Traveling in Italy
I recently created an Italy travel itinerary that I loved. We spent two weeks traveling the country and hit Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan, along with areas around them. If you’re looking for an Italy travel itinerary that hits all the major cities then you’re in the right spot. We did not hit the Amalfi coast this time, I decided to save that for the next go around. However, if you love cities, museums, and day trips get ready to for the perfect Italy travel itinerary.
If you love Italy in general, then be sure to download our free photos on the Journey Junkies page. Sign up here if you’re not already a member.
Italy Travel Itinerary
Our Italy travel itinerary included Rome, Florence, Venice, then Milan. We took trains to each of the cities and on our last day
Day 1-4: Rome (4 days)
I’ve been to Rome twice now and I absolutely love it. Yes, it’s dirty, and yes, it is crowded. But it’s also 1000s of years old and truly amazing. If you’re going, be sure you don’t miss the following items. I’ve outlined them by days so you can see how much time you may need.
On your first day you can visit the coliseum, roman forum and Vatican in one day. I recommend half a day at the Vatican and doing it in the afternoon when it’s nice and hot. Be sure to buy skip the line tickets.
For your second day, you can take in all the other parts of Rome. Each of the places below are quick stops. Then, end your day with a tour of the catacombs and bone chapel. Both are incredibly interesting and worth seeing. One of our favorite tours of the trip.
On your third day, I recommend visiting the Castel Sant’Angelo. If you’re into Angels and Demons, this is featured prominently in this movie. It’s a bit steep as far as the price goes (I think about 15 euros) but the view from the top is worth it on its own. It’s also very interesting as well. Then spend your time walking the alleyways of Rome. There are so many it’s a great time to get lost.
Fourth Day: Excursion to Pompeii
On our last full day in Rome we took a tour out to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. This was great and incredibly interesting. I don’t believe there’s a need to hike to the top of Mt. Vesuvius, though. It’s a lot of work and there’s not a whole lot to see up there. However, the city of Pompeii is definitely interesting and well worth the trip.
Biggest Rome Tip
Buy your tickets to everything ahead of time. I have been to Rome once before and didn’t buy the tickets before and had no problem. Therefore this time, I bought only our Vatican tickets ahead of time just to make it easier but not our coliseum or Roman Forum and regretted it. It was much more crowded this time around and we ended up buying our tickets online the day before so we wouldn’t have to wait in the long lines.
Day 5-7: Florence (3 days)
Next on the Italy travel itinerary is Florence. Florence and all of Tuscany were my favorite of this trip. Florence is a lovely little city and the Duomo there is one of the prettiest I’ve seen. I wish we had spent just a bit more time here. If you’re going, I definitely recommend the open top bus tour in this city. It takes you to some great views and spectacular places.
Open top bus around the city with great views. Head up to Forte di Belvedere for the best view of the city.
Tour the Duomo up to the top. We didn’t get to do this because it was booked out but we did go inside, which is free. You can also see the famous David statue or visit one of the other many museums of Florence.
Third Day: Excursion Around Tuscany
On the third day in Florence, it’s best to get out and see the country side. We traveled to Sienna, San Gimignano, and Pisa. All of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. I highly recommend a wine tasting and lunch at a local vineyard. I also recommend going into the Duomo (cathedral) in Siena. It’s one of the more gorgeous ones in the world. San Gimignano claims to have the best gelato in the world but I’ve had better. That being said, it’s still pretty damn good. Pisa is what you would expect, a leaning tower and not much else, but it’s worth seeing it in person. If you have time, climb to the top for a crazy weird experience.
Biggest Florence Tip
Make sure you give yourself at least 2 full days. We actually had only 1.5 days I this is the only place where I wish we had more time. I definitely have to go back here one day and spend more time. If you’re really into museums, then you’ll want more than 2 days as there are loads to see here.
Day 8-10: Venice (3 days)
This was also my second time to Venice and I loved it again. It can be stressful as it’s super easy to get lost but you will not find a more unique city.
Spend your morning walking around the Venice alleyways giving yourself plenty of time to get lost. Then, take a boat ride to Murano and Burano. In Murano you can see a glass blowing demonstration and Burano is the most colorful little town you will ever see. We did a tour to both of these but you could easily go on your own.
On the second day of Venice take in some of the highlights. Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Rialto Bridge. If you buy tickets ahead of time, it’s easy to fit it all in. You can also do an afternoon gondola tour which will give you a great view of the Rialto Bridge. Keep in mind they are overpriced and over-hyped but still an iconic activity. You an also take an elevator ride to the top of San Marco Campanile for excellent views of the city.
Third Day: Excursion to the Dolomites
A day trip from Venice you probably aren’t thinking about is going to the mountains. However, you should definitely go to the Dolomites. It’s so great, I plan on doing a post just about this day. So stay tuned. However, if you’re looking to add this drive to your Italy travel itinerary, then check out his post by Wander Wisdom, we used it to plan our day it was perfect.
Biggest Venice Tip
Book your tours ahead of time so you have reserved time slots for the things you want to see. We were able to do the Basilica, Doge’s Palace with the Bridge of Sighs, and the tower in one day quite easily. We also took a gondola ride and had plenty of downtime for lunch and shopping.
Day 11-13: Milan (3 days)
Milan is a lovely city as well and even though it may not boast all the history of Rome or the uniqueness of Venice, it does house the Last Supper. This, in itself is worth a visit to the city. You can also take in a bit of shopping and head out to Lake Como for the day. Be sure to add it to your Italy travel itinerary.
For the first day in Milan, we simply took the open top bus and did a bit of shopping. There are loads of shops in Milan and so if you’re into shopping, you can definitely spend the whole day doing just that. Finish off the day with a tour of the Last Supper and the Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore.
On the second day in Milan, climb to the top of the cathedral to get an up close view of the gothic designs.
Third Day: Excursion to Lake Como
On your final day in both Milan and Italy, travel to the city of Como and take a boat ride on Lake Como. This is a super easy trip from Milan (1 hour drive, 45 min train ride). You can easily take it on your own or with a tour. If you’re interested in the finding all the celebrity houses (hello, George Clooney) then definitely do the tour. Otherwise, just hop on the train and make your way there. Be sure to get off the boat in Bellagio for a delightful afternoon in an adorable town.
Biggest Milan Tip
You have to buy tickets to the Last Supper at least 6 weeks in advance. We booked a tour of it that took us to another church as well-known as the “Sistine Chapel of Milan” and it was gorgeous and worth a stop. We never would have found it if we didn’t do the tour. Regardless, if seeing the Last Supper is important to you, then be sure to book it ahead of time.
Do You Love Travel?
Me too. Let’s be friends.