Italy Itineraries

As you set your sights on Italy, imagine venturing beyond the usual tourist paths to uncover the country's hidden gems and cultural riches. With Rough Guides' extensive experience and deep love for Italy, you're in for an unparalleled journey through its rolling hills, vibrant cities, and serene coastlines. We're excited to present you with the best Italy itineraries, crafted from our years of exploration and discovery.

These itineraries aren't just about ticking off famous sights; they're about immersing you in Italy's rich culture, history, and gastronomy. Whether you're enchanted by the romantic canals of Venice, drawn to the historic ruins of Rome, or eager to explore the quaint villages along the Amalfi Coast, our tailored journeys promise to reveal the true essence of Italy, aligned with your unique travel aspirations.

Join us on a journey that goes beyond the ordinary, delving into the heart of Italy's timeless beauty. Experience la dolce vita as only a seasoned traveller can. Your ultimate Italian adventure, personalized by Rough Guides, awaits.

If you are planning your travel to Italy yourself, use these itineraries created by our travel writers as a starting point for inspiration.

See our itineraries below, or get inspired by duration: 5 days - 7-days - 10 days - 14 days - North Italy - South Italy

Vernazza, Italy © Shutterstock

Vernazza in Cnque Terre Shutterstock©

The importance of planning an Italy itinerary

Planning your Italy itinerary is crucial to experiencing the best of what this magnificent country has to offer. Italy is a tapestry of varied landscapes, cultures, and histories, and each region presents a unique facet of Italian life. A well-planned itinerary ensures that you don't miss out on the quintessential experiences, from savoring authentic Italian cuisine in a tucked-away trattoria to strolling through ancient ruins steeped in history. 

But planning doesn’t have to be daunting. At Rough Guides, we specialize in creating tailor-made journeys that align with your interests and preferences. Whether you're dreaming of romantic gondola rides in Venice, exploring Renaissance art in Florence, or wandering through the lemon groves of Amalfi, we can craft an itinerary that's as unique as you are. 

Start your personalized Italian adventure today and let us turn your Italian dreams into reality.

5-Day Italy Itinerary

If you're limited on time, a 5-day Italy itinerary allows you to experience a taste of the country's abundant natural beauty and diverse cultures.

Day 1: Arrival in Rome

Start your Italian journey in Rome. After arriving, explore the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Wander through the historic center in the evening, visiting the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. Dine in the Trastevere district, famous for its authentic Roman cuisine.

Day 2: Vatican City and artistic Rome

Spend the morning in Vatican City, visiting the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon, explore St. Peter's Basilica and later, discover Renaissance art at the Galleria Borghese.

Day 3: Florence – The Renaissance City

Travel to Florence, starting with the Florence Cathedral (Duomo), the Baptistery, and Giotto's Bell Tower. In the afternoon, visit the Uffizi Gallery, home to Renaissance masterpieces. End your day in the Oltrarno district, enjoying Tuscan cuisine.

Day 4: Tuscan countryside and Pisa

Take a day trip to Tuscany, visiting a local vineyard for wine tasting and regional dishes. In the afternoon, explore Pisa's Leaning Tower and Piazza dei Miracoli. Return to Florence for the evening.

Day 5: Venice – The City of Canals

On your final day, travel to Venice for a gondola ride through its canals. Visit St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Conclude your trip with a Venetian dinner by the Grand Canal, savoring the beauty and charm of Italy.

Asciano with Val d'Orcia © Shutterstock

Asciano with Val d'Orcia © Shutterstock

7-Day Italy Itinerary

If you have around a week in Italy, this 7-day Italy itinerary might suit you. It combines the best cities with nature, food and culture!

Day 1: Arrival in Rome

Begin your Italian journey in Rome. Explore iconic landmarks like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Wander through the historic center, visiting the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. Enjoy dinner in the lively Trastevere district.

Day 2: Vatican City and Rome’s historic wonders

Visit Vatican City, exploring the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. Spend the afternoon in Rome's quaint streets, discovering hidden gems and enjoying Italian gelato.

Day 3: Florence – Renaissance and art

Travel to Florence. Visit the Florence Cathedral (Duomo), Baptistery, and Giotto's Bell Tower. Spend the afternoon at the Uffizi Gallery, and enjoy an evening stroll across the Ponte Vecchio.

Day 4: Exploring Tuscany

Enjoy a day trip to the Tuscan countryside. Visit vineyards for wine tasting, explore medieval towns, and savor local cuisine. Return to Florence for the night.

Day 5: Venice – City of Canals

Head to Venice. Take a gondola ride through the canals, visit St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, and wander through the enchanting streets.

Day 6: Venice and Murano Island

Explore more of Venice's hidden corners. Take a boat trip to Murano Island to see traditional glass-blowing artisans. Dine at a seaside restaurant, enjoying fresh seafood.

Day 7: Milan – fashion and culture

Travel to Milan for your final day. Visit the iconic Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II for shopping. Explore the art of Leonardo da Vinci at Santa Maria delle Grazie. Conclude your journey with an elegant Milanese dinner, reflecting on the beauty of Italy.

View from Milan Cathedral. Royal Palace of Milan © PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

View from Milan Cathedral. Royal Palace of Milan ©Shutterstock

10-Day Italy itinerary

This carefully curated 10 day in Italy itinerary takes you from the ancient streets of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice, the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre, and the stylish avenues of Milan.

Day 1: Arrival in Rome

Start in Rome, exploring the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and historic landmarks. Dine in the vibrant Trastevere district.

Day 2: Vatican City and Rome’s treasures

Visit Vatican City, touring the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. Spend the evening exploring Rome's charming streets.

Day 3: Rome to Florence

Travel to Florence. Visit the Florence Cathedral, Baptistery, and Uffizi Gallery. Wander across Ponte Vecchio in the evening.

Day 4: Tuscan countryside

Explore Tuscany with a trip to local vineyards and medieval towns. Enjoy wine tasting and regional delicacies.

Day 5: Florence to Venice

Depart for Venice. Begin with a gondola ride, visit St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Discover Venice's enchanting canals and alleys.

Day 6: Venice and Murano Island

Explore Venice further and take a boat to Murano Island to witness glass-blowing artisans. Sample Venetian cuisine.

Day 7: Venice to Cinque Terre

Journey to the Cinque Terre. Explore the five picturesque villages by train or hiking. Relax by the Mediterranean Sea.

Day 8: Cinque Terre to Milan

Travel to Milan. Visit the Milan Cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Explore Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.

Day 9: Lake Como day trip

Take a day trip to Lake Como. Enjoy the serene landscapes, visit charming lakeside towns, and take a boat tour.

Day 10: Milan and departure

Spend your last day in Milan indulging in Italian fashion and art. Enjoy a final Italian meal before departure, reminiscing about your unforgettable Italian journey.

View of Varenna from Lake Como.

View of Varenna from Lake Como © Shutterstock

14-Day Italy Itinerary

Set off on a grand 14-day itinerary through Italy, a journey that weaves through the country's rich tapestry of art, history, and landscapes. From the ancient wonders of Rome to the serene beauty of Lake Como, this itinerary promises an in-depth exploration of Italy's most cherished sights.

Day 1-3: Rome

Explore Rome's iconic landmarks, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City. Discover hidden gems in the city's historic lanes.

Day 4-5: Florence

Journey to Florence for Renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery and the stunning Florence Cathedral. Enjoy Tuscan culinary delights.

Day 6-7: Venice

Travel to Venice for gondola rides, St. Mark's Basilica, and the Doge's Palace. Explore Murano and Burano islands.

Day 8-9: Cinque Terre

Head to Cinque Terre to experience its colorful cliffside villages and Mediterranean charm.

Day 10-11: Amalfi Coast

Travel south to the Amalfi Coast. Visit Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, enjoying breathtaking coastal views.

Day 12-13: Sicily

Fly to Sicily. Discover the ancient ruins of Agrigento and the vibrant streets of Palermo.

Day 14: Milan and Departure

Conclude in Milan, visiting the Milan Cathedral and enjoying some last-minute shopping before your departure.


Tonnara Scopello in Sicily © Shutterstock

Different types of itineraries

Italy has more to offer than wine and good food, although it's superb! Try some of these types of itineraries to see more of this bueatiful country.

City-based itinerary

A city-based itinerary is perfect for travelers seeking the vibrant energy and rich experiences urban centers offer. In Italy, this could involve exploring Rome's historic sites, marveling at Florence's Renaissance art, or getting lost in Venice's maze-like canals. City-based itineraries focus on architectural wonders, bustling markets, and lively cultural scenes. 

Our customizable itineraries offer a chance to immerse in the local lifestyle.

Wine-based itinerary

Italy's wine-based itinerary appeals to oenophiles eager to explore the country's renowned wine regions. From the rolling hills of Tuscany, known for its Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, to the Prosecco vineyards of Veneto, each region offers a unique wine-tasting experience. These itineraries not only involves visiting vineyards and cellars for tastings but also learning about the wine-making process and the local terroir. 

Food-based itinerary

A food-based itinerary in Italy is a journey through some of the world's best culinary experiences. Each region boasts its unique flavors and specialties, from the truffles of Piedmont to the seafood of Sicily. This type of itinerary includes visits to local markets, cooking classes with chefs, and dining in both high-end restaurants and traditional trattorias. 

Culture and history itinerary

The culture and history itinerary in Italy is a deep dive into the country's rich heritage. It encompasses visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient ruins, and iconic museums. Travelers can explore the historical layers of cities like Rome and Naples, the artistic legacy of Florence and Venice, and the archaeological treasures of Pompeii and Agrigento. 

Chianti Region, Tuscany, Italy. Vineyards in autumn at sunset © Shutterstock

Chianti Region, Tuscany, Italy. Vineyards in autumn at sunset © Shutterstock

Best time for an Italy holiday

The best time to visit Italy largely depends on your preferences and itinerary. For warm weather and vibrant city life, the high season from June to August is ideal, but be prepared for crowds and higher prices. For a more balanced experience with mild weather and fewer tourists, consider the shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October. These months offer comfortable conditions for outdoor activities and city exploration. If you prefer fewer crowds and lower costs, the low season from November to March is a great choice, though some coastal and mountain resorts may be closed.

High season

The high season in Italy, typically from June to August, offers warm weather and extended daylight hours, ideal for beach holidays and sightseeing. However, this period also brings large crowds, higher prices, and hot temperatures.

Shoulder season

The shoulder seasons, April to May and September to October, strike a balance with milder weather and fewer tourists. This period is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking in Tuscany or exploring the Amalfi Coast. 

Low season

Italy's low season, from November to March, is ideal for budget travelers and those who prefer a quieter experience. The cooler weather is conducive for city tours and visiting museums without the rush. While some coastal and mountain resorts may close, major cities and cultural sites remain open. 

Getting around during your Italy trip

Getting around Italy is convenient with its well-developed transportation network. High-speed trains like Frecciarossa and Italo connect major cities quickly and efficiently, ideal for long-distance travel. For more flexibility and access to rural regions, renting a car is a good option. Domestic flights are available for covering long distances rapidly.

Public transportation

Italy's public transportation network is extensive and efficient, especially in major cities and tourist destinations. Trains offer a convenient way to travel between cities, while buses and metros are ideal for local travel. High-speed trains like the Frecciarossa and Italo connect major cities quickly, though advance booking is recommended for the best fares.

Car Rental

Renting a car offers flexibility, especially for exploring rural areas and smaller towns. It's ideal for scenic drives in Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, or the Italian countryside. However, navigating in Italian cities can be challenging due to traffic, narrow roads, and limited parking. Car rental is more recommended for countryside excursions than for city travel.

Domestic flights

Domestic flights in Italy are a quick way to travel long distances, such as from Milan to Sicily or Rome to Sardinia. While faster than trains or cars, flights can be less cost-effective and environmentally friendly. They are a good option for those with limited time or for reaching islands and remote regions.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 06.02.2024

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