10-Day Itinerary through Northern and Central Italy

Advisor - Holly Huff
Curated By

Holly Huff

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  • Italy

  • Active Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Food

  • Local Culture

Looking through the arches of a small Italian town.
Curator’s statement

Italy is one of those counties that you could spend a month exploring and still not see everything. There are many incredible cities and regions of Italy and as you head from the north to the south the landscape, culture and food changes. We will start by exploring from Milan to Rome by train and some of the incredible things there are to do in each city.

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Where to stay

Mandarin Oriental, Milan

Near La Scala and Via Montenapoleone, offering luxurious rooms and suites, fine dining and a private spa.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

Immerse yourself in Venetian luxury at this iconic hotel, where opulent charm, exquisite accommodations and impeccable service come together for an unforgettable stay in the heart of Venice.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage or spa credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The St. Regis Rome

Blending a noble heritage with fearless, elegant interiors has transformed this grand dame into a supremely luxurious and artful residence.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Advisor - Holly Huff

Unlock perks by contacting Holly to book your trip.

Day 1: Milan

People inside a golden building.

Milan is the fashion capital of Italy and maybe the world, and you can see that as soon as you arrive in the city. We'll start the day by exploring some of the famous shopping districts of Milan. First stop is Quadrilatero d'Oro, located at Via Monte Napoleone, 10. Here you will find some incredible shops with the latest fashions.

The next stop is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, located at Plaza del Duomo, which will have even more incredible shops. Both Quadrilatero d'Oro and Vittorio Emanuele II are worth a visit, even if you're not interested in shopping just to see the architecture of both locations and enjoy some incredible food. If you're interested in more budget-friendly shopping, make sure you check out Corso Buenos Aires Street.

Day 2: Milan

An off-white church during day time under clear sky.

No stop in Milan is complete without visiting Duomo di Milan. The beauty and architecture of this church is incredible and walking through it is like stepping back in history.

Tip - make sure you get tickets ahead of time to avoid standing in line. A guided tour is also a good suggestion. Next stop is to see Da Vinci's Last Supper, one of his most famous pictures. With the Da Vinci Code being one of my favorite movies, this was something I had to see. Don't forget to stop for lunch and enjoy some risotto alla Milanese, one of the dishes Milan is famous for.

Day 3: Milan - Lake Como - Bellagio

Lake with a white and orange building and mountains around it.

Take a day trip to explore both Lake Como and the Island of Bellagio. You can do this by either taking a guided tour by bus or hop on the train and explore the cities on your own. Taking a tour with also include a cruise that will take you to Bellagio.

Day 4: Milan - Venice

A large tiled area with buildings on the sides and a tower at the back.

Hop on the train in the morning and head to Venice. The train ride from Milan to Venice is 2.5 hours if you take the high speed train. Once you arrive at the train station you will need to hop on a water bus or water taxi to get to your hotel. Spend your evening, exploring St. Mark's Square of some of the streets of Venice. Once in Venice, the only way to get around the city is either by walking or water taxi/bus since there are no cars in Venice. While in St. Mark's Square, enjoy some coffee or dessert at one of the many cafes and people watch, but it will be expensive. I suggest finding a restaurant outside the Square for dinner, since while in St. Mark's Square the food is more expensive and not as good as you will find elsewhere.

Day 5: Venice

A palace at night with its reflection in water pond.

Start your day with a Gandola ride to explore the canals of Venice. The Gandola rides can be expensive, but no trip to Venice is complete without one. Spend the afternoon exploring Doge Palace and St. Mark's Basilica. A guided tour with skip-the line access is the way to go to be able to see everything and learn the history of Venice. One thing you will learn is how different Venice is from the rest of Italy. In the evening explore the streets of Venice and find a restaurant for dinner and make sure you try some of the incredible seafood and wine the region is known for. Everywhere we ate had incredible food and friendly staff.

Day 6: Venice - Murano - Rome

A canal with colorful buildings on its sides.

Take a boat and ride to the island of Murano to see where the glass of Venice is made in the morning. The unique glass is definitely something you want to take home and if you don't want to carry it for the rest of your trip, they can ship it to your home, but it will take a while. In the afternoon, hop on the train and head to Rome. If you take the high speed train it will take just over 3-hours and get you there before the evening.

Day 7: Rome

Ruins of an old stadium style architecture.

Take a guided tour of Rome to see the Colosseum and learn the history of the ancient Roman's. Along the tour you will get to see other ruins that remain in Rome. In the afternoon, take a pizza tour. This was one of our favorite things we did in Rome and is especially fun if you have kids with you. You'll learn the history of pizza in Rome and get to see where the ingredients come from and try different pizza's along the way. Our tour also came with a tasting of limoncello for the adults.

Day 8: Rome

Ceiling art with humans painted on it.

Take a tour of the Vatican. We did a guided tour that told us the history of the Vatican and included a visit to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basillica and St. Peter's Square. Even has someone who is not Catholic, getting to see this was a moment I won't soon forget. I suggest getting tickets ahead of time to avoid tours being sold out or having to wait in line.

Day 9: Rome

Water fountain with statues in front of a building.

Take a walking tour of Rome to explore the city. Visit the famous Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Don't forget to throw a coin in for good luck. While near the Trevi Fountain, stop for some gelato at Valentino's, located at Via del Lavatore, 96, this was some of the best gelato I have ever had. If you want to have dinner near the Trevi Fountain, make sure you make reservations ahead of time since most restaurants book up quickly.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, 3 Fun-Filled Days in Santorini.

Advisor - Holly Huff

Travel Advisor

Holly Huff

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.