How to spend 7 days In Italy - 8 unique itineraries

Planning to spend a week in Italy? A richness of rewarding experiences awaits in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The question is, how to make the most of your trip? Armed with the eight itinerary ideas detailed below, you can be sure your 7-day Italy itinerary will be an exhilarating joy.

Not set on a 7-day trip? Browse ideas for dfferent durations: 5 -days - 10 days - 14 days - North Italy - South Italy

Itinerary #1: Italian Cities of the Renaissance

Taking in a trio of bucket list beauties — Rome, Florence, and Venice — this Italian Cities of the Renaissance itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors to Italy. 

Day one kicks off in Rome where you'll visit the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Then, take a stroll through the Centro Storico, where you'll find iconic monuments like the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. After lunch, head to the Galleria Borghese. 

On the second day, wake up early and explore Rome's ancient sites — the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum are must-see attractions.

On the third day, catch an early train to Florence. Spend the afternoon wandering along the Arno River and around the charming Ponte Vecchio.

On the fourth day, explore the historic centre of Florence, visiting the best museums and churches.

If you have an extra day, take a detour from Florence to the picturesque Tuscan countryside. We recommend visiting the magnificent hilltop town of San Gimignano.

On the sixth day, take a train to Venice and spend a leisurely afternoon getting lost in its maze-like streets and waterways. On your last day in Italy, rise early to tour the Doge's Palace and meander St. Mark's Squar

santa-maria-del-fiore-duomo-florence-italy-shutterstock_1340862311

Florence, Italy © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Rome and visit the Vatican, Centro Storico and Galleria Borghese.
  • Overnight in Rome.

Day two

  • Explore Rome’s Coliseum and the Forum Romanum.
  • Overnight in Rome.

Day three

  • Take the train to Florence.
  • Overnight in Florence.

Day four

  • See Florence’s historic centre and top museums.
  • Overnight in Florence.

Day five

  • Take a detour to the Tuscan countryside.
  • Overnight in Florence.

Day six

  • Take the train to Venice.
  • Overnight in Venice.

Day seven

  • Explore Venice before heading home.

Trip tip: to avoid the hassle of planning, book our customisable Cities of the Renaissance trip.

Gondolas in Venice © Shutterstock

Gondolas in Venice © Shutterstock

Itinerary #2: see the wonders of Rome and the Amalfi coast

Explore Italy's seductive elegance with an itinerary that'll take you from the ancient streets of Rome and Naples to the colourful houses of the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast.

Upon arrival in Rome, take a tour to discover the Eternal City. Next morning, start early with visits to Rome's top attractions, including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.

In the afternoon, visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Continue to St. Peter's Basilica to admire its awe-inspiring mosaics, architecture, and Michelangelo's masterpiece, La Pietà.

On the third day, explore the Colosseum and the Forum, then walk the ancient Via Sacra to Capitolium and Venice Square.

After three nights in Rome, head south to discover Naples' charms. Devote a day to exploring Naples' historic heart. Rest in the beautiful gardens of the Santa Chiara Covent and savour Naples' renowned pizza.

Transfer to Sorrento and indulge in its celebrated seafood for dinner. On your fifth day, board a boat from Sorrento port to the island of Capri. Explore the village of Anacapri on Monte Solaro.

Return to Sorrento and spend the sixth day exploring Pompeii. In the afternoon, shop in Sorrento's boutiques and savour the town's renowned limoncello.

On your last day, embark on a boat trip to soak up the captivating beauty of the Amalfi Coast from the sea.

Inspired? You'll love our customisable Wonders of Rome and the Amalfi Coast trip.

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St Peter's Basilica. Vatican, Rome © Shutterstock

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Naples, Italy © Shutterstock

Giardini di Augusto in Capri, Italy © Natalia Macheda/Shutterstock

Giardini di Augusto in Capri, Italy © Natalia Macheda/Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Rome and take a bus tour.
  • Overnight in Rome.

Day two

  • Visit the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Vatican and Sistine Chapel.
  • Overnight in Rome.

Day three

  • Explore the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Capitol Hill.
  • Overnight in Rome.

Day four 

  • Take a train to Naples and tour the city before heading to Sorrento.
  • Overnight in Sorrento.

Day five

  • Catch a boat to Capri.
  • Overnight in Sorrento.

Day six

  • Visit Pompeii.
  • Overnight in Sorrento. 

Day seven

  • Tour the Amalfi Coast by boat with scenic stop-offs.

Eager to explore? Book this trip now.

Sorrento in Italy © Shutterstock

Sorrento © Shutterstock

Itinerary #3: taste top food and wine in Tuscany

This 7-day Tuscan itinerary combines the pleasures of food and wine. For on-the-road ease, you can buy this itinerary as a handy eGuide.

After flying to Florence, you'll base yourself in the medieval hill town of San Gimignano and spend your first afternoon absorbing its captivating atmosphere and architecture.

On the second day, continue your exploration of San Gimignano, visiting the Duomo di San Gimignano before enjoying a leisurely lunch.

The third day takes you to a vineyard for an immersive tasting experience. Discover the grape-to-glass production process, accompanied by a traditional Tuscan lunch perfectly paired with wine.

On day four, you'll focus on wine with a visit to Montepulciano to explore a renowned vineyard. A tasting session featuring eight wines will leave you informed,inspired, and sated.

Uncover the delights of Chianti on the fifth day, visiting another vineyard amidst a picturesque olive groves and vineyards. 

On day six, either visit another local vineyard or embark on a day trip to the captivating town of Siena, renowned for its culinary offerings.

This immersive Tuscan itinerary promises a feast for the senses, combining exquisite cuisine, fine wines, and stunning landscapes for an unforgettable experience. 

Discover more.

Aerial view of famous medieval San Gimignano hill town with its skyline of medieval towers © Shutterstock

San Gimignano © Shutterstock

Landscape vineyard fog in Tuscany, Italy © Dmytro Balkhovitin/Shutterstock

Vineyard in Tuscany, Italy © Dmytro Balkhovitin/Shutterstock

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Siena, Italy © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Florence, and transfer to San Gimignano.
  • Overnight in San Gimignano. 

Day two

  • Explore San Gimignano.
  • Overnight in San Gimignano. 

Day three

  • Visit a vineyard for lunch and wine tastings.
  • Overnight in San Gimignano. 

Day four

  • Visit Montepulciano.
  • Overnight in San Gimignano. 

Day five

  • Uncover Chianti.
  • Overnight San Gimignano. 

Day six

  • Visit another vineyard, or take a day trip to Siena.
  • Overnight in San Gimignano. 

Day seven

  • Take a last leisurely walk around San Gimignano, allowing time for a last tasty Tuscan lunch!

Interested? You could book this trip now.

Asciano with Val d'Orcia © Shutterstock

Tuscan landscape © Shutterstock

Itinerary #4: explore the enchanting Italian lakes

Discover the magic of Lake Garda, Como, Lugano, Maggiore, Verona, and Milan on this self-drive trip that caters to nature and culture enthusiasts, with a focus on the gorgeous Italian Lakes.

After arriving in Milan, collect your rental car and spend the afternoon exploring the city. Next morning, on the second day, explore Milan's top attractions. Don't miss Piazza Affari, San Satiro Church, and the iconic Duomo. Then, head to Lake Garda for a relaxing night.

On the third day, explore the charming towns along Lake Garda's southern shoreline. After a night at Lake Garda, on the fourth day, drive to Verona, famous for its romantic ambience.

Cross the Adige River for a breathtaking view before continuing your journey by car to Lake Como on the fifth day. Explore Como town, visit the medieval old town of Cortesella, and marvel at the white-marbled Gothic Duomo. You could also take a boat from Como to the enchanting town of Bellagio.

On the sixth day, drive to Lake Lugano. Enjoy the stunning landscape, dotted with Venetian-style villages and offering opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.

The next stop on this 7-day Italy itinerary is Lake Maggiore, where you'll spend the night and visit the charming town of Stresa and the Borromean Islands. Known for their palatial villas, lush parklands and unique flora, these islands have long enchanted illustrious visitors like Ernest Hemingway.

Seduced by the sound of this itinerary? You'll fall head over heels in love with our customisable Enchanting Italian Lakes trip.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan, Italy © VIacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan, Italy © VIacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock

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 Romantic Verona © Shutterstock

View of Gandria fishermen village with colorful houses on Lake Lugano lakeside on beautiful summer day in Ticino Switzerland © Keitma/Shutterstock

Lake Lugano © Keitma/Shutterstock

lake-maggiore-italy-shutterstock_577597000

Lake Maggiore © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one 

  • Arrive in Milan and collect your rental car.
  • Overnight in Milan.

Day two

  • Take a walking tour of Milan before driving to Lake Garda.
  • Overnight in Lake Garda. 

Day three

  • Explore Lake Garda.
  • Overnight in Lake Garda.

Day four

  • Drive to Verona and take a walking tour before driving to Lake Como.
  • Overnight in Lake Como. 

Day five

  • See Como and take a boat trip to Bellagio.
  • Overnight in Lake Como. 

Day six 

  • Drive to Lake Lugano and onto Lake Maggiore.
  • Overnight in Lake Maggiore. 

Day seven

  • Explore Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands before returning to Milan.

Inspired? Book this trip now.

Varenna old town in Como lake © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Lake Como © Boris Stroujko/Shutterstock

Itinerary #5: soak up Sicilian scenery and locations from The White Lotus

Love The White Lotus and want to soak up magnificent scenery, ancient culture and adventure? This 7 Day Sicily itinerary might just be your perfect trip!

Begin your first day of this Sicilian journey in Taormina, your beautiful base for the week. On the second day, explore the town or head to the beach for a refreshing dip in crystal-clear waters.

Adventure awaits on the third day with a hike up Mount Etna. Afterwards, reward yourself with a wine-tasting experience at Planeta Sciaranuova Winery.

Day four takes you to Taormina's Ancient Greek Theatre, where you can also marvel at views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Coast.

Immerse yourself in cultural magic on day five with visits to Noto and Marzamemi. Noto is a UNESCO Heritage Site that resembles an open-air museum, while Marzamemi is a charming fishing town with Arabian influences.

Discover another aspect of Sicilian culture on the sixth day with a guided tour of a local market followed by a hands-on cooking class.

On your last day, relax in Taormina or spend time on the beach.

Combining scenic beauty, ancient wonders, and cultural experiences, and inspired by The White Lotus, this Sicily itinerary is an unforgettable journey. Discover more.

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Sicily isn't short of beautful beaches © Shutterstock

The stage of Taormina's Greek Theater with the Etna in the background, Taormina, Sicily ©  K. Roy Zerloch/Shutterstock

Taormina's glorious Greek Theatre © K. Roy Zerloch/Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Sicily and explore Taormina.

Day two

  • Enjoy a leisurely day in Taormina, or head to a beach.

Day three

  • Visit Mount Etna and enjoy a wine-tasting experience.

Day four 

  • Visit Taormina’s Ancient Greek Theatre.

Day five

  • Visit Noto and Marzamemi.

Day six 

  • Take a cookery class in Taormina.

Day seven

  • Relax in Taormina or take to the beach for your last hours in Sicily

Looking for a new experience? Book your trip now.

sicily-Tonnara-Scopello-shutterstock_212404762

Scenic Sicily © Shutterstock

Itinerary #6: a family trip to the Italian and Swiss lakes and mountains

Looking for a refreshing family adventure? Embark on an unforgettable trip to the Italian Lakes and Swiss mountains!

Start by flying into Milan and taking a guided tour of the city's key attractions, including Piazza Affari, San Satiro Church, and the Duomo. After lunch, make your way to Lake Como.

On the second day, explore Como town and its charming Piazza Cavour and medieval old town, or opt for a leisurely boat tour.

Day three offers various options, such as a boat tour of the Borromean Islands, or a trip to Monte Brè, which is known for its sunny summit and panoramic views of the Valais Alps.

Next, transfer to Zermatt in Switzerland, where you can ascend the majestic Matterhorn by cable car and enjoy the highest viewing platform in Europe.

The next days in Zermatt are all about adventure, with hiking and biking trails to explore. Take a cable car or mountain railway to Blauhard upper station and discover five picturesque lakes.

On day six, transfer to Lucerne and embark on the Golden Round Trip to Mount Pilatus, experiencing a boat ride, cogwheel railway, aerial cableway, and panorama gondola. Don't pass up the chance to indulge in a chocolate-tasting experience.

End this 7- Day Italy Itinerary with a memorable dinner, complete with cowbells, yodelling, and traditional Swiss cuisine. Spend your last day exploring Lucerne before heading to Zurich for your return flight. 

Read more.

milan-italy-shutterstock_407841568

Milan, Italy © Shutterstock

View of Varenna from Lake Como.

Lake Como © Shutterstock

Zermatt evening © Swiss Tourism

Zermatt and the Matterhorn

Pilatus Lucerne © Swiss Tourism

Cable car to Mount Pilatus, Lucerne

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Milan and take a city tour before transferring to Lake Como.
  • Overnight in Lake Como. 

Day two

  • Explore Como town, or take a boat trip.
  • Overnight in Lake Como. 

Day three

  • Visit the Borromean Islands by boat, or take a trip to Monte Brè.
  • Overnight in Lake Como. 

Day four 

  • Travel to Zermatt and take a cable car to the top of the Matterhorn.
  • Overnight in Zermatt. 

Day five

  • Take a walking tour or bike ride around five lakes.
  • Overnight Zermatt. 

Day six 

  • Transfer to Lucerne, take a trip up Mount Pilatus, taste chocolate, and get your fill of Swiss folklore.
  • Overnight in Lucerne. 

Day seven

  • See more of Lucerne before transferring to Zurich for your flight home.

In the market for making unforgettable memories? Book this trip now.

Zermatt hiking © Swiss Tourism

Hkiing around Zermatt and teh Matterhorn

Itinerary #7: feast from Bologna to Rome

If you're a food lover looking to explore Italy's top attractions in just one week, this food-themed itinerary is perfect for you. Covering Bologna, Parma, Florence, and Rome, it offers a delightful culinary journey across seven days.

Begin in Bologna and spend the afternoon exploring the medieval streets and vibrant Piazza Maggiore. Don't miss the opportunity to take a food-themed walking tour to sample the region's renowned cheese, tortellini, and mortadella.

Day two takes you on a day trip to Parma. After indulging in Parma ham and parmigiano-reggiano, explore the charming streets, and pick up picnic supplies at the Farmers' Market on Piazza Ghiaia.

You'll take a train to Florence on day three, where world-class art and cuisine awaits. Consider taking a food-themed walking tour alongside visiting galleries. 

On day four, take a day trip to the Tuscan countryside to visit a vineyard and sample wines, and don't miss the opportunity to visit Siena.

Day five will see you travel head to Rome by train. Spend the afternoon exploring the Centro Storico.

On day six, book a Roman cookery experience or join another food-themed walking tour. You could also visit Galleria Borghese for its beautiful gardens and outstanding art.

On your last day, rise early to visit either the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, or the Colosseum and the Forum Romanum.

Discover more.

Bologna-italy-shutterstock_419143885

Bologna is a beaut for foodies © Shutterstock

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Siena, Italy © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Bologna and explore the city on a food-themed walking tour.
  • Overnight in Bologna. 

Day two

  • Take a day trip to Parma.
  • Overnight in Bologna. 

Day three

  • Take a train to Florence.
  • Overnight in Florence. 

Day four 

  • Take a day trip to the Tuscan countryside and Siena.
  • Overnight in Florence. 

Day five

  • Travel to Rome and explore the Centro Storico.
  • Overnight in Rome. 

Day six 

  • Take a cookery class in Rome and see more sights.
  • Overnight in Rome. 

Day seven

  • Sightseeing in Rome.

Fascinated by this itinerary? Book this trip now.

  © Tuzemka/Shutterstock

Gelato shop in Rome © Tuzemka/Shutterstock

Itinerary #8: culture and adventure around Trieste

Experience the best of Trieste, Slovenia, and Croatia with this 7-day itinerary - it's packed with diverse adventures.

Begin in Trieste, a picturesque city overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Explore the main squares, such as Piazza Unitá, and wander the historic centre and seafront.

On day two, take a ride on the Opicina tram to the limestone karst plateau. From here, follow an ancient fisherman's path to the stunning Miramare Castle Park.

Cross the border into Slovenia on day three to visit Lipica Stud Farm. Tour the old stables and museum, and enjoy the serene oak groves and meadows.

Day four takes you to the Rosandra Valley Nature Reserve. Follow an ancient salt road through breathtaking landscapes. After reaching the secluded village of Botač, ascend the summit of Mount Stena for panoramic views.

Visit the world's largest cave, Grotta Gigante, on day five. Explore the Grande Caverna on a guided tour or opt for the more adventurous 4-hour speleo adventure.

For a change of scenery, travel to Pula in Croatia on day six. This historic port town is known for its Roman amphitheatre and delectable Istrian cuisine.

On the final day of this 7-day Italy itinerary, climb San Giusto hill for breathtaking views and explore the 15th-century San Giusto Castle.

One thing's for sure, this itinerary offers an enriching blend of natural beauty, culture, and fine food across three captivating destinations. Read more.

Trieste-italy-shutterstock_1523485277

Trieste, Italy © Shutterstock

fisherman-trieste-italy-shutterstock_619430114

Sunset in Trieste, Italy © Shutterstock

Castle, Trieste, Italy

Trieste © Shutterstock

Itinerary overview

Day one

  • Arrive in Trieste.

Day two

  • Take Opicina tram to Trieste’s karst plateau.

Day three

  • Take a day trip to Lipica Stud Farm in Slovenia. 

Day four

  • Visit Rosandra Valley Nature Reserve.

Day five

  • Go to Grotta Gigante.

Day six 

  • Take a day trip to Pula, Croatia.

Day seven

  • Climb San Giusto hill, and savour your last hours on the city’s splendid squares.

Intrigued? Book this trip now.

 

For more Italian inspiration, get The Rough Guide to Italy, and read up on how to plan a trip to Italy.

Not keen on planning? Browse our customisable Italy itineraries or talk to our local Italy experts.

Joanne Owen

written by Joanne Owen

updated 25.01.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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