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.
*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. That Texas Couple is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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.
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 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!
Related Post: 21 Things to Know Before Visiting Rome
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.
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!
Related Post: 25 Awesome Things to do in Rome
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Related Post: 50 Things to do in Venice on a Budget
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Great Italian Tours
Sharing is Caring! Please pin this post to Pinterest or share on your favorite social media.