leave Florence on the 21st for Positano with a stop in Tuscany. Positano on the 22nd. Leave Positano on the 23rd for Rome hitting Pompeii on the way. Rome on the 24th and 25th. Leave the 26th. Thoughts? We may never go back to Italy since we are trying to experience new countries every other year.

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      Hello Clarence. Yes, your itinerary works fine, you are moving quickly, but if you are OK with that, I see no problems. My only thought is that it’s a long way to go, from Florence to Positano, for one day in Positano. But there is nothing wrong with adding it in, if this is a place that you really want to visit. It’s amazing, by the way. Make sure you book all of your tickets in advance for Florence and Rome so that you can see a lot without spending a big chunk of time in lines. I hope you have a great trip to Italy and don’t hesitate to write back in if you have more questions. Cheers, Julie

  7. Julie and Tim,
    Thanks for your great blog! I need advice- my party of 4 has a 3pm flight home out of Rome. We’re spending our last night in Cinque Terre and there’s a train ( with connections) that arrives in FCO at 1 pm. Is that cutting it too close?
    Hiring a driver seems quite expensive ( upward of $600). And I’ve heard horror stories about receiving traffic violations or rental car damage notice after returning to the states, so I’m. Inverness about renting a car. Are those concerns realistic? Should we cancel our last day in Cinque Terre and return to Rome the day before the flight?
    All thoughts or ideas are welcome!!!
    Many thanks!
    Ann

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      Hello Ann. We typically arrive at the airport 3 hours before an international flight, so I think that you will be cutting it way too close on train from the Cinque Terre. If you can find a train that arrives at FCO at noon (or a little earlier is even better, just in case) you can take a train the same day. If you can’t find an early train, take an evening train the night before. The Cinque Terre is wonderful, but in my opinion, its not worth the stress of a late arrival to the airport.

      As for a rental car, we have never had issues like the horror stories of rental car damage and we have rented a car in Italy several times (and countless times around the world). If there is any damage on the car when you pick it up, take a photo with your cell phone, so that you are documenting the current condition of the car, and when you drop it off, get a copy of the receipt with the full charges. Then, you shouldn’t have any surprises later. With a rental car, the absolute earliest I would leave the Cinque Terre would be 8 am, and even then, I would give myself 30 to 60 minutes of contingency time and a little extra time to return the car. So, going the night before is probably your best bet. Cheers, Julie

  8. Thank you for these itineraries! I’m interested in more details about where to stay in each of these cities/towns or which ones we should actually stay in and just travel to the others. We are looking at itinerary #1.
    Thank you!

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      Author

      Hello Michelle. I’m glad we can help you plan your trip. Spend the first 2 nights in Rome. For Florence and Tuscany, I recommend staying in Florence the entire time (3 nights) and taking a day trip into Tuscany. I think that it is too short of time to reserve a hotel in both Florence and Tuscany. For the Cinque Terre, you can stay in one of the 5 towns or La Spezia. La Spezia is the town with the main train station. You will arrive here from Florence by train and then take the train from here to go to Venice. So, La Spezia can be more convenient, and cheaper than one of the 5 towns. But staying overnight in one of the coastal towns can be magical. Do you want convenience or do you want the experience of staying overnight in Riomaggiore or Vernazza? You can’t go wrong either way. Then, stay in the heart of Venice. As for hotel recommendations, take a look at our Rome, Florence, and Venice articles for hotel recommendations. Unfortunately, I don’t have something like this for the Cinque Terre. Cheers, Julie

  9. Hi! Your blog just convinced me to book our next vacation to Italy!! I had been to scared to do it because I really had no idea where to go and how to build our itinerary. Thanks to your blog, I will use your experience and plan a great vacation for our family!

    I was just wondering how much I should budget for food. We are a family of 4: 2 adults and 2 kids (11 and 13). We would have the included breakfast at the hotel, some type of sandwich on the go for lunch and we would like to have a nice pizza or pasta supper at night.

    Also, where do you suggest we stay for the last 3 days of the trip. Is it 2 nights in Florence and 1 night somewhere else?

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      Author

      Hello Sarah. I’m glad we could help you out! You will have so much fun in Italy. As for food, you should be able to put together a picnic lunch at a grocery store for roughly 20 euros. As for dinner, a plate at a mid-range restaurant can cost anywhere from 10 to 20 euros. Pasta will be 12 to 15 euros, a main dish with meat could cost 15 to 20 euros, or even more, depending on the restaurant. A rough cost for pizza is 15 euros and your family will most likely eat two of these at dinner, maybe more, if one or two of your kids is a boy. For where stay at the end of your trip, which itinerary are you planning to do so I can give you more info? Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you so much for the food recommendations!! That was one of the infos I really wanted to figure out. I am planning on doing itineary #2. I would add a day to leave from Venice. Would you recommend staying 3 night in the same spot for the Tuscany portion?

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          Author

          There are two ways to do the Tuscany portion. You could do a one day whirlwind tour of Florence and spend 2 days in Tuscany. But I think that Florence really needs two days, which gives you one day in Tuscany.

          If you plan on 2 days in Florence, spend all 3 nights here. From Florence, take a day trip into Tuscany. This is the best option, in my opinion, with only 3 days in this region.

          If you would rather spend more time in Tuscany, you can get around by bus but it can be a headache. So, you will need to rent a car or hire a driver. Plus, it will take some time to get back to Florence to take the train to Venice, so that’s another small hassle. I only think it’s worth staying in Tuscany if you have more time and/or really want to hop among the small towns and go wine tasting. 5 to 7 days in Tuscany, adults only, would be a wonderful future trip to take to Italy. I would love to do something like this, just me and Tim.

          Cheers, Julie

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