Italy is full to the brim of amazing places to visit which means it’s often hard to choose exactly where you should go. One of the best ways to plan an ideal Italy travel itinerary is to think about what priorities you have on any journey and what seems to offer you the most amount of value.
In other words, are you obsessed with art, culture and food? Maybe you have a particular interest in historical landmarks or attractions? Or maybe you just want to experience the landscapes and relax along the coast? Either way, Italy has so much to offer.
With this in mind, I wanted to outline an ideal Italy travel itinerary in which you can experience a bit of everything this magical country has in store:
Rome is a real delight to explore and the truth is, in spite of the tourist crowds, this city is absolutely worth of the reputation. Whether you want to know the history behind the landmarks and attractions or not, this is also quite a magical encounter with many spectacular sights.
For example, you can visit the enchanting Colosseum and imagine the great gatherings that took place here down the years. Similarly, the Roman Forum is an awe-inspiring sight and one of the most interesting examples of ancient architecture in Rome. Meanwhile, Piazza Navona and the Fontana di Trevi are two of the more social areas where you can eat and drink to your hearts content.
For the sake of time, it’s often best to fit these attractions into the same day so that you have a free day to explore the museums and art galleries in Rome. God knows there’s enough of them and when it comes to works of art, each one of these is worth the visit.
Believe it or not, you can drive, fly or even take the train from Rome to Sorrento but either way, this is a fantastic place to include on any Italy travel itinerary. Simply put, this is the gateway to the Amalfi Coast and a wonderful town with culture and scenery at every turn. It’s also on the doorstep of Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri but one night in this idyllic town is usually enough.
That being said, this is such a colorful place to stay and the hundreds of houses make for a really spectacular sight as they sit perilously close to the waters edge. On arrival, spend the afternoon eating lunch and walking around town, before finding a lovely terrace for an evening meal and glass of red at sunset.
As you may know, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Italy with many interesting towns and beautiful vistas. You could even spend four or five days driving along the coast but with so much else to see, it’s best to use Sorrento as your base to explore the coast.
Whether you stop in every town or not, Positano and Ravello are two of the most interesting places to visit. Featuring ancient churches, winding streets, and incredible views from the top, both towns are arguably the best examples of what the Amalfi Coast is all about.
Sprawling forever at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is such a mind-blowing encounter. Needless to say, this is now a former shadow of the town that was overrun by a volcanic eruption but you can still witness the bare bones of this civilization.
In other words, you can step inside houses and churches as they sit half-way underground. Similarly, you will find signs of human remains and the tours guides are especially good at bringing the scenes to life. Depending on the time of year, it may be a little hot but Pompeii is such a fascinating place to visit and a must-see on any Italy travel itinerary.
Naples is often overlooked by visitors but the palaces, castles and ancient ruins makes this such an interesting city to see in person. What’s more, the food is delightful and Naples is known for having an especially large number of five-star eateries with sublime local cuisine.
As for the above mentioned attractions, you will also find some of the oldest and most colorful frescoes in the world. Furthermore, the artisan workshops and narrow streets can make this city feel a lot more like an old town and this is definitely true in comparison with nearby Rome.
While you may assume that Orvieto is little more than a stopover en-route to Florence, this dramatic city is an incredible masterpiece in terms of architecture. It’s true, the same excellent standard exists in terms of hotels and restaurants but the ancient facades are the absolute highlight.
The Gothic Cathedral is an example of this architecture which dates back to the late 13th century. That being said, the many churches, statues and landmarks around town make this a visual treat in every way. What’s more, Orvieto is located on the flat top of a volcanic structure and the surrounding cliffs make this a truly striking place to see. Either way, these attractions offer a nicer alternative to nearby Sienna and a fantastic excuse to break up the journey to Florence.
Florence is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance, and this is very much a “walk-able city”. You could spend several days exploring the museums and galleries but the Duomo Dome is arguably the most impressive sight in town. Meanwhile, a visit the 16th century Boboli Gardens will bring forth some iconic sculptures and the eateries outside are nothing short of sublime.
On the other hand, art lovers will be blown away by the sheer magnitude of art on show and while this is evident in every museum, the architecture tells the very same story. While it may not have the same reputation as Rome, the city of Florence is probably the most cultured city in all of Italy.
As far as the scenery goes, there are few destinations on the planet like Cinque Terre. Featuring a cluster of small towns with colorful houses and a spectacular ocean backdrop, this is possible the most beautiful stretch of coastline in all of Italy.
While you can certainly drive between these towns, there are also hiking trails which offer the perfect chance to get out and explore. In fact, you can even hike between these towns and have someone follow in the car but a day hike is more than enough to get a taste of the experience.
At the same time, hiking is not mandatory to enjoy Cinque Terre and two days is just about enough time to take in the essence of this world famous destination.
You simply cannot spend any time in Italy without traveling to Venice. Made up of more than one hundred small islands, Venice is such a unique city and considered to be one of the most romantic places in the world.
As for what to see, Piazza San Marco is perhaps one of Italy’s most famous squares and it’s easy to see why. You can feed the pigeons and browse the wonderful shops here before moving on to the infamous San Marco Bell Tower. In case you might be asking yourself, the top of this tower is home to some of the best views in the city. Finally, you just have to step on board a gondola and this is without doubt the best way to explore this vibrant city. All considered, I cannot think of a better place to wake up on day fourteen and fly home after two unforgettable weeks in Italy.
While Genoa, Milan, Turin and many more cities might be on your mind, there is only so much time to explore and the above Italy travel itinerary was designed to give you a taste of everything. Needless to say, if you qualify for Italian citizenship by descent you'll have much more time to explore this beautiful country. A few other notable places to explore are the Alps up north and the island of Sardinia is a wonderful alternative to the busy mainland. Either way, Italy is a delight to explore and with incredible attractions, friendly people and iconic views throughout, the above itinerary should leave you wanting more.