From it’s ancient Roman ruins to the sprawling vineyards that seem to go on forever, to hiking in Cinque Terre, Italy has an allure that makes it a dream destination for so many people, myself included.  Italy is a magical land filled with fascinating history, passionate people, and amazing food.  Serve all of that up with some incredible Italian wine and you have an awesome setting for the perfect Italy itinerary for 10 days!

Spending 10 days in Italy is a great amount of time to be introduced to what this fabulous country has to offer.  Of course, you won’t get to see everything in 10 days, so don’t even try.  This will only stress you out and besides, everyone I know who has visited always returns. Make the itinerary your own, cut a day here and add a day there as needed, but I recommend not including more than 3 hotel changes during your stay.  Keep in mind that everytime you change cities and hotels that you lose approximately half a day of sightseeing, so be cautious of that.

If you have more time in Italy, you might want to head to the best places in The Dolomites at the end of your trip.  Or include some time exploring the Italian lake region.  

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Perfect Italy Itinerary-10 Days

Day 1:  Arrive in Rome

Getting from Fiumicino Airport to Rome

Rome actually has two airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino.  Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci Airport) is not only the international airport in Rome, but it is the largest.  To get into the city, you can choose to take a train, shuttle bus, taxi, or private transfer.

Train:  The Leonardo Express is a direct train that connects the Fiumicino airport with Rome’s Termini station.  The trip takes about 30 minutes and tickets cost 14 euros each way.  If you want to save some money, choose to take the regional train instead.  The Regional FL1 train connects the airport with other stations in Rome, but not the Termini.  Tickets for the regional train cost 8 euros.

Shuttle Bus: The cheapest way to travel between the airport and Rome is to take the shuttle bus.  The shuttle bus stops at the Termini and the Pizaaz Cavour which is near the Vatican.  Although this is the cheapest option, it is also a really slow option in comparison.  The trip on the shuttle bus takes about an hour, depending on traffic. Tickets cost 6 euros one way.

Taxi: For a fixed price of 48 euros each way, you can take a taxi.  If choosing this option, be sure you use the official taxi services.

Private Transfer: We usually choose a private transfer as it is quick and convenient.  You can book your service online before you leave home and the driver will be waiting for you when you arrive.  Now that’s service!  Book your Rome private transfer now.

Where to Stay in Rome

When choosing where to stay in Rome, location is key.  Booking a good place that is centrally located and close to the sights that you are interested in will save you valuable vacation time.  Of course, do your research and find the area that works best for you.  We always love visiting Tripadvisor to read review and research new cities before we visit.

Hassler Roma is in a great location, right in the heart of the action.  Located at the top of the Spanish Steps, Hassler Roma gives you easy access to several must-see sights as well as comfortable rooms and yummy breakfast.

Baglioni Hotel Regina is within a one-mile walk of the Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon.  The hotel offers a spa, fitness center, and Turkish bath right on sight. With a friendly staff and extra amenities, this hotel is a sure win.

Hotel Artemide is a luxurious hotel to make your home away from home while in Rome.  With soundproof rooms, flat-screen TVs and complimentary in room wifi, Hotel Artemide is top notch.  Guests can indulge in the buffet breakfast, the full-service spa, or sip a drink on the terrace.

Of course, you can always opt to stay like a local by finding a great apartment or guest room on Airbnb.  Never used Airbnb?  Well, you’re in luck.  Click here to use our link and get $40 off of your first booking!

Day 1 Itinerary:  Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps

Get a good feel for your surroundings by taking a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood around your hotel.  Grab your first real Italian meal before heading for the sights for today.  You can easily explore the items on today’s list on your own, but if you prefer to hear the history and stories associated with these monumental landmarks, then consider taking this best of Rome walking tour.

Sure to lure you into the romance of Rome (well, after you elbow your way past all of the people), the Trevi Fountain is a must-see sight for any visitor to Rome.  Dating back to the Roman times, the Trevi was built at the endpoints of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct where the three streets met.  Standing a massive 85 feet tall and almost 65 feet wide, the fountain spills out about 2,824,800 cubic feet of water daily.  That’s a lot of water.  Stand and admire the beautiful statues before taking an iconic selfie in front of one of the worlds most recognizable fountain.

There is so much to see an do in Rome! Instead of being overwhelmed, allow us to help you with our list of 25 Awesome Things to do in Rome. #rome #visitrome #thingstodoinrome #romeitinerary #romancolosseum #trevifountain #romanforum #palatinehill #romanvacation

They were cleaning the Trevi on our visit–Sorry!!!

Pantheon-Make your way to the incredible Pantheon after visiting the Trevi.  The Pantheon is one of the best preserved and influential buildings in Rome.  Built between AD 118 and 125 by the emperor Hadrian, the Pantheon is still a marvel to architects today.  The fascinating architecture and history of the structure definitely kept us in awe during our visit.

The beautiful exterior columns of the Pantheon in Rome

The Spanish Steps- Now, take some time to relax like the locals do.  Make your way to the Spanish Steps where you can sit and enjoy the evening people watching in one of the greatest cities in the world!

Day 2:  Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Colosseum

Today you are in for quite a treat, but a busy day.  Put on your best walking shoes and get ready to visit the most famous sights of Ancient Rome.  For a complete itinerary, including how to skip the line and have the most amazing day ever exploring this area, be sure and read our guide to Ancient Rome.

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Planning a trip to Rome soon? Be sure you have read our list of 21 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Rome before you go. This complete list will let you in on all the tips you need to know before going, like why you shouldn't order a cappuccino after 11. #rome #triptorome #visitrome #romevacation #italy #guidetorome

Planning a trip to Rome? Discover the tips and tricks for visiting Rome's most famous sights. This post outlines the Colosseum, The Forum, and Palatine Hill. #rome #visitingrome #palatinehill #romanforum #colosseum #visitingthecolosseum #romancolosseum #ancientrome #romeitinerary

Day 3:  Vatican City

It’s time to visit the smallest country in the world, Vatican City!  Home to the Pope and a pilgrimage site for millions of Christians, a trip to Vatican City is a must while in Rome.

Be sure that you are dressed properly for your visit though-no bare knees or shoulder allowed.  Since lines often average over three hours long, your best bet is to schedule a Vatican tour.  A tour will allow you to skip the line and will give you an expert guide to explain all of the overwhelming beauty that you are going to experience.  Note that midmornings tend to be the busiest, so try to book your tour in the afternoon if possible.

It’s important to know that they are closed Sunday, except for the last Sunday of the month.

While here, take in all this area has to offer.  See St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museum.

Day 4: Roman Catacombs and the Appian Way

The Ancient Appian Way is a great little escape from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city of Rome.  A short bus trip from Rome and you are transported to a quiet cobblestone road that is one of the oldest in the city.  It astonishes me that the Romans built a road that lasted thousands of years, but we can’t build one that lasts more than 10 years in Texas.  LOL!

On the Appian Way, you will find yourself surrounded by crumbling monuments, small churches, and of course, the Roman Catacombs.  This was the burial place for the ancient Romans.  There are two catacombs along the Appian Way, the Catacombs of San Sebastiano and the Catacombs of San Callisto.  Both are fascinating and well deserving of your time in Rome.

There is so much to see an do in Rome! Instead of being overwhelmed, allow us to help you with our list of 25 Awesome Things to do in Rome. #rome #visitrome #thingstodoinrome #romeitinerary #romancolosseum #trevifountain #romanforum #palatinehill #romanvacation

There is so much to see an do in Rome! Instead of being overwhelmed, allow us to help you with our list of 25 Awesome Things to do in Rome. #rome #visitrome #thingstodoinrome #romeitinerary #romancolosseum #trevifountain #romanforum #palatinehill #romanvacation

Day 5:  Rome to Florence

Train from Rome to Florence

Today you are saying farewell to Rome and heading to Florence.  Frequent trains run from Rome to Florence, so you’re in luck.  Grab your ticket at the main Termini station in Rome and you’re on your way.  We find it most convenient to book our tickets from home using raileurope.com.

If you didn’t know, train travel throughout Europe is a great way to get around, and Italy is no exception.  There are several train journey planners and booking apps available to help you plan your rail experience.  Utilizing these during your Italian holiday will give you the confidence to use them on further, longer travels in the future.

Once you arrive in Florence, there are local buses that can get you to your hotel if it isn’t within walking distance.  I bet you’re going to be hungry when you arrive in Florence, so be sure to check out this Florence food guide for the best eats in town!

Where to Stay in Florence

You have several options to choose from when planning where you will stay in Florence.  Would you like to stay in the city center, the surrounding countryside, or outside of the center but still in the city?  Marty and I usually prefer to stay in the city center as we like being able to walk to the attractions.  Here are some of the top hotels in the city center:

Hotel Orto de Medici– Boasting large, clean rooms in a great location, you are sure to love this hotel.  Their breakfast includes pastries, cappuccino and fresh squeezed OJ, the perfect start to your day!

Hotel dei Macchiaioli– This budget-friendly hotel is just over a block from the Academia and two blocks from the Duomo.  You can also easily walk to the rail station from here.  All of this combined with good sized room and a great breakfast make this hotel well worth the money.

Hotel Mona Lisa– Another hotel in a great location was excellent customer service is the Hotel Mona Lisa.  The historic building and antique furniture make you feel like you are in Italy for sure!

Of course, you can always choose to stay with Airbnb and have a whole apartment or home for yourself!  Use our link to get $40 off of your first booking!

Day 5: Florence-Duomo, Explore Florence

After checking in to your hotel, it’s time to get out and explore Florence.  Start by visiting the famous Duomo, also called the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.  This complex houses the nave, Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the Baptistery, so plan on spending some time here exploring.

After gawking at the beautiful frescoes in the Duomo, climb the 463 steps to the top of the dome for a great view of Florence.

Then make your way to the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in Florence where you are greeted with some gorgeous brass doors.  If you’re up for another climb, make your way up Giotto’s Bell Tower for another great view of the city!

Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring Florence.  For a great introduction to the city, consider taking this Best of Florence Walking Tour.  This tour combines the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and Accademia Gallery.  For an awesome evening, take the Medieval Florence Evening Walking Tour.  This 2-hour walking tour takes you through the city while sharing the wonderful history of the Medici family and visiting a great gelato shop!

You might want to consider spending some of your downtime seeing the best views of Florence!

Duomo Florence

frescoe_florence

Day 3:  Day Trip to Tuscany or Cinque Terre

Today you have the option of taking a day trip to the beautiful Tuscan countryside to tour some small towns and do some wine tasting, or head to the coast to experience Italy’s beautiful Cinque Terre region.  Choosing just one is a hard thing to do.  Tuscany is sprawling with gorgeous vineyards, rustic charm, and medieval towns, while Cinque Terre is made up of five gorgeous hillside villages that are just picturesque.

Consider the Tuscany in one day trip where you can enjoy Siena (home to some of the most beautiful churches in Europe), San Gimignano, and Pisa before having lunch and wine in Chianti.  Ahhhhh-does it get any better?

If you’re opting for the Cinque Terre trip, this Cinque Terre in a day is a great way to go!  You can soak up the views and swim in the beautiful turquoise water of the Italian Riviera.  If you have longer to spend in Cinque Terre, then read 48 Hour Guide to Cinque Terre.

Tuscan countryside

cinque terre

Day 7:  Florence-Uffizi Museum, San Lorenzo Market

Today spend more time getting to know Florence.  Start your morning with a visit to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums in the world.  This former home of the Medici family is now a sprawling art museum with famous works from Leonardo di Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael just to name a few.

After exploring the gallery, do some shopping in the San Lorenzo Market.  San Lorenzo is a great outdoor market that is perfect for finding leather, souvenirs, and pottery.

Uffizi Gallery

Market in Florence

Day 8:  Venice

Train from Florence to Venice

Get excited, today you’re headed to Venice (one of my favorite Italian cities)!  Catch the train and settle in for your trip to Venice.  Upon exiting the train station, be prepared to be amazed!  From the moment we stepped off of the train, Venice had me in its trance.

If you have extra time, you might want to consider a side trip to Italy’s lake region and consider hiking by Como lake.

Where to Stay in Venice

If you’ve read our post about our 3 days in Venice, then we tell you all about where Marty and I chose to stay while in Venice. We loved our little bed and breakfast because it was off the beaten path.  If you prefer to stay somewhere more centrally located, don’t worry, Venice is full of charming places!  Here are some recommendations:

Hotel Palazzo Stern– This boutique hotel which was converted from a palazzo is a great place that is centrally located, but far enough away to avoid some of the crowds.  Close to the vaporetto and attractions, this makes a great home base for exploring Venice.

Hotel Mercurio Venezia– A more budget-friendly option is the Hotel Mercurio Venezia.  Within walking distance to all the attractions, a great breakfast, and rooms overlooking the canals, you’re bound to enjoy your stay here.

Of course, we always prefer to stay like locals, and the best way to do that is with Airbnb.  Be sure and use our code to save $40 off of your first booking.

Day 8:  Venice-Grand Canal Tour, Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square, Bridge of Sighs

We are hitting the ground running in Venice.  While I know that it’s going to be crowded, the sights we have planned to see today are must-see sights of this great floating city.

Begin by taking a tour of the Grand Canal.  This can be done easily and cheaply by hopping the #1 or #2 vaporetto.  This is a great introduction to the city and an easy way to take some awesome pictures.  Do note that this is a water taxi, so it will be stopping at several stops along the way.  If you prefer you can also book a private Grand Canal tour.

72 Hours in Venice

72 Hours in Venice

Conclude your Grand Canal Tour at St. Mark’s Square.  Here we are going to see the iconic Bridge of Sighs, Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square, and St. Mark’s Basilica.  When you exit the vaporetto you will be in the prime spot to get an epic picture (and selfie) of the Bridge of Sighs.

Doge’s Palace– After taking your photo, make your way to Doge’s Palace.  Now, if I were you, I would book the Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries Tour prior to arriving in Venice.  This popular tour takes you through the palace, including several ‘off limits’ places.  You will also get an inside look at the prison after crossing over the famous Bridge of Sighs, where prisoners are said to get their last look at their beautiful city before being locked away in the prison.

Bridge of Sighs Venice

Venice Doge's Palace

St. Mark’s Square and Basilica-  After touring the palace, head to St. Mark’s Square and Basilica.  Take in all of the action around the square, just avoid the cafes as you will pay a premium to sit in this prime location.  Feel free to check out the shops around the square and pop into the Correr Museum while you’re here.

Before leaving, be sure to tour the beautiful St. Mark’s Basilica.  For an extra special treat, while not do an after-hours tour of the Basilica.

Day 9:  Day Trip to Murano and Burano

Today we are headed to some of the other islands of Venice, Murano and Burano.  Murano, known for its famous hand-blown glass and Burano, famous for its handmade lace and gorgeous colorful houses are sure to make for a great outing for you today.  You can use the vaporetto to get to the islands, but let me warn you that it is a slow trip!  If we were to go again, I would definitely book a private tour by motorboat to the islands.

Burano- The colorful island of Burano is a shutterbug’s dream.  The brightly colored houses are just screaming to have their photo taken.  Spend your time admiring these colorful gems before heading down the main street in Burano to see the ladies creating hand-made lace in the shops.  Take time to enjoy a nice meal outside before heading to Murano.

Colorful houses line a canal with boats in it

Murano- After leaving Burano, you will enjoy a short boat ride to Murano.  Here you can watch the glass artists at work creating hand-blown masterpieces.  This little island is packed with stores to find the perfect piece of Murano glass to ship home as a souvenir.  Get to know the artists.  We found that they love talking about their craft and showing off their work!

There are many great tours offered to Murano and Burano. Find the one that fits your itinerary and budget.

Related Post:  Ultimate Guide to Burano

Day 10:  Venice-Rialto Bridge and Market, Food Tour, Get Lost

Rialto Bridge and Market- Get up early today and make your way to the bustling Rialto Market.  Here you can see the locals getting their fresh fish, fresh vegetables, and flowers.   The market is open Tuesday thru Saturday from around 8:00 am to noon.  Take time to walk the Rialto Bridge while you’re in this area.  Explore the shops while waiting for your food tour!

Trying to plan a trip to Venice without breaking the bank? Then you need this list of 50 Cheap Things to do in Venice! #venice #italy #budgettravel #veniceonabudget #thingstodoinvenice

Market in Venice

Food Tour-  One of our favorite things to do in any city is to take a food tour.  We loved this Cicchetti and wine tour.  It was so fun to get to taste so many of the local specialties while being led around by a knowledge, local guide.  I highly recommend it.  If that particular tour isn’t for you, don’t worry there are several Venice food tours to choose from.

Gelato in Venice

Get Lost- For your final evening in Venice, spend some time just getting lost.  Venice is such a magical place and is even more beautiful at night.  Roam around ducking into hidden alleys and passageways.  Don’t stress-you’re on an island, you can always find your way back!  This was one of our favorite things to do in Venice as we seemed to constantly find hidden gems just waiting to be photographed.

72 Hours in Venice

Venice Canals

Great Italian Tours

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Planning the perfect trip to Italy is easy with this compete 10 day Itinerary. You will visit Rome, Florence, Tuscany or Cinque Terre, and Venice. Our 10 Day Italy itinerary has all you need to plan your trip! #rome #italy #italyitinerary #venice #florence #cinqueterre #tuscany #whattodoinitaly #10dayitalyitinerary #europe #travel #europeitinerary #veniceitinerary #romeitinerary #florenceitinerary #whattodoinitaly

Planning the perfect trip to Italy is easy with this compete 10 day Itinerary. You will visit Rome, Florence, Tuscany or Cinque Terre, and Venice. Our 10 Day Italy itinerary has all you need to plan your trip! #rome #italy #italyitinerary #venice #florence #cinqueterre #tuscany #whattodoinitaly #10dayitalyitinerary #europe #travel #europeitinerary #veniceitinerary #romeitinerary #florenceitinerary #whattodoinitaly

Planning the perfect trip to Italy is easy with this compete 10 day Itinerary. You will visit Rome, Florence, Tuscany or Cinque Terre, and Venice. Our 10 Day Italy itinerary has all you need to plan your trip! #rome #italy #italyitinerary #venice #florence #cinqueterre #tuscany #whattodoinitaly #10dayitalyitinerary #europe #travel #europeitinerary #veniceitinerary #romeitinerary #florenceitinerary #whattodoinitaly

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33 Comments

  1. Wow! You were really able to pack a lot into those 10 days! My last trip to Italy was 11 days in Rome… that’s it! I need to start moving faster. haha!

    • Haha! No, Jen, slow travel is usually much nicer. My husband just has a hard time with that. He likes to go, go, go!

  2. Well put together and detailed summary of Italy. Glad we had a chance to read. We’ll be following your other posts and wishing you the best on future travels.

    • Thank you so much!!

  3. I visited Rome as a teenager but really don’t know Italy well enough otherwise. Your post really inspires me to get back there! I’d love to explore the art and culture in particular – the Uffizi Gallery sounds incredible!

    • Italy is such a great place. Thanks for reading, Jill.

  4. Fantastic to have a nice big itinerary! So many people rush round the tourist spots but you’ve managed to fill all 10 days! Great resource for exploring Italy.

    • Thanks so much, Kirstin!

  5. I just love Italy and there is so much to see there. You did a great job of fitting the highlights in 10 days!

    • Thanks, Anisa. We love Italy also. It’s such a perfect place!

  6. Wow, you fit so much into 10 days! I love Italy and it’s true what you say about always going back. I’m actually going again next weekend. Visiting the Amalfi Coast this time, very excited.

    • Oh nice, Tasha! You will love the Amalfi Coast it’s so beautiful. Make it over to Capri if you can :).

  7. What a lovely itinerary! We spent three days last year in Rome, and my partner loved it so much – we need to go back and see more of Italy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for reading, Kathi!

  8. Great itinerary! I lived in Florence for 4 months (study abroad program during university), and you definitely covered the hot spots for someone’s first visit to beautiful Italy!

    • Thanks, Katie. How fun to study abroad there! Did you have a favorite area or thing to do?

  9. Wow your gorgeous photos just make me itching to go back to Italy! I have been several times before but I know there is still so much to see and do. This itinerary definitely packs a lot in and makes the most of a visit to this beautiful country!

    • Thank you, Suzy. Italy is awesome.

  10. Funny story – I lived in Italy for TWO YEARS and have only done one day of your itinerary! I skipped Rome and Florence in favor of smaller places. I’m sure that I’ll go back when I’m retired or something and do the famous tourist circuit – these photos make the route look beautiful!

    • Oh, I’m so jealous! I would love to live in Italy!!

  11. Wow, you did a day trip to the Cinque Terre? That must’ve been exhausting! I spent four days there and still feel like I barely saw it. It is my favorite spot in Italy though, so totally worth going even if only for a day.

  12. Tuscany and Cinque Terre have just been bookmarked! I’ve been to a lot of places in Italy like Rome, Venice, Verona, Florence, Pompei, Amalfi Coast – haha you can see it’s my favourite country to visit! But I’m yet to get to Tuscany and Cinque Terre so it’s super helpful to know I can do day trips there and get the most out of my time!

    • Italy is our favorite also, Nerissa. We are a little obsessed with it.

  13. Wow, this really is the perfect itinerary! Some great spots here and your pictures are amazing!

    • Thank you, Jenny! My husband is the official photographer, so I’ll pass that on.

  14. This, indeed, is a perfect itinerary. The photos are fabulous (esp. the gelato…haha!) and I love the architecture in Italian cities. It’s one of the countries I’d love to spend a lot of time in.

    • Thank you so much, Mohana!

  15. Wow what a fabulous itenerary, you have me wanting to pack and go now! I have never been abroad, so much beauty all over Europe. Cirque de Terre is where I really want to go!

    Valerie

    • Thank you, Valerie. I would highly recommend Italy as your first trip abroad. It was ours and we have been addicted ever since!

  16. There are soooo many lovely places to see in Italy! I was surprised to see that I have been to most of these places (I don’t feel like any kind of Italy expert!)

    For me it is the food that is the star, so I love that you included a food tour. I loooved the food in the North of Italy in the mountains…it was more germanic, but soooo good!

    • I totally agree, Josy. Italy is fabulous! I don’t think we have been to any place in Italy that I haven’t loved. And yes, we love food tours. I feel like they give you such an insight into the culture!

  17. What a perfect itinerary ! I’ve been to Italy few years ago for about 10 days as well, I went to Rome, Piza, Rimini, Venice and Verona. And funny part is now when I am reading this post I am getting ready for my trip to Venice again! Italy is such an amazing city and I can’t wait to be back ! Love this post! It’s very helpful!

    • Thank you so much, Ada. I understand visiting Italy again and again. It’s such a magical place! Have fun in Venice!