Travelers with 12 days to spend in Italy have plenty of options—you can hit multiple major cities or enjoy an in-depth tour of one region like Sicily or the Italian Lakes. Trek through the scenic coastal villages of the Cinque Terre, see the lakes and mountains of the north, explore the quiet side roads of Sicily, or go on a grand tour that takes you to Rome, Venice, and Florence: these five unique itineraries show you how to make the most of your stay.

Itinerary #1: Discover Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast, & Rome

Hit up Italy's highlights with this highlights itinerary that takes you to the Eternal City, the capital of Tuscany, the picture-perfect Amalfi Coast, and the canals of "La Serenissima."

Dining al fresco in Rome

Dining al fresco in Rome

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Travel to Venice Venice
Day 2 Venice Walking Tour Venice
Day 3 Free Day in Venice Venice
Day 4 Venice to Florence, Food Tour Florence
Day 5 Tour of Tuscany & Wine Tasting Florence
Day 6 Free Day in Florence Florence
Day 7 Florence to Amalfi Coast, Positano Sunset Cruise Amalfi
Day 8 Capri and Anacapri Day Tour Amalfi
Day 9 Free Day on the Amalfi Coast Amalfi
Day 10 Amalfi Coast to Rome, Afternoon Colosseum and Forum Tour Rome
Day 11 Vatican & Classic Tour of Rome Rome
Day 12 Goodbye Italy!  


Arrive in Rome and catch the high-speed train to Venice, where you'll go on a walking tour of the Floating City and explore the Grand Canal by boat. Stroll through Piazza San Marco and stop into the ornate Doge's Palace before taking a romantic gondola ride on the city's canals. On day four, you'll zip down to Florence on the train, arriving in time for a guided food tour. Sample local specialties like truffle panini and chocolate focaccia — plus expertly made cappuccino and locally produced wine — then get some rest before the next day's side trip to the wine region of Chianti, making quick stops in the historic centers of Siena and San Gimignano on the way.

On day seven, you'll transfer to Amalfi. See the shoreline on a sunset cruise from Positano before relaxing over a dinner of fresh seafood. The following day, you'll side-trip to Capri and Anacapri, catching a boat from Sorrento. A highlight of the day's tour is a stop at Grotta Azzurra, a naturally hollowed sea cave. Relax on the beach for a day before finishing the trip in Rome, where you'll tour the Vatican Museums (home of the Sistine Chapel), the Forum, and the Colosseum, and dine outside in Trastevere, one of Rome's most colorful neighborhoods. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Milan and Italy's Lakes Region

The busy fashion capital of Milan, the snowy peaks of the Dolomite Mountains, and the pristine lakes of Italy's northern region await travelers on this diverse 12-day trip plan.

Milan's Duomo cathedral

Milan's Duomo cathedral

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Milan Milan
Day 2 Full Day Milan Tour Milan
Day 3 Milan to Lake Como Como
Day 4 Bellagio Walking Tour Como
Day 5 Free Day in Como Como
Day 6 Lake Como to Lake Maggiore Stresa
Day 7 Free Day on Lake Maggiore Stresa
Day 8 Lake Maggiore to Lake Garda Peschiera del Garda
Day 9 Dolomites Day Tour Peschiera del Garda
Day 10 Verona Day Tour Peschiera del Garda
Day 11 Free Day on Lake Garda Peschiera del Garda
Day 12    


Begin the trip in Milan, visiting La Scala Opera House and the city's iconic Duomo cathedral on a guided tour. Take time for luxury shopping, art gallery-hopping, and sipping Aperol spritzes at outdoor cafés before continuing on to Lake Como. Explore quaint seaside villages and take a walking tour of beautiful Bellagio, then tour the 12th-century Romanesque Basilica of San Giacomo or rent a paddleboard or kayak and head out on the calm water. Soak up some sun at the beaches of Lido di Bellagio and San Giovanni before moving onto nearby Lake Maggiore.

You'll lunch at a lakefront restaurant, then hop on a ferry to see the lake's eleven islands, including Isola Bella ("the Beautiful Island") and the Borromean Islands. On day eight, make the three-hour trip to Lake Garda, known for its romantic mountain villages. You'll finish the trip with an active day-long tour of the Dolomite Mountains, taking a break for a traditional Tyrolean lunch, and a side trip to Verona, believed to be Shakespeare's inspiration for the setting of 'Romeo and Juliet.' Relax for one last day on Lake Garda before heading home. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera

On this coastal itinerary, you'll hike between the scenic villages of the Cinque Terre, stopping to relax on the beach and taste locally produced wines along the way. 

A view of the village of Manarola from the Cinque Terre hiking trail
A view of the village of Manarola from the Cinque Terre hiking trail
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Pisa, Travel to Cinque Terre & Evening Cruise Manarola
Day 2 Wine Tasting & Villages of the Cinque Terre Manarola
Day 3 Cinque Terre Cooking Class at a Cesarina's Home Manarola
Day 4 Free Day in Cinque Terre Manarola
Day 5 Cinque Terre to Portofino, Sunset Kayak & Wine Tasting Portofino
Day 6 Day Trip to Genoa, Walking Tour Portofino
Day 7 Portofino Boat Tour Portofino
Day 8 Free Day in the Riviera Portofino
Day 9 Portofino to Pisa, City Tour & the Leaning Tower Pisa
Day 10 Free Day in Pisa Pisa
Day 11 Tour of Tuscany & Wine Tasting From Pisa Pisa
Day 12 Depart from Pisa  


The trip starts and ends in Pisa, world-famous for its Leaning Tower. Transfer to the Cinque Terre in Liguria, where you'll sleep in one of the region's gorgeous coastal villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. All five are connected by hiking trail and train — and together, they make up Cinque Terre National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll spend the first several days of the itinerary hiking between the villages, stopping for al fresco lunches and wine tastings, and you'll take a cooking class in the home of a local chef. 

On day five, move onto Portofino for a sunset kayak cruise followed by a tasting of locally produced wines. The next day, you'll day-trip to Genoa for a walking tour of the historic center. Return to Portofino for a boat tour and a free day for relaxing on the beach or driving along the Riviera's coastal roads. Head back to Pisa for a city tour, then squeeze in a Tuscan day tour, including stops in the Chianti wine region and an afternoon tour of Siena before relaxing for one more evening in Pisa. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Best of Sicily

Discover the top attractions of Sicily with this 12-day trip that features a hike to the top of Mount Etna, a tour of Palermo's Catacombs, tastings at island wineries, and a walking food tour in Catania.

Sunset over Palermo, Sicily
Sunset over Palermo, Sicily
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Palermo, Evening Guided Tour Palermo
Day 2 Palermo Segway Tour & Cooking Class Palermo
Day 3 Palermo Catacombs & Monreale Cathedral Palermo
Day 4 Free Day in Palermo Palermo
Day 5 Palermo to Taormina Taormina
Day 6 Mount Etna Tour Taormina
Day 7 Wine Tour of Three Etna Wineries Taormina
Day 8 Free Day in Taormina Taormina
Day 9 Taormina to Catania, Self-Guided Exploration Catania
Day 10 Walking Food Tour of Catania Catania
Day 11 Free Day in Catania Catania
Day 12 Depart from Catania  


Kick off the trip in Palermo with a guided evening tour. The following day, you'll see the city on a Segway and take a cooking class in the afternoon. Tour the Palermo Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral on day three before moving onto Taormina, with its striking views over the Ionian Sea. In addition to its cultural highlights, from an ancient theater to its 10th-century Palazzo Corvaja, the city is the jumping-off point to visit Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Take a full-day tour to the top on day six, then explore the region from a different perspective on day seven, when you'll go on a wine tour of three local wineries.

The last few days of the trip will be spent in Catania. On day nine, go for a walk around the city to see Sicily's largest church, San Nicoló l’Arena, and the Fontana dell’ Elefante, a fountain made from lava rock. The next day, you'll go on a walking food tour, sampling regional specialties like granita (a refreshing shaved ice with fresh fruit juice), Sicilian brioche, and arancini (fried rice balls). Finish up with a visit to the 2,200-year-old Teatro Romano and a stroll through busy La Pescheria fish market
and a few relaxing hours in the sunshine at the beaches of Lido Azzurro and San Giovanni Li Cuti. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Family Adventure - Venice to Rome

Have kids in tow? No problem. This family-oriented adventure around Italy offers fun for all ages in Venice, Florence, and Rome (spoiler alert: "gladiator school" is on the agenda).

Exploring Rome with kids
Exploring Rome with kids
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Travel to Venice Venice
Day 2 Family-Friendly Venice Walking Tour Venice
Day 3 Lion Scavenger Hunt & Carnival Mask-Making Class Venice
Day 4 Family-Friendly Lido Bike Tour & Villa Pisani Venice
Day 5 Venice to Florence, Family-Friendly Food Tour Florence
Day 6 Treasure Hunt & Kid-Friendly Museums in Florence Florence
Day 7 Kid-Friendly Pizza & Craft Classes in Florence Florence
Day 8 Florence to Rome, Kid-Friendly Colosseum & Forum Tour Rome
Day 9 Family-Friendly Vatican & Gladiator School Rome
Day 10 Golf Cart Tour & Kid-Friendly Capitoline Museum Rome
Day 11 Family-Friendly Free Day in Rome Rome
Day 12 Depart from Rome  


Divide your time between Venice, Florence, and Rome on this family-friendly tour, starting in the Floating City with a kid-oriented walking tour, a scavenger hunt, and a mask-making class during which the whole family will learn how to make Carnevale-style masks. You'll pedal through Lido on day four and spend the afternoon in the green garden maze of Villa Pisani. The following day, take the train to Florence — the journey is part of the fun, especially if you bring a picnic — and begin your visit in a new city with a family-friendly food tour.

The next day features a treasure hunt through Florence and visits to kid-oriented museums, including Museo Galileo with its science-themed workshops. Finish up your stay in Florence with a pizza-making class. Then it's off to Rome for Gladiator School and a family-friendly tour of the Vatican. You'll go on a golf cart tour the next day and see the Capitoline Museum and Piazza del Campidoglio. Take a picnic to the Villa Borghese Gardens and rent bicycles on the last day. Learn more

Map

Map of 12 Days in Italy - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Italy - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas