The Biggest Mistake People Make When Planning A Trip to Italy (And How To Avoid It)

Find out the single biggest mistake that almost all travelers make in Italy and how you can avoid it.

The main problem for anyone planning a trip to Italy is that it’s impossible to see everything you want in one trip! This leads to the biggest travel planning mistake that most people make in Italy: They try to see too many things in too short a time. We hate to be the bearers of bad news but overloading your itinerary is a recipe for stress. 

We understand why you do it and we sympathize, but let us repeat: rushing your Italian vacation is a surefire way to ruin it. Luckily, the solution is easier than you think: narrow down your focus and divide your time accordingly.

The rhythm of any trip to Italy, that is, how long you spend seeing what you came to see and experiencing what you came to experience, is just as important as what you see and experience. In fact, you could simply book a trip to Rome and spend two weeks hanging out there without ever getting bored. In order to help you get an idea of how to budget your time in some of Italy’s most popular regions, we have written three sample itineraries. After many years of traveling in Italy and interacting with other travelers, we have honed the rhythm of these itineraries to perfection. Feel free to crib them as is, or use them as a base to create your own custom itinerary. In this case, the where isn’t important; it’s the when that matters. As always, we’ll be waiting in the comments sections for anyone with questions.  

The Major Cities Trip 

There is no more quintessential Roman experience during your trip to Italy than a dawn visit to the Spanish Steps.

There is no more quintessential Roman experience during your trip to Italy than a dawn visit to the Spanish Steps.

Italy has more major tourist cities than most countries. Of course, the capital is a must, but cities like Florence and Venice are big draws and, honestly, must-sees. This sample itinerary is perfect for the first-time visitor who wants to “see all of Italy” but can’t choose between zones. It gives a great overview of the most historically significant parts of the country. As a bonus, it will also help you plan where to focus your sightseeing during your return trip to Italy. 

Sample Itinerary:
The Major Cities trip is a great introduction to Italy for those who want to see the most famous art and architecture in the country. It includes the Colosseum, the Duomos of Milan and Florence, and the canals along St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. To avoid packing in too much, we budget a minimum of two weeks to travel Italy. If you have anything less than that you should take a more leisurely trip (see below).

Two weeks:
Rome: 4 days
Florence: 3 days
Venice: 3 days
Milan: 4 days

For anything less than two weeks you can make the following amendments:

10 days: Cut one city entirely or one day from Rome and one day from Florence. But don’t cut more than one day from each city.

One week: Cut a city. Rome and Florence have the most to offer the majority of visitors to Italy so they should probably remain on your itinerary. Choosing between Venice and Milan depends on the time of year and what you are looking for. Venice has more tourism draws like the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs, and of course, all those canals. However, it is also packed with tourists in the high season. Milan is not as pretty and has fewer attractions but it’s cheaper, less crowded, and has better food. If going in the summer we would recommend Milan. On the other hand, an autumn or winter trip to Italy would have us favoring Venice.

5 days: Choose one of the major cities that you are dying to see and stay there. Seriously, one is enough. even in a city as small as Venice you will have more than enough to keep you occupied as long as you take your time and really immerse yourself. 

Insiders’ tipsWhen you plan your trip to Italy, consider no fewer than 3 days in Rome. As both the ancient and modern capital of Italy, it’s a hub for a lot of things you’re going to want to see. The history, sights and feel of the city can hardly be seen with less time.

Venice can be visited in a day trip, and many people do it that way, but they miss out on the fantastic nightlife, the feel of Venice with fewer tourists, and the beauty of the city by night. If you really can’t give it three days, you should at least try staying for one night. Take the next day to visit the Venetian islands of Burano and Murano.

Know Before You Go: Dedicate all of your time to each major city and don’t stray, there’s no time on this Italian travel plan to visit small towns; plan your travel days in advance: you can book high-speed train tickets between cities at TrenItalia or ItaloTreno; If you have only one week but don’t cut a city, you’re still committing the biggest mistake travelers make in Italy.

For more on getting from one city to another check out our guide to traveling by train in Italy.

The Regional Trip

Exploring a region means touring the big cities...and then moving past them to soak up the atmosphere of even the small towns.

Exploring a region means touring the big cities…and then moving past them to soak up the atmosphere of the small towns.

A regional trip is perfect for those who have already visited the major Italian cities in a previous trip to Italy and want to really take some time in one area to experience it like a local. It’s a great way to fully immerse yourself in Italian culture and avoid the crowded, tourist routes. Though you can choose any region that interests you, Tuscany is probably the most popular region in which to base yourself. It offers a great mix of history, culture, cuisine and natural beauty with the added bonus of being close to transport hubs like Rome and Florence. If your Italy trip takes you farther afield you can apply these same time frames to any region but you will need to choose your own destinations. 

Sample Itinerary:

Though you can always base yourself in Florence and see Tuscany with multiple day trips, we’d suggest splitting your stay. Try a few nights in Florence with a day trip to Pisa and a separate day trip to the walled-in city of Lucca. Then, pack your bags and head into the countryside to the red-brick town of Siena. From there, you can take day trips to San Gimignano and nearby Volterra, or south to Montepulciano and Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just don’t forget to try the wine!

Two weeks:
Florence: 4 full days. From Florence, take a day trip to Lucca and schedule about a half day for Pisa, with the rest of the day spent in Florence.
Siena: 2 days in the city, with a further 8 days using it as your base to travel to other areas of Tuscany. From Siena, dedicate day trips to Montepulciano, Pienza, San Gimignano and Volterra, with a half day dedicated to Monteriggioni

This leaves you with 1 day of extra travel time and one day to return to your favorite town or simply take a well-deserved rest. 

10 days: Combine San Gimignano and Volterra and/or Montepulciano and Pienza.

One week: Cut a day from Florence or cut two of the towns farthest from your accommodation. Take a bit more time to explore the towns you do see.

5 days: Base yourself only in Florence. Take 2 full days to see the city, then take a day trip to Siena and another to any nother city on the list near Florence, such as Pisa, Lucca or San Gimignano.

Insiders’ Tip: A regional trip is all about diving deep into a specific region. Besides Florence, Tuscany’s famous towns and cities tend to be quite small. You can easily visit one town per day, and sometimes even more than one! Your best time saver here is a clear plan about which towns are near to each other and a really good train schedule or GPS.

Explore possible destinations with our articles on the top towns of Tuscany, round one and round two.

Know Before You Go: 
Hilltop town hopping during your day trips means a lot of driving (or bussing it) around countryside, but in beautiful Tuscany that’s an advantage. For starters, you won’t have to lug your suitcases around or waste time checking in and out of various hotels. Also, your base will feel more like home. Instead of staying in a travel hub you might also consider setting up in an agriturismo or a small apartment; it’s a chance to really get to know a region and get a taste of small-town Italy; with regional trains you don’t need to your tickets in advance, but you should read up on the train schedules ahead of time.

The Thematic Trip

Naples Pizza, the best of Italian food

Looking for the best pizza in Italy? Get yourself to Naples for their perfect, thin-crust Neopolitan pizza.

A thematic trip to Italy is a unique way for you to connect with your destination. Not only will you see towns that you may not have visited otherwise, but following your theme is sure to create lifelong memories and unique experiences in each place you visit.

The theme is up to you. Perhaps you want to trace the twisted trail of Caravaggio around the country or sample Italy’s best outdoor adventures. One of the most common themes for Italian trips is food. An Epicurean itinerary will not only give travelers a chance to see less-visited regions and understand the customs and peculiarities in Italy’s cuisine, it’s also just delicious!

Sample Epicurean Itinerary:
Though every region in Italy has its own unique cuisine (See: There’s No Such Thing as Italian Food), some lend themselves to tourists better than others. Head to Naples to try traditional Neapolitan pizza and sample their tradition-infused coffee culture. Then go to Rome to explore the beautiful contrast between the city’s love of pork and its delicious kosher traditions in the Jewish quarter. From there, move on to Emilia Romagna, potentially the most famous region for food in all of Italy. After all, its capital city, Bologna, is even nicknamed “The Fat One”! Try the famous ragù sauce on top of fresh tagliatelle pasta or in a traditional, gluttonous lasagna. Finally, Mantua, in the heart of northern rice country, was named Italy’s Cultural Capital for 2016 and the European Capital of Gastronomy for 2017!

Two weeks:

Naples: 3 days
Rome: 4
Bologna: 3 days
Mantua: 3
1 day extra travel time

10 days: Cut one city. Which city depends entirely on your tastes. 

One week: Visit just Bologna and Mantua in the north, or Naples and Rome in the south.

5 days: Explore the culinary intricacies – of which there are many – of just one city.

Insiders’ Tip: Your thematic journey can lead you to smaller cities and lesser-known destinations but it can also see you traveling longer distances. In order to avoid the “big mistake” of trying to fit too much in, consolidate your decisions. Any Italian will tell you that food should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace and a few meals in a given destination is always better than just one. You would be surprised how many things there are to try in each place you visit if you just take the time to look. 

Know Before You Go: If the point is to follow a specific theme, you’ll need to do plenty of research beforehand. We have dozens of food articles for specific destinations on our blog, but search books, blogs and documentaries as well. Don’t forget that unless you are very dedicated you’ll want to see a few things outside your chosen theme, so be sure to budget time for that in each location as well, but don’t stray from the map. 

If you want to learn about Italian food with our expert guides, check out our Rome Food Tour, Venice Food Tour, and Florence Food Tour

The itineraries above won’t help you see everything in Italy. In fact, if you follow our instruction you’ll actually see less of the country than most but you’ll enjoy what you do see a lot more. We all want to see everything, but rushing from destination to destination only adds stress and takes away from your overall experience. Don’t worry too much, you’re sure to return. After all, there’s always more to explore!

Find out the single biggest mistake that almost all travelers make when planning their trip to Italy and how you can avoid it.

74 Comments

  • Meenal says:

    I discovered your blog while researching for our tentative trip to Italy this June. We will be traveling with our children 7 & 14 yrs. We have already been to Rome and Venice. I wanted to know how feasible it is to combine Florence, a bit of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast in one trip. We could fly in and out of Milan , so probably a couple of days there as well.How many days would it take to do it comfortably. We are thinking 2 weeks but we could stretch it a little. Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Meenal,

      We think that two weeks is a good estimate, though more is always better 🙂 All of Italy is well connected by train, so transport shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you don’t mind spending time. You can take a fast train from Florence to Naples, then you’ll change onto a regional train from there down to Sorrento or another town along the Amalfi Coast. From Florence to Sorrento it should take you just a bit over 2 hours. Still, we suggest counting travel days as half days when budgeting your time! This way you could spend 3 days in Milan, 3 days in Florence, choose one or two towns in the Tuscan countryside for another 2 or 3 days, then spend the rest of the time down along the Amalfi Coast. Get the most of your time with guided tours. Our Tuscany Day Trip Tour parts from Florence and visits Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti for a Tuscan lunch on a vineyard.

  • Anne Golembeski says:

    I lived in northern Italy for four years and have visited often since. The tourist attractions are great. I went to Pisa and the Vatican Museum and the Cinque Terra. All fantastic because I had the time. If you have limited time just walk! Walk the city streets and the neighborhoods and piazzas. Don’t skip the small unknown towns. That’s where you’ll find the local festas and shops. You’ll see beautiful architecture. The best times in my experience were just walking the small villages.

  • Tania says:

    Me and my husband (30s) are travelling to Venice on Aug 15 2016. We will be staying there for 2 days. Can you please let me know what all can be visited on Aug 15th (saw St. Marks Basilica and other places is closed.) Will shops and eat-outs be opened? We are not much into history. we want to walk on the streets to find good food and get a flavor of the Venetian culture and of-course some cheap shopping if possible. Can you suggest places where we can hang around?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Tania,

      Most major attractions will be closed, but there will be a few restaurants open to serve the people celebrating the holiday and for the tourists as well! We suggest taking the day to stroll the city as much as possible and get lost down the hundreds of alleyways and over the beautiful bridges. The waterbus will still be running, though probably with limited frequency, so you could consider visiting the multicolored houses of Burano while you’re there as well, which doesn’t require any museum or church visit! Have a great trip!

  • Jade says:

    Your blog is really helping me plan my trip so thank you!
    I am really struggling to narrow down the places I want to visit. I have a two week window and I would like to see Rome, Amalfi Coast, Florence, Venice & Lake Garda, do this sound doable?
    Can you also help with the travel times between the places, how long should I set aside for travelling? Thank You

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jade,

      We know that it’s hard to narrow down an itinerary when there are so many beautiful places to see! We suggest sticking to places relatively nearby, and giving yourself plenty of time to explore the big cities filled with history and art, such as Rome and Florence. Another trick, is to see the city with the help of expert local guides! Perhaps our tours in Rome, Florence and Venice can help you get the most out the time you dedicate to each. For example, if you decide that there’s not enough time to dedicate to the Amalfi Coast but you’re just dying to see it, try our Pompeii Tour From Rome with Private Amalfi Coast Drive. That way with just one short day trip you can tour Pompeii and relax on your private drive along the coast. Hope to see you there!

  • Athena says:

    I am planning to visit Italy this year. I was planning for a two weeks trip and after reading this article I change my plans, I should make 1 month trip to see Italy to its full ?!!? Replanning it is ! !

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Athena,

      That just depends on how many places you’re planning on visiting! You can see something in Italy in 3 days just like you can one month, but you’ll have to adjust the quantity of destinations to get the best quality experience.

  • Siddharth says:

    Hi I will be travelling to Italy in July for 10 nights. I will be flying in and out of Milan. I have 2 tentative plans . Need your help in deciding between the two. 2 days Milan(including lake Como) – 2 days Amalfi and Sorrento-2 days Rome+vatican- 3 days Florence. I am missing Venice here. Now in the second itenary Amalfi and Sorrento will be replaced Venice. Need your suggestions.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Siddharth,

      Personally, we think that’s a lot of traveling to do in just 10 days, and would suggest trying to stay longer in Rome and/or the Amalfi Coast. Still, we know it can be hard to decide. Tours can help you to make the most out of the time that you do have, however. For example, our day trip from Rome tour will take you on a Pompeii tour guided by an expert and for a private drive along the Amalfi Coast, helping you to see some of the area in the most efficient way possible, in just a day!

  • Really great advice! Will pass that on to all our followers.

  • On my own says:

    I had planned a trip with a friend, who unfortunately has some medical problems and won’t be able to make the trip. I’ve decided to go alone, so would love some advice on how to spend my time. I’m arriving in Naples and flying out of Barcelona two weeks later. I’ve already been to Rome, Tuscany and Florence. Since I’m going in July, I would love to avoid the major touristy places and perhaps find some quieter places to enjoy good food, beauty and history. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Oh, and is Bellagio worth a visit and the prices?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      We’re sorry to hear about your friend, but happy that you’re coming to Il Bel Paese in any case! Considering that you’re arriving in Naples, we’d suggest staying in that region or going further south. The Amalfi Coast is always worth the visit, though we can’t promise it won’t be a bit touristy already in July. If you really want to escape the tourists, head to the countryside. The countryside of Lazio is lush, beautiful, and filled with art and history. Further south in Calabria or Puglia will offer you a lot of relax with breathtaking views. Bellagio up north is a gorgeous town along Lake Como. We believe it is worth it, but considering that it’s so small you won’t need more than a day to explore the entire town. After, you can take the ferry around to Como and the many other beautiful towns along the lake. That said, it’s a long trip from Naples!

  • Todd says:

    Hi, my family & I have a 10 day trip to Italy planned in a few days. We are flying into Rome, then Florence, & Venice. We have two daughters who are 22 & 19 yrs. old. Our family usually vacations at beaches. Should we try to plan at least a partial day at some of the beautiful beaches for each city or just 1 beach destination in one of the cities? I don’t think my daughters will be overly interested in the historical aspects of Italy, but we have some planned sightseeing activities to at least see the major attractions. It would be nice to have some relaxing time on a beach, but not sure if we’ll have enough time. Please let me know your thoughts. Your blog is awesome, very helpful with great information.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Todd,

      Most of Italy’s historical cities aren’t actually that near to a beach. In that case, we suggest carving out a day to head to the beach from Rome, which likely has the nicest beach nearby of the three cities. Have a great trip!

  • Christy says:

    What a great blog! Thank you so much. We are flying into Venice, and arrive in the moring, spending one night and heading to Florence. We will be in Florence for 2 nights and then Positano for three nights, and finally Rome for 3 nights. We fly out of Rome. What is the best way to get from Florence to Positano. I am thinking of taking the train to Sorrento and then the ferry.

  • Jessica says:

    Hi! I love your page, so informative!
    Question, I am flying into Milan on a wed afternoon 4:00pm and depart on Monday evening from Rome. Ideally would like to do one night Milan, two nights Florence, two nights Rome with a day trip to positano- Is this too much for such a short time? 🙁 we were also thinking of driving, but will this be much longer?
    Thank you for any help!!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Yes, that itinerary does sound a little bit too packed, especially just considering transport times. It will take longer than to drive as opposed to high speed trains, but the high speed trains connect Milan to Florence and Rome easily. We suggest cutting out Positano for this trip, it’s quite a long way from Rome for just one day when there is so much transport time needed. Let us know what you decide! 🙂

  • Tom Reed says:

    my wife and I are planning a two week trip to Italy in early October for our 30th. She is Italian and never been to her Homeland. We love wine, great food, beautiful scenery and History…I hear the Amalfi Coast is nice too:)
    Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast are all points of interest. Considering this is our first visit to Italy and we’ll be there in early October. What do you suggest for an overall plan with rhythm?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Tom,

      We suggest you scroll through the blog to get ideas for possible itineraries, or use this post to decide if you want a major cities trip, a regional itinerary or a themed one 🙂 Just be sure to not pack in too much!

  • Jessica Ray says:

    I really looking for this type of information.. Becoz i also planning for trip to italy and this article really gives me some important information which i really required such as time and duration of trip etc..

    Thanks for sharing such a great experience with us,

  • We are flying in to Naples in Mid Oct and staying for 8days. Considering a short period of time, please advise the best 3 places to stay and what are the surrounding/nearby towns best attractions.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ina,

      Sorry, we can’t recommend specific accommodations, but we often use http://www.booking.com to find hotels or B&Bs in Italy. As for nearby towns to visit, we suggest jumping down to Pompeii. Our Best of Pompeii Tour is an in-depth look into the buried city with an expert local tour guide, helping you to get the most of your visit.

  • David Loring says:

    Whoo! 2 days (nights) means one full day to explore. Not much time. I just spent 30 days doing Rome, Amalfi Coast, Puglia and Sicily. And that was too rushed. Wherever you go be selective, plan your days throughly. I used Walks Of Italy as a framework for my days in Rome. One tour each day for 3 of my days and then planned my sightseeing around the area where the tour took place. Know your limits and allow some down time. Watch out for Monday’s when many museums are closed or mid afternoons when many shops are closed.

  • Simrin says:

    Hi there! So, I’m planning my vacation to Italy and I only have 10 days, I was thinking of doing 2 nights in Cinque Terre, 2 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Venice and then 3 nights in Rome. I’m planning of travelling by train so that does seem to take a chuck out of my time since it will be travelling every second day. But does my plan seem too hectic? It is my first time travelling there so I do want to see quite a bit but I want to really enjoy my time there.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Simin,

      Each person has to choose an itinerary that works for them, but we’d urge you to remember that two nights usually means just one full day to explore, and maybe a half day or so that you can eek out of your travel days. You’ll be able to see the cities and towns, but perhaps not as in-depth as you’d like, especially the bigger ones like Florence and Rome. In that case, we’d suggest checking out some of our tours to be sure you see the most there is to see in the time you have. Our Florence in a Day tour takes you to all the major sights on a full-day expertly guided tour, helping you to skip the line and not waste time! We also have a Rome in a Day tour perfect for those short on time that includes the Vatican as well (a must-see while in Rome!) Let us know if you have any questions.

  • Rachel says:

    When my family travels, we tend to have that ‘see and do everything’ agenda, and it’s EXHAUSTING! I love to just take my time and see what I want to see. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy, and I’m sure there’s a lot to see and do, so I want to take my time and appreciate what it has to offer. Thank you for sharing your tips!

  • Trish Kelly says:

    Love your page,so much information.Planning a trip to Italy next year tossing around May or September . Coming from AU this is the start of my itinerary.Fly into Barcelona for a few days then
    1 Venice -3 nights
    Florence -3 nights
    Rome. -3 nights
    Naples. -3 nights
    Amalfi C– ? hi
    Sicily. — ?. From there we are heading to Athens and the Greek islands before flying home.From Barcelona could we start in Sicily and fly to Athens from Venice.Our mode of transport will be trains in Italy.Regards Trish

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Trish,

      Wow what a trip! Yes you could probably start your trip the opposite way, but it all depends on your flights and cost. Your preferred airline’s website will be able to help!

  • verne dagenais says:

    hi,
    My name is Verne. My wife and I are travelling to Italy for 2 wks in Sept. We were planning 2 days in Naples, 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Florence for work, 1 day in Pisa, 1 day in Ravenna, and 2 days in Venice. We were going to travel by train, Does this seem plausible to you?
    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Verne,

      Yes, this does seem plausible, though you’ll certainly be moving around a lot! In fact, we’re a bit confused how you’ll have one day in Ravenna? Is it a day trip from Venice or will you be stopping over? We think a day trip from makes the most sense, that way you won’t have to transfer your luggage again and waste time checking in etc., but you can still easily visit the city. This article on Venice day trips might help you to plan.

  • verne dagenais says:

    Thanks for your reply. We are travelling from pisa to ravenna and the next day Venice. If it was you, would you go to Lake Garda or Ravenna. If not a hassle. a day trip to lake Garda from Venice sounds good.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Verne,

      That depends if you prefer breathtaking Byzantine mosaics and city touring or enjoying the breeze on a ferry boat across the enormous Lake Garda. Either are doable from Venice!

  • Shirley says:

    4 of us will be on a Med. cruise in October stopping in Salerno for just 1 full day. I would prefer to travel 1 direction of the Amalfi coast by boat or ferry but with our limited time is it best to hire a private car & driver for the day? Which would be a better itinerary for the day: to go to Sorrento, Positano & Amalfi OR to go to Positano, Amalfi &Ravello? Do car & driver routes typically travel both directions on the Amalfi Coast Road or is one of the ways usually inland?
    Is it when you’re travelling from Positano to Salerno that you are driving on the side of the road closest to the ocean?
    Thank you,
    Shirley

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Shirley,

      We think any of your modes of transportation will work during your day trip of the area. Even public bus service runs frequently. That said, Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are a bit closer together than Sorrento and will likely be easier to see all in one day. As Italians drive on the right side of the road (like Americans) and the sea is to the west of Italy, you’d be closer to the sea going from North to South. Have a great trip!

  • Sally Lim says:

    Thank you for sharing your very interesting blog. My husband and I both in our sixtys are bringing our 2 grandsons age 7 and 10 to Rome from 18 to 28 Dec.2016.We will be staying at the Casa Domitilla hotel.
    Besides visiting theColiseum, the sites in the Vatican, the catacombs, can you recommend to us some other sites that will be interesting to young boys. We could do day trips too by train . We are coming from Australia.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sally,

      What a great trip to take with your grandsons! We think your boys will love everything Rome has to offer. The sights are incredible and the festive Christmas atmosphere is super exciting. (This post on Christmas in Rome might help you to plan more) Besides that, we’d suggest to book tickets in advance to skip the lines, plenty of ice cream despite the chill and maybe even something out there like a day of gladiator school for the little ones. Hope you have a great trip!

  • carol says:

    Hi, there will be two couples traveling for 10 days, May 2017. Flying into Rome, spending 3 days in Rome, 4 days in Florence with a day trip to Pisa and an overnight in Cinque Terre.
    Are we planning to much in a short visit?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Carol,

      It all depends on your preference and speed, but we think this seems like a well-planned tour and a good compromise of time. To make your most out of your three days in Rome (which will likely include the Vatican City, we assume) check out some of our Rome and Vatican City tours, which can help you skip the long lines and save precious time!

  • Sandi says:

    Hi! Thank you for such a wonderful wealth of information! My husband and I are planning a trip in September 2017 for my 60th Birthday. We have been to Italy once before, as part of a Mediterranean cruise. This trip we would like to really experience the feel
    of Italy! We want to visit Amalfi … Positano and Sorrento ( my husband proposed in Sorrento so I definitely want to return there for a night!) We would like to go to Capri, and then to Venice. We have about 9 days. Would it be possible in that time period to include a visit to Vienna or is that too far? Thank you for sharing your knowledge and helping travelers experience this beautiful country!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sandi,

      What a lovely idea to return to a special place for you and your husband! Keep in mind that Sorrento to Venice is a 7 hour train ride – basically the entire day! If you want to add on Vienna, you’ll add another 7.5 hours by train or a 4 hour flight (plus lead time at the airport etc.) We think it’s probably best to focus on your Italy trip and get the most out of the time you have there – maybe with an expertly guided tour or two! 🙂

  • Linda says:

    Hi,
    We are planning a 14 day trip in November 2017. I would like to stay in Rome, than travel to Venice and Sicily for about 3-4 days at each location. Does that sound feasible?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Linda,

      Anything is feasible, but keep in mind that Venice is the extreme northeast, while Sicily is the extreme southwest. If you do want to do all three stops, we suggest starting at Venice and working your way down. http://www.Rome2Rio.com can help you to see the different transportation options, distance, money and time spent on each. Have a great trip!

  • Barbara says:

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for all the information, My husband and I have plans to travel to Italy from February 18 to March 3 2017, we already have the air tickets from Miami to Venice and from Milan to Miami, also we have hotels reservation in Venice for 5 days and Florence for 3 days but we don’t know what to do or how to expend the others days between Florence and Milan, we need help in order to coordinate that leg of the trip. Thank you!!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Sounds like a great trip! We suggest tours and guided day trips. Here you have the best day trips from Venice including our beautiful day trip to Verona, city of romance and love. Utilize your time in Florence well with expertly guided tours, perhaps something unique like our Florence Food Tour or Tuscany Day Trip to Chianti, Siena and San Gimignano. Then, add on a few days to explore Milan. Though many visitors skip over this more industrial city, Milan has a charm and true Italian-ness that is worth seeing, not to mention great shopping! Have a great trip.

  • Shari says:

    Hi, we are planning a 2 week trip to Italy in May for 7 people. We will be starting in Rome and traveling south to Gizzeria in the Catanzaro Region to see our grandfathers hometown. I’m guessing the best way to travel is train from Rome to Naples then rent a car to go down to Gizzeria. Any suggestions on towns to stop on the way and how many days each stop. From reading travel sites doesn’t seem like we will need to spend much time in Calabria. We will probably fly out of Lamezia airport.

  • Diana says:

    Hello! Glad I stumbled upon this site. I am planning a 9 day/night vacation for my family of 5 (parents in their 60/70s, rest of us in our 30s). We will be there from May 25 – June 2, 2017, flying into/out of Naples airport. For this trip, we’d like to visit: Rome, Naples, Amalfi coast, Capri, Pompeii, and possibly Paestum if time permits. For half of us, Rome is a repeat and for the others, they understand it’s not possible to see everything this time; they are more interested in food, scenery, people-watching, and relaxation in the Amalfi area. My initial thoughts:

    Day 1: Flight arrives in Naples @ 6:00am, take train to Rome
    Days 1-2: Rome
    Day 3: Take train from Rome to Salerno in the morning
    Day 4: Paestum or Pompeii day trip
    Days 5-7: Tour Ravello/Positano/Amalfi/Sorrento/Capri via bus from Salerno
    Day 8: Take train from Salerno-Naples
    Day 9: Naples
    Day 10: Return flight out of Naples

    1) Do you think we should use Salerno as our base in the Amalfi? Or should we consider spending a night in Ravello or Positano? It’s our first time in the Amalfi area.

    2) Between Paestum or Pompeii, which would you recommend for a first-timer? Is there time to visit both?

    3) My parents are set on seeing Capri for sure, but do not have a strong preference between Sorrento/Amalfi/Positano/Ravello, etc. if there is not enough time to see all of them. What do you suggest?

    Feedback on the feasibility of this itinerary would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Diana

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Diana,

      Unfortunately we’re not travel agents but rather tour operators. Instead, we can direct you to some posts that might help you make up your mind. Both Paestum and Pompeii are incredible sites to visit, but both are best visited with a ton of background knowledge or a guide. Visit all the major highlights of Pompeii on a tour with our expert guides to truly enjoy your first-time visit there! As for the Amalfi Coast, you can decide where to stay and how to get around with our post on the Best Amalfi Coast Towns for Every Traveler. Have a great trip!

    • Cynthia Richards says:

      HI Diana-
      I was in Italy this past April. We stayed in Sorrento which is a 30 minute (at most) train ride from Pompeii. We stayed at Hotel Christina in Sorrento in their ‘villa’…basically a small house. Very nice.
      What we did to see the Amalfi area is hire a car/limo service to take us to Amalfi coast towns. I would not want to ride in a bus along that winding cliffside road. Plus traffic is horrible.

      Hope this helps-

      Cyndi

  • don corman says:

    Hello:
    My wife and I are retiring soon and would like to spend next Nov in Italy and we were wondering what the weather would be like then, can you still swim in the ocean? Also, would it be better to stay further south, in Sicily for example, to have better weather. Is the Amalfi coast too cold for swimming at that time? At the moment we are thinking about Tropea rather than Atrani because it is further south.
    Any thoughts?
    cheers from Montreal

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Don,

      The average temperature in the Amalfi Coast for November is around 12 degrees Celsius or 53 degrees Fahrenheit, so we’d say a bit too cold to swim. That said, it all depends on the year, and in places in Sicily some even take an annual dip in the sea on Christmas day! Remember, the further south you go the warmer it typically is. Have a great time in Italy!

  • Rob says:

    what is the weather like in the middle of march? planning my honey moon and that’s the only time we can both get and extended time off to travel.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rob,

      The weather in Italy varies from North to South, with it typically being warmer the further south you go. Spring tends to come to Italy a bit sooner than temperate climates in North America, but March will still typically be cool and may be wet. You can google average temperatures for March for specific Italy cities if you’d like more information.

  • Grace Ragona says:

    First of all, thank you for the wealth of information you have given me! My husband, in-laws, and I will be in Italy for a month next May/June and part of our itinerary calls for a stop in Puglia. Our problem is, since we don’t plan to drive, we would like to base ourselves in one place (we prefer not to move around since this eats into our time and we only have 7 days) and still be able to visit 3 places: Alberobello, Matera and Lecce. We also would like to stay on the coast, if possible, as we all want seaviews. Is it possible to hire a car and driver for those days when we plan to do our daytrips to the 3 aforementioned places? If so, how do I find out how to go about looking for a private car/driver/tourguide? We considered staying in Taranto since it seemed central to all 3 places but staying there would mean taking trains or buses to and from and it would be too time consuming. Bari was also considered (there were tours originating from there) but we were told by some people who’ve been there that it is not a particularly interesting or attractive place to stay in. What is your opinion?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      HI Grace,

      It’s a great idea to base yourself in one place, to not waste time packing and unpacking, checking in and out etc! Public transportation in this area of Italy can be found a bit difficult and/or lacking. Though we don’t know any specific companies that offer private drivers, we’re sure you can find services through a bit of Google researching. Otherwise, we’d suggest to consider renting a car yourselves. These areas tend to not be as trafficked as major cities such as Rome and Milan and it will most certainly be cheaper! As for where to stay, maybe some of our articles on Puglia can inspire you!

  • Denise cummins says:

    Hi I just stumbled on this site, wow. I am going to Sicily in July next year. I am staying in Syracuse for 3 nights and will hire a car. Is it an easy day trip to th Valley of the temples?
    I the. Have 3 nights free before flying from Palermo. I can’t decide whether to go to Taormina or Cefalu and have just seen a lovely beach outside Palermo, Modello. I would like a few days at beach so can you recommend one. I can either keep the car or just catch a train, any thoughts. Thank you very much
    Regards Denise from Australia

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Denise,

      Seeing that Taormina and Cefalu are a bit far from Palermo, we’d suggest staying in Palermo and exploring the eclectic city! Here’s our guide to Palermo, which also has some information about the city’s nearby beach.

  • Geri Ann DeRango says:

    My husband and I have been to Italy many times. I have family located in Vicenza, in the Veneto region. We will be returning in the fall, 2017, and for this trip, we would like to visit Vicenza for at least a week, then head to the Dolomites, and southern Austria. We are planning on a 3-4 week vacation and plan to fly in and out of Venice. Is it easy to travel by train and / or bus, or should we plan on renting a car? We are a little intimidated by the rental idea, but would embrace the adventure if it’s not too daunting. Which would you recommend? Also, do you have any specific Dolomite or Austrian towns that you recommend that are easy to get to and stunning? We are thinking Cortina, Italy and Halstatt and Salzburg, Italy. Looking forward to your recommendation.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Geri Ann,

      Sounds like a great trip – and you’ve planned more than enough time to do it all! Brava! Vicenza is an great day trip from Veronaand easy to reach by train. The Dolomites can be a bit more difficult to manage with public transportation, however, though not impossible. We suggest using the website http://www.Rome2Rio.com to type in your start point and destination and compare all the various transportation options (price, distance and time). Though we can’t help you with Austria (we, of course, only do Walks in Italy), here are 6 of our favourite towns in the Dolomites to choose from. Have a great trip!

  • Karissa says:

    Hello,

    My wife and I will be traveling to Italy in May for two weeks. We plan on doing Venice, day trip to Verona, Cinque Terre, Florence with a day trip to Pisa, Tuscany hilltop region overnight, and Rome with day trips to Naples or Sorrento. Do you think this itinerary is plausible for two weeks? Also, in which areas do you recommend doing guided tours rather than exploring alone? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Karissa,

      The itinerary seems beautiful, but there sure is a lot of moving involved! We’d suggest cutting out Cinque Terre and maybe even the day trips from Rome. Venice, Rome and Florence are huge, important cities that deserve the right amount of time. That said, if you’re determined to see these places, we suggest taking some tours so that you’re sure to see them well. We have excellent day tours in Florence, Venice and Rome (including some special access and night tours). We even have a day trip from Rome to Pompeii and along the Amalfi Coast with a private driver!

  • Chris says:

    Hi! I am planning a trip in middle of May to Italy for 7 days possibly 10 if I can. My wife mentioned Tuscany so I would like to take her there for our 10 year Anniversary and a Honeymoon we never got to take. This is her dream vacation and want it to be the most special I can and any change in my plans if needed Id like to know including cities and days spent there. Where is the best place to book this type of trip? So the trip for 7 days would consist of Venice, Florence/Tuscany, and Rome or if I need to change this since this would be our first trip I am willing to.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Chris,

      What a lovely gift! You can tour Venice, Florence and Rome in 10 days or cut out a city and explore Tuscany a bit more. Remember, the more you move around the more you’ll have to manage transportation and lose time to travel! The best way for you to get around is by train, check out http://www.trenitalia.com to see train times and prices and to book your high speed trains between the major cities. In the meantime, we suggest scrolling through our other posts to learn more about each area! Have a great anniversary!

  • Tiffany says:

    Hello,
    Great blog I must say… 3 of my girlfriends and myself(late 20s to mid 30s) are planning a one week trip to Italy in February. February 18th through the 26th. We fly into Milan and depart from Milan. We are interested in visiting Florence and Venice during our week stay. Some of the things we are interested in doing are shopping in Milan, leaning tower of Pisa, a wine/food tour, and perhaps catch some of the fashion week activities in Milan. Also one of my gf’s has heart set on on going to Cinque Terre, do you think that is feasible with our week time constraint? Is there any particular order in which city to go to after leaving Milan? Which would be the best possible mode of transportation?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      We suggest sticking to just three cities, rather than trying to see everything. From Milan, you can take the train to Venice and tour the city in just one day. If you do that, we suggest taking a tour to see the highlights of the city. Our Venice in a Day Tour shows the best of Venice in a single day; tour the Doge’s Palace & St Mark’s Basilica, explore the best of the city on a walking tour and enjoy a traditional gondola ride. From Milan you can also take a high-speed train down to Florence to visit for a couple days. There you can decide if a day-trip to Pisa is feasible. Trains to Pisa run frequently and are very inexpensive, so you don’t have to book in advance.

  • ANGELA says:

    Hello,
    While research for our Feb trip i i found your sight . We are going for 9 days. Beginning our stay with extended family in Valdobbeidenne in Feb. Would like to know where u think we can best utilize our time. The town is not close to Rome. But i think that is an amazing place to visit for my 11 year old. The intermixing of ancient and modern will be fascinating to him. Can u give me some ideas. Thank u

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Angela,

      You definitely can’t do a day trip to Rome from Valdobbeidenne! You could, however, visit cities around the area, such as Venice, Padua and Verona. If you’d like to see Rome, we suggest dedicating a few days of your trip just for Rome. The website Rome2Rio.com can help you to understand how best to move around Italy: which form of transportation to use as well as the distance, price and time. Have a great trip!

  • Justine says:

    Hi
    We will be a group of 7-10 travelling from both USA & Australia to meet up to travel Italy for 3 weeks. Some of us have been to the major towns in northern Italy. On our itinerary we must go to Sicily. We were thinking of basing ourselves in a large villa and travelling out on day trips and maybe 2 days here and there at a time. Would that be a smart way to go or do you think we’d be better off travelling to different towns every 3-4 days? I know that’s like asking how long is a piece of string, but I’m not sure if those villas exist or how to go about looking into them. The Amalfi Coast would have to be part of the trip and perhaps we fly into Rome for 2 days to see the major tourist attractions.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Justine,

      Having a base is often a great solution for travelers in Italy, especially with families or in large groups, but its usefulness also depends on where the villa is and what there is to see around it. You don’t want to be traveling hours and hours each day just to have one base! To find accommodation you can look at popular home-renting websites like airbnb or homeaway, or simply begin a google search. Also, if you only dedicate two days in Rome, we suggest signing up for a tour or two to help you efficiently see the major sites – there is a lot to see and 2 days isn’t a lot of time! Our Rome in a Day tour visit the Vatican, Colosseum and historic center in one day, including the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps & Pantheon – plus transfer! – so you’ll be able to hit the major sites with less stress!

  • Brie says:

    So glad I found your site! It has been very helpful. My husband and I booked a flight to Naples (not necessarily because we had our heart set on Naples, but because they were having a terrific deal!) but we mostly just want to visit Rome and Florence (I would also like to see a little of the Amalfi coast, but don’t know that we have time), and only have 7 days to spend. Trying to come up with an itinerary is overwhelming! Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brie,

      We’d suggest looking into tours to ensure that you can see as much as possible in an efficient way that makes sense. Rome and Florence alone can easily fill up your 7 days (especially considering travel time), but if you have your heart set on the Amalfi Coast, consider our Pompeii Visit with Amalfi Coast Drive from Rome tour. A full-day tour, you can see the ruins of Pompeii with an expert local guide, then enjoy jaw-dropping views of the coastline all the way to Positano with no stress or hassle, our private driver will pick you up and take you!

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