Itinerary to Italy: A Week in Italy

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My ideal two-week itinerary to Italy is easily my most popular article. This itinerary is ideal for first-time visitors, but not everyone has the time or budget to travel to Italy. If you only have a week to spare for Italy, there are options for a 1-week itinerary.

If you’re looking to manage your own trip to Italy, my step by step guide will show you how to create your itinerary.

Itinerary Planning Assumptions

First, let me clarify that I am referring to “one week” as one week of school or work days. This means you will be taking five days off. Itineraries are actually a flight that you take on Friday night or Saturday morning, and then you fly home the next week. However, the actual time you are gone is more like eight-nine days. I try to squeeze as much vacation as possible into one week.

Second, the itinerary, like my two-week itinerary, is focused on Italy’s “Holy Trinity”, Rome and Florence. You have many options for day trips, and you can add other flavors to your trip depending on what you choose.

To maximize your time exploring, I recommend you stay in the historical center of each destination. You may be able to save some money by booking a hotel in the outskirts. You’ll also need to use the Metro or bus to get to the attractions every day. You can enjoy more vacation time if you live closer to the attractions.

This itinerary was created around an “open-jaw” ticket, which allows you to spend more time exploring Italy than in transit. This means that you will fly to one city and then return to your destination. These tickets are usually less expensive than a round-trip ticket and will allow you to spend more time on the ground. These are some tips to find cheap airfare to Italy .

Itinerary Ideas for a Week in Italy

The “Holy Trinity” + Pompeii

This itinerary includes Italy’s three major tourist attractions, as well as Pompeii, which is a great choice for those who want to add more sights to their travel bucket lists. This itinerary is also great for history buffs, who feel chills walking on the same ancient cobblestones as the Romans.

Venice: 2 nights in a hotel (optional half-day excursion to the lagoon islands).

Florence 2 nights hotel (optional half day trip to Pisa).

Rome – 4 nights hotel (including a half-day trip in Ostia or a day trip into Pompeii)

This itinerary is available:

  • Fly into Venice (VCE), and Rome (FCO).
  • It’s possible to take the train anywhere, so you don’t need to rent an automobile in Italy.
  • Your “week” will determine how many nights you stay in Venice. Stay two nights if you can squeeze nine days into a week-long vacation. It is worth it.
  • These optional side trips can be listed to help you make a decision if you’d like to explore more of the area. However, you could easily spend a full day in Venice and two days in Florence without needing to visit any other cities. After a day in Pompeii, Rome is a great place to be. A side-trip to Ostia, which allows you to visit the beach and see an excavation of another ancient Roman city, can help you to feel content. All this within half an hour of Rome.

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The “Holy Trinity” + Siena

We all have that friend who has been to Italy and can’t stop talking about Siena. There are many good reasons to do this, so why not visit it? It’ll give you time in Italy’s three major cities, plus some extra time in this charming Tuscan town. An overnight stay is even better.

Venice 1-2 Hotel Nights (optional half day trip to Verona or the lagoon islands)

Florence 2 nights hotel (optional half day trip to Pisa

Siena: 1 hotel night

Rome: 3 hotel nights

This itinerary is available:

  • Fly into Venice (VCE), and Rome (FCO).
  • Public transportation will be your only option for the entire trip. You don’t need to rent a car. You can take the train almost anywhere, but it is faster to travel by bus from Florence to Siena.
  • If you want to skip Siena, and spend a little more time wandering aimlessly through Tuscany, then renting a car is a great option.
  • The length of your “week” will determine how many nights you stay in Venice. Stay two nights if you can squeeze nine days into a week-long vacation. It is worth it.
  • These optional side trips can be listed to provide some ideas if you’re looking for more. However, you could easily spend a full day in Venice or two days in Florence without any distractions.

The “Holy Trinity” + Cinque Terre

Many summer vacations to Italy are incomplete without a time at the sea. This itinerary includes a trip through Liguria and two nights in one the five villages that comprise the Cinque Terre. These villages are no longer quaint fishing towns. They’re now extremely popular with backpackers and hikers from America and Germany. They are still stunning, no matter where they are located. Although the beaches aren’t among the best in Italy, the one located in Montterosso al Mare, the largest Cinque Terre town is quite good.

Venice: 1-2 hotel nights

Cinque Terre: 2 hotel nights

Florence – 2 nights hotel (optional Pisa Visit en Route from Liguria).

Rome: 2 hotel nights

This itinerary is available:

  • Fly into Venice (VCE), and Rome (FCO).
  • It’s possible to take the train anywhere, so you don’t need to rent a car.
  • The length of your “week” will determine how many nights you stay in Venice. Stay two nights if you can squeeze nine days into a week-long vacation. It is worth it.
  • You will need to change trains from Cinque Terre to Florence. If you are not sure where to store your luggage, then take the bus to the center of Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It takes less than two hours to visit the cathedral, baptistery and tower. This is a great way to end a long day of travel.
  • It is the trail linking five villages that is the most popular in the Cinque Terre . This makes it the most crowded. Although there are many trails in the National Park, you can still enjoy the beauty of the area by hiring a guide or getting a detailed map.

The “Holy Trinity” + The Amalfi Coast

This itinerary is great for summer trips when simply looking at the water is not enough. You can spend a few days on the shimmering Amalfi coast, and then get back on the beach. These beach towns are extremely popular with foreign tourists as well as Italian vacationers during summer. If possible, book lodging in advance.

Venice: 1-2 hotel nights

Florence: 2 hotel nights

Rome: 2 hotel nights

Amalfi Coast: 2 hotel nights

This itinerary is available:

  • Fly into Venice (VCE), and Naples (NAP). You can schedule your flight from Naples earlier in the day to make it from the Amalfi Coast. This will allow you to avoid having to move to Naples to spend your last night.
  • The entire trip will be taken by public transport, so you don’t need to rent a vehicle. You will take the bus from Sorrento to reach the Amalfi Coast.
  • There are many towns that you can choose to base yourself along the Amalfi Coast. Although Sorrento doesn’t actually belong to the Amalfi Coast it is a part of it. However, it is very similar and a great option for day trips. However, Amalfi and Positano have the best beaches. You will need to climb many stairs to reach the beach from Positano, which is especially vertical.
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36 Responses to “Italy itinerary: One week in Italy”

  • IshaniD:

    Can you please help me book the train? It’s quite confusing

  • CindyH says:

    Fly into Treviso/Venice, then to FLorence Cinque Terre, Siena, and to depart Pisa in the afternoon. This trip is 6 days long and includes approximately 1 night at each location. We plan to travel mostly by train between the locations.

    • Jess has the following:

      You’re probably trying to do way too much with a 6-day trip. If you only plan to spend one night at each location, that’s fine. The best way to travel is by train. Trenitalia takes you to all the citeis.

  • Clarise says:

    We will be in Rome for a conference lasting a week. We will be visiting the rest of Italy for 7 days. What would you consider the highlights? You want to experience the real Italy.

  • Sam says:

    This is amazing. Next month, we will be married in Sorrento. We plan to travel north by car to Siena/ Florence and then to the lakes the next week. Are there any other top tips or must-sees we haven’t included?

    • Jess has the following:

      You will find plenty of information on the site. You can browse the travel guide (the menu at the top every page), where you will find all the information you need. Have fun hunting! Let me know if there’s something you are looking for that I don’t have. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

  • Soomi says:

    This is amazing! My October honeymoon is planned for 11-12 days. I am weighing Cinque terre and Amalfi Coast as well as the “Holy Trinity” in my decision making. Since October is a better time for the weather and they have similar scenery, I am leaning towards Amalfi Coast. However, I keep reading that Amalfi coast can get very busy. What are your thoughts?

  • Meghan:

    We will be staying in Soriano for one week. We want to make the most of our time and not feel rushed. Is there any advice on how far we should travel? We plan to spend a whole day in Soriano on a winery/olive oil/cooking school tour. We plan to spend 1 or 2 days in Rome, and hire a private guide. Are there any other suggestions for places to visit during our trip? This will be our first trip to Italy together.

    • Jess has the following:

      Even if you are only planning day trips, the tips on how to plan the perfect Italy itinerary will be helpful. It is important to think about how difficult it is to travel from one place to another by public transport. Then it is up to you to decide what “reasonable” option you choose for day trips. You have the option of driving into Rome if you own a car. ).

      It looks like Soriano is not far from Viterbo. Viterbo has a charming center. Further along the coast, there are Etruscan ruin in Tarquinia. Another option for a day trip is Orvieto in the north.

  • This is an incredible post. Thank you !!!! I am planning to visit Italy in October, and was wondering if there were any recommendations for tall chic boots that are comfortable. I plan to begin in Venice, then Florence and then Rome. I will also be traveling to Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia. So, I have been searching for warmer boots but they may be too warm. . ?! Are there any recommendations for warm, but not too cozy, boots? ?

    • Jess has the following:

      My favourite travel boots are listed under “shoes”, in my article What to Pack for an Italy Trip. They’ve been my favorite boots for many years. I had to have the soles replaced recently, but I don’t know if this model is still available. If you like another style, this brand offers many options.

  • Courtney says:

    We are traveling to Rome, Venice, and would like to add another city to our trip. From December 31 to January 10, we will be in Italy. Any suggestions for a winter city that is enjoyable? Thank you so much!

    • Jess has the following:

      As long as your itinerary includes indoor activities, such as museums, churches, galleries, and the like, I’m okay with that. It would be possible to visit any Italian city, provided there are activities you enjoy. It all depends on what you are looking for. This page contains information about visiting Italy during the winter. Here is a list of regions in Italy. This page gives a quick overview of the major tourist destinations and cities in each region. At the very least, I would consider Florence, Verona and Perugia. Other smaller destinations that may be worth considering (depending on your interests) include Orvieto and Assisi.

  • Long says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful information.

    I plan to travel to Italy for a week on the 22nd of June.

    Here is my plan:

    Milan: 22 June – 24 June (2.5 days)

    Cinque Terre & Pisa: 25 June (1 day)

    Florence: 26 June – 27 June (2 days)

    Rome: 28 June – 29 June (2 days)

    I would love to see all four. Let me know if you think I should add or subtract half a day to any city, so I can fully enjoy each one.

    Many thanks and best wishes

    • Jess has the following:

      It’s difficult to imagine how you will manage to visit both Cinque Terre (and Pisa) in one day. This is especially true when it’s a travel-day. You should read my How to Plan an Italy Itinerary article. This will help you understand transport times.

      • Long says:

        Hi,

        Thank you for your prompt response.

        Your advice has influenced my decision to change my plan as follows:

        Milan: 22 June – 24 June (2.5 days)

        Florence: 25 June – 27 June (2.5 days). While I’m in Florence I plan to visit Pisa on the evening of 25 June.

        Rome: 27 June – 29 June (2.5 days)

        Let me know what you think about this plan.

        Many thanks and best wishes

        • Jess has the following:

          The itinerary can be great as long as the time for transportation is researched and the arrangements are acceptable to you. You will be taking the trip, so it must be great for you.

  • Rome says:

    We will be in Italy from March 7-13, only 6 nights. Fly into and out of Rome. We would love the opportunity to visit Rome, Venice and Pisa, as well as Sorrento. However, we aren’t sure if it is possible. I have been looking at train schedules and finding ways to make it all work. Your opinion? If I need to delete one, which one should I do?

    • Jess has the following:

      It really boils down to how much time and how long you are willing to spend in transit (vs actually visiting a destination) and how many days you plan to stay in each location. These steps are what I use in order to determine the viability of any trip that I plan (in Italy or elsewhere). It may also be helpful for you. Since my travel preferences are likely to be different, it’s difficult for me to pick which city I should skip.

      • Rome Simpson says:

        What are your thoughts on Sorrento/Amalfi coast, since it will be March? Is it better to wait until the summer/early autumn to visit that part of Italy?

        • Jess has the following:

          Personally, yes. I would not want to travel all the way to Amalfi Coast and then have it rain the entire time. It would keep me indoors. Although you might have good weather, it is not likely that you will be able to enjoy the beach weather of March. However, it is just as possible for it to rain or get cold. This page contains information about traveling to Italy in March and general information about the weather conditions in Italy.

  • suneel:

    Hello, our plan is to take our friend, wife and their wife to Italy during December, Christmas, for a week. We have more leaves that must be taken. As of now, Venice, Pisa and Rome are on the list. Czech republic. What is your opinion? [It’s hardcore winter, but we don’t want to stay inside our homes all the time.]

  • Emily

    My roommate and i are planning a trip to Italy. We will be staying 8 nights in Italy. The first day we would have to get off the plane late. Is there a way to travel between Cinque Terre, Venice, and Venice? Then from Venice to Nice. We welcome any feedback or suggestions regarding this itinerary. Although we have no additional days left after Italy, we may be able leave one day earlier to allow us to travel to Italy.

    June 26th-29th Florence (downtown on the first day, winery tour in the south on day two)

    June 29th-July 2, Cinque Terre

    July 2nd – July 4th Venice

    July 4th – Arrive in Nice

    Thank you so much!

    • Jessica says:

      If you haven’t, I suggest reading my article How to plan the perfect Italy itinerary. Your questions are best answered by focusing on transportation times. This will give you an idea about how much time you have to visit each destination. Trains are my best option, as that allows you to easily research travel times.

  • Stephanie says:

    Jessica, I’m going to Italy for a week from Monday through Monday. I will be flying into and out of Pisa. I will be flying from Pisa to Siena to Florence to Cinque Terre, then returning to Pisa for my return flight. Is this the best transport order? Are there other places that you would recommend to me over those I have chosen? We are grateful!

    • Jessica says:

      You might want to read my article creating the perfect Italy itinerary. It will answer many of your questions regarding route order. Knowing your travel times is important as you will be traveling a lot within a week. This will allow you to plan how many days you have to spend exploring each place.

  • This planner is amazing. I’m thinking of road-tripping to Italy in the near future. I found this post extremely helpful and inspiring. It is so helpful to me that you have detailed everything.

  • Shade says:

    HI Jessica

    Your blog is amazing, thank you! !

    I will be spending a week in Italy and plan to visit Florence, Roma, and the Amalfi Coast. But, I am limited to the Amalfy Coast and was curious about which cities I should visit. Amalfi is what I’m thinking of.

    Positano, and perhaps skipping Naples. What do you think? I would love to visit the Amalfi primarily for the scenery and the food, but I doubt I will regret leaving Naples.

    Many thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      It all depends on what you are most interested in and how much time you plan to spend in transit. It’s worth looking at how long it takes to travel from one city to the next. Keep in mind that Amalfi Coast towns are only served by buses and boats, not trains. The Amalfi Coast is great if you don’t think you have enough cities to choose from after Rome and Florence.

  • Scott:

    My friend is getting married in Croatia in June 2019. We are now looking at the timing. The plan is to spend a few days in Croatia, then travel to Italy for approximately a week. Are you recommending Tuscany because of this? My wife loves wine, but I’m sure that you can find it anywhere. Thoughts?