A 10-Day Itinerary to Eat, Play and Stay in Italy
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Italy is a bucket-list destination for so many; the beauty, the food and the history make this country an incredible option for couples, solo travelers, and families. In 10 days, you can get a good taste of Italy, but it's absolutely a place that will leave you eager to return for more. For the best weather, you should consider a March through November itinerary. I took a solo trip to Italy in early September and fell in love with this beautiful country.
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Where to stay
Il Palazzo Experimental
Il Palazzo Experimental welcomes in its elegantly designed rooms and suites and a spacious back garden letting onto a quiet canal.
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The Westin Excelsior, Rome
This hotel is one of Rome's most iconic palaces, rich in history and located on the legendary Via Veneto.
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Bags of style and personality make this Oltrarno boutique an insider’s favorite, with just 13 rooms kitted out with vintage finds, enormous beds and original artwork.
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Day 1: Arrive in Venice
Fly from your home airport to Venice, Italy. On this itinerary we will be starting in northern Italy and working our way south.
Day 2: Food in Venice
Arrive in Venice and travel by train from the airport to the Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia or alternately I can arrange a private airport arrival transfer for you.
From here you will make your way to your hotel for a 2-night stay. A few options for Venice include: Carnival Palace Hotel, Il Palazzo Experimental and Ca' Pisani Hotel.
Spend a few hours resting and catching up on sleep, before your afternoon activity. In the afternoon you may choose to take a 5pm Eat like a Venetian guided food tour visiting some of the best bars, restaurants and foodie hot spots in Venice or join a 6pm local Venetian cooking class.
Day 3: Venice in a day tour
I would recommend taking a Venice in a Day tour: Basilica San Marco, Doges Palace and Gondola Ride (6.5 hours). On this tour you will visit the Rialto Bridge, the Rialto fish market, St. Mark's Basilica and take a romantic cruise through the Grand Canal. This will really maximize your time in Venice. Alternatively, you may choose to explore on your own for day 3. For dinner, check out Rio Novo (beautiful canal views) or Ristorante Wisteria (Venetian restaurant with a local tasting menu).
Day 4: Explore Florence on foot
You will travel by train from Venice (Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia) to Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella). This is a 2 hour 15 minute train ride between cities departing every 60-minutes so you can leave at your desired time. Once in Florence you will make your way to your hotel for a 3-night stay.
A few great options include: The Westin Excelsior, Hotel Calimala, Il Tornabuoni and Soprarno Suites.
After check-in, I would use Day 4 to explore on foot and visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Grab dinner at Il Vezzo or Ora d'Aria.
Day 5: Cinque Terre day trip
I would recommend a Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with optional hiking (3.4 miles) along the coast - this is one you don't want to miss! The views are spectacular and although it is a long day, this tour was a highlight for me. After your tour, enjoy a nice dinner at Le Cappelle Medicee or Vini E Vecchi Sapori.
Day 6: Winery day trip
Take a Tuscany day trip from Florence to Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, and lunch at a winery. This tour was another highlight for me. The Italian countryside is gorgeous and will really maximize your time on locations. It is a little bit more relaxed than the previous tour of Cinque Terre. After your tour, grab dinner at L'Osteria Di Giovanni.
Day 7: Arrive in Rome
Spend your last morning exploring Florence on foot before taking an afternoon train to Rome. Travel by train from Firenze train station to Roma Termini. This is approximately a 2 hour, 7 minute route departing at various times throughout the day. Once in Rome, check in to your hotel for a 3-night stay.
Several great options include: Nerva Boutique Hotel, The Tribune JdV by Hyatt, or Portrait Roma.
Grab dinner and some live music at Tonnarello or some cheese and wine at Pane e Salame.
Day 8: Rome's main attractions
Take a Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill guided tour (3 hours). Grab dinner at Osteria Nannarella offering some Italian staples.
Day 9: Vatican or day trip to the Amalfi Coast
Day 10: Fly home
Head for home. Fly from Rome, Italy to your home airport. If you prefer, Katie can arrange an airport transfer for you.
Need to Know
While you could spend a month or more exploring Italy, these are some of the best highlights to eat, play and stay in Italy!
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, A Scenic Summer Getaway to Banff.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.