Itinerary #1: Hit the Highlights in Venice, Florence, the Cinque Terre, and Rome
First time in Italy? If you want to visit the main attractions in one week, this itinerary is a great option to experience the highlights of three of Italy's top cities and its coastline. You'll get to beat the crowds with an early morning entry to the Vatican, take a tour of the heart of Florence, and have time to explore Venice's magical canals. Plus, you'll get to experience some of Italy's most beautiful coastal villages with a day trip to the Cinque Terre.
|Day 1||Arrive in Rome||Rome|
|Day 2||Early Morning Vatican Experience||Rome|
|Day 3||Train to Florence, Afternoon City Tour||Florence|
|Day 4||Day Trip to Cinque Terre||Florence|
|Day 5||Train from Florence to Venice||Venice|
|Day 6||Self-Guided City Tour of Venice||Venice|
|Day 7||Goodbye Italy!|
This seven-day trip begins in Rome, where an early morning visit to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel will allow you to experience their incredible artworks before the crowds arrive. Stroll through the Centro Storico, the historic center of Rome, and wander past iconic monuments such as the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.
The following day, catch a train to Florence, the so-called "Jewel of the Renaissance." Walk around the medieval city center with a local guide. Experience the majesty of the Duomo, and visit the Piazza della Repubblica and the Palazzo Vecchio. Stop to admire the atmosphere before heading over to the iconic Ponte Vecchio that crosses the Arno River.
Before heading further north, take a detour to the coast to visit the five charming villages of the Cinque Terre. Explore their narrow streets, relax along the waterfront, enjoy the dramatic coastal views, and sample local specialties.
Venice, known as the "Floating City," is by its very nature a can't-miss destination for many travelers. Discover the magic of the canal network with a gondola ride, wander through grand Piazza San Marco, and fill your photo library at the ornate Doge's Palace. Cross the four bridges over the Grand Canal and check out cozy bars and restaurants where locals enjoy an evening aperitivo drink as the sun sets. Learn more
Itinerary #2: Experience the Best of Sicily
Fascinated by Greco-Roman wonders? Head to this Mediterranean paradise. With a week in Sicily, you have enough time to see many of the island's highlights, including Taormina and Mount Etna, the capital city of Palermo, and archaeological sites at Syracuse and Agrigento.
|Day 1||Arrive in Palermo||Palermo|
|Day 2||Palermo Street Food Tour||Palermo|
|Day 3||Day Trip from Palermo to Trapani - Visit Erice||Palermo|
|Day 4||Transfer from Palermo to Catania - Visit Agrigento||Catania|
|Day 5||Day Trip from Catania to Syracuse - Guided Tour||Catania|
|Day 6||Day Trip from Catania to Taormina - Guided Mount Etna Hike||Catania|
|Day 7||Depart Catania|
Begin your adventure in the regional capital of Palermo, which boasts lovely Mediterranean coast and rich history dating to the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, and Norman eras. Meet your guide in the center and meander over to the Vucciria and Capo open-air markets to try sweet and savory street food on a guided tour.
On day three, head west along the coast to the medieval town of Erice. Perched on a cliff and offering magnificent views, Erice is famous for its winding streets, stone archways, and decorated courtyards. Walk to the historic city center and the 14th-century Duomo. Make the short drive down to Trapani, a town at the foot of Mount Erice, along the western tip of Sicily, and explore the Old Town center at leisure.
Drive across the island to the east coast and Catania, stopping first on the southern shore at Agrigento's UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site. Here you'll meet a licensed guide and tour the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas in the Valley of the Temples. Explore the ancient ruins of the Ionian coast on a guided tour of Syracuse and the Neapolis Archaeological Park for a stroll among the ruins and ancient relics with your expert guide. Finally, hike up Mount Etna, an active volcano, and take in the breathtaking vistas of solidified lava flows, fumaroles, and views that reach the Mediterranean. Learn more
For more ideas on how to spend a week in Sicily, check out these three self-drive itineraries around the island.
Itinerary #3: Experience the Flavors of Naples and Relax on the Amalfi Coast
Make the most of your time in the Amalfi Coast region with this seven-day itinerary that also takes you on a street food tour of Naples, deep into the ruins of Pompeii, and to the top of impressive Mt. Vesuvius.
|Day 1||Arrive in Naples||Naples|
|Day 2||Street Food Tour||Naples|
|Day 3||Naples to the Amalfi Coast - Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius||Amalfi Coast|
|Day 4||Vespa Tour||Amalfi Coast|
|Day 5||Day Trip to Capri||Amalfi Coast|
|Day 6||Free Day on Amalfi Coast||Amalfi Coast|
|Day 7||Goodbye Italy!|
On the first day of your week in the south of Italy, you'll meet your guide in the morning and discover how Naples’ unique culinary history informs its street food scene. Meander over to the 'Mercato della Pignasecca' market. This market is abuzz with activity as vendors of local produce and fish proffer their goods. Naples is famous for its Napolitano slice of pizza, but on this tour, you'll also learn about the other culinary delights that make the city so unique. From “sfogliatella” – a sweet shell-shaped filled pastry, to the traditional cafés and espresso drinks, there's something to satisfy everyone.
Then head south to the Amalfi Coast. Along the way, stop to visit some of the area's most notable attractions, Pompeii and nearby Mt. Vesuvius. Start with a visit to the ruins of Pompeii, once a flourishing Roman coastal city that was famously buried under ash and volcanic debris after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. Discover the remains of Pompeii's ancient streets, which are lined with well-preserved villas, shops, public buildings, and plazas. Afterward, visit Mt. Vesuvius, and hike up a short trail to the top, where you'll be rewarded with stunning views inside the crater as well as panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
From there, explore the Amalfi Coast in style with a Vespa tour. You'll zip along with your experienced driver to visit the charming fishing villages whose homes are resplendent with bright colors. The tour finishes with a ride along the stunning coastline, famous for its terraced lemon groves and vineyards.
Spend your last day enjoying the sunshine and clear blue waters of the island of Capri, known locally as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean". Enjoy a walk along the Belvedere of Tragara (a villa-lined promenade with panoramic views), and explore the ruins of ancient Roman villas. Then head up the hill to Anacapri to see the Piazzetta and Augustus' Garden for the best views of the Faraglioni Rocks. Learn more
Itinerary #4: Eat and Drink Your Way Through Italy
It's not hard to find a great bowl of bucatini or a good glass of wine in Italy. But this week-long itinerary takes you around the country for the best of the best, from local cheeses in Bologna and full-bodied Chianti in Tuscany to thin-crust pizza in Rome. There's time for sightseeing, too: enjoy the works of Leonardo da Vinci with a side of creamy gelato and a visit to the Vatican followed with an Aperol spritz.
|Day 1||Arrive in Rome, Travel to Bologna||Bologna|
|Day 2||Day Trip to Parma: Ham and Parmesan Tasting||Bologna|
|Day 3||Bologna to Florence||Florence|
|Day 4||Tour of Tuscany & Wine Tasting||Florence|
|Day 5||Florence to Rome, Full-Day Rome Excursion||Rome|
|Day 6||Pizza Making Class in Rome||Rome|
|Day 7||Goodbye Italy!|
Kick off your trip in Bologna, one of Italy's foodie capitals. Work up an appetite on a walking tour of town, with highlights including Piazza Maggiore, the central plaza surrounded by the city's oldest buildings, the 14th-century Basilica di San Petronio, the 11th-century University of Bologna, the former Jewish Ghetto, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (National Art Gallery). After a leisurely lunch, go on a walking food tour of the city with a local guide, stopping to sample artisanal tortellini, mortadella, and a variety of cheeses. You'll taste even more on day two when you side-trip to Parma, located in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. The day's schedule includes visits to local production facilities of Parma ham and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Catch the train to Florence for world-class art and more gourmet food and drink. See Michelangelo's 'David' sculpture at the Galleria dell'Accademia and tour the world-famous Uffizi Gallery before indulging in another walking food tour. This time, the emphasis is on gelato, coffee, truffles, and, of course, wine from the Chianti region just outside of the city. You'll head directly to the wineries the following day, sampling wines where they're made, and enjoy a few hours of sightseeing in Siena before returning to Florence for the night. On day five, day-trip to Rome for classic sightseeing—the Colosseum, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon—and a few unforgettable meals, not to mention coffee and gelato. You'll spend the night in the Eternal City before spending the last full day of the trip on a food-focused schedule: namely, learning how to make a Roman-style pizza with an Italian chef. Learn more
Read more about Italy's best culinary experiences here.
Itinerary #5: Drive Your Way Through Tuscany
Explore Tuscany's incredible art and history with this seven-day itinerary as you self-drive through this stunning region. Weave through the vineyards of the Chianti region and stop along the way in hilltop towns and the UNESCO-honored historic centers of Florence and Siena.
|Day 1||Arrival in Florence||Florence|
|Day 2||Walking Tour of Florence||Florence|
|Day 3||Drive from Florence to the Tuscan Countryside||Agriturismo|
|Day 4||Visit Cinque Terre from Tuscany||Agriturismo|
|Day 5||Drive to Siena, stop in San Gimignano||Siena|
|Day 6||Chianti Wine Tasting from Siena||Siena|
The trip begins with the Renaissance splendor of Florence. Stroll through the picturesque historic center on a guided walking tour. From the Piazza della Repubblica to the Duomo cathedral, you'll explore the beautiful squares and architecture that make Florence so iconic. With skip-the-line entrance tickets in hand, you'll also head to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s famous David.
The following day, take your rental car for a drive west and stay in a locally run agriturismo near Pisa. Take a break and stop in the town of Pisa itself to see the famous Leaning Tower at the Piazza dei Miracoli. The following day, head up the coast in your rental car to visit the incredible Cinque Terre, a section of the Italian coast famous for five medieval villages, stunning cliffs, and beautiful hiking trails. Spend your day soaking in the sunshine on the beach or walking along cliffs by the turquoise water.
Next, you'll drive towards Siena, and enjoy some time in the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Explore the 13th-century walls that encircle the village as well as its medieval plazas, churches, and famous stone towers that dominate the skyline. When you reach Siena, explore the city's UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center. Siena is most well-known for its medieval architecture, museums, and for the Palio, a popular horse race that takes place twice a year in the Piazza del Campo.
On your last full day, continue exploring the Chianti Classico wine region by visiting a typical Tuscan winery. Soak in the views as you enjoy a wine tasting amid this idyllic rural landscape. Learn more
Work up an appetite with this guide to eating in Tuscany.
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