The Perfect Italy Travel Itinerary

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.

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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)

How To Spend 4 Days In Rome

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.

First Day:

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.

Visit the Roman Coliseum for about an hour
Visit the Roman Coliseum (1-2 hours)
Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum
Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (2-3 hours)
Explore the many artworks at the Vatican Museum (half a day)
Explore the many artworks at the Vatican Museum (half a day)
Vatican Sculptures
Vatican Sculptures
Marvel at the Sistine Chapel at the end of the Vatican Museum
Second Day

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.

Explore the Many Fountains of Rome Including Trevi Fountain
Explore the Many Fountains of Rome Including Trevi Fountain
Visit the best-preserved Roman structure, the Pantheon (
Visit the best-preserved Roman structure, the Pantheon (<1 hour)
Enter the Pantheon
Enter the Pantheon at no cost (for now)
Climb to the top of the Spanish Steps
Climb to the top of the Spanish Steps
Tour the underground tombs
Tour the underground catacomb tombs (1-2 hours)
Third Day

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.

Visit the Castel Sant’Angelo (2-3 hours)
Wander the many alleyways of Rome
Wander the many alleyways of Rome
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.

Visit the City of Pompeii and the volcano that covered it
Visit the City of Pompeii and the volcano that covered it.
Carefully preserved remnants from Mt. Vesuvius
Carefully preserved remnants from Mt. Vesuvius
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)

3 Days in Florence

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.

First Day

Open top bus around the city with great views. Head up to Forte di Belvedere for the best view of the city.

Take in the Views of Florence
Take in the Views of Florence
Shop for Luxury Items on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge
Shop for Luxury Items on the Ponte Vecchio Bridge
Second Day

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.

Climb to the top of the Duomo
Climb to the top of the Duomo
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.

Siena’s Duomo
San Gimignano
San Gimignano
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
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)

Spend 3 Days in Venice

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.

First Day

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.

Watch a glass blowing demonstration on Murano Island
Watch a glass blowing demonstration on Murano Island
The most colorful town of Burano
The most colorful town of Burano
The most colorful town of Burano
The most colorful town of Burano
Second Day

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.

Climb to the top of St. Mark's Basilica
Climb to the top of St. Mark’s Basilica (1 hour)
Take a tour of Doge's Palace
Take a tour of Doge’s Palace (2 hours)
Tour the Bridge of Sighs and Peak out at the onlookers
Tour the Bridge of Sighs and Peak out at the onlookers
Bridge of Sighs, Venice
Take an Elevator ride to the top of the San Marco Campanile
Take an Elevator ride to the top of the San Marco Campanile
Views from the top of the San Marco Campanile
Views from the top of the San Marco Campanile
Ride a gondola for perfect view of the Rialto Bridge
Ride a gondola for perfect view of the Rialto Bridge
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.

Choose from 4 Scenic Passes in the Dolomite Region: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena
Choose from 4 Scenic Passes in the Dolomite Region: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena
Travel out to the Dolomites from Venice
Travel out to the Dolomites from Venice
Ride the Ski lift for great views of the Dolomite Mountains
Ride the Ski lift for great views of the Dolomite Mountains
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.

First Day

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.

Marvel at the Last Supper in Milan
Marvel at the Last Supper in Milan
Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
Second Day

On the second day in Milan, climb to the top of the cathedral to get an up close view of the gothic designs.

View the Gothic Cathedral in Milan
View the Gothic Cathedral in Milan
Climb to the top of the Cathedral for up close views of the details
Climb to the top of the Cathedral for up close views of the details
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.

Take a day trip to Lake Como
Take a day trip to Lake Como
View the Swiss Alps from Lake Como
View the Swiss Alps from Lake Como
Wander the adorable streets of Bellagio
Wander the adorable streets of Bellagio
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.


Freebies

Download free travel photos of Italy on the Journey Junkies Page
Download free travel photos of Italy on the Journey Junkies Page

That’s our complete Italy travel itinerary hitting all the major cities in just 2 weeks. I never felt that it was too fast or too packed except for maybe wanting one more day in Florence. However, we do tend to get up early and move quickly. If you’re dreaming of Italy travel and need more inspiration, be sure to download our free photos on the Journey Junkies page. You can sign up here, if you’re not a member. If you’ve ever been to Italy, let me know in the comments, I’d love to see photos!

The Perfect Italy Travel Itinerary That Hits all the Major Cities

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