Italy is one of the places that most people want to visit during their lifetime and rightly so. It has a stunning landscape, fantastic food and wine, and a history that cannot be compared to too many other places. We have visited Italy many times and it seems like we always leave wanting more. That is to say that 10 Days in Italy will probably not be enough, but it gives you a great feel for the country and helps you narrow down the areas you would like to visit next time.
If you are thinking about spending 10 Days in Italy, we have three great itineraries, easy to follow to maximize your stay. We will also provide more options if you are looking to spend more than 10 days here. I do not recommend adding more of these options in the same period, by cramming too much, you will not get the same experience.
With these itineraries, our goal was to strike a balance between experiencing cities, history, arts, and culture, as well as Italy’s amazing landscape, food, and wine.
#1 10 Days In Italy Itinerary – Milan, Lake Como, Tuscany & Rome
This 10 Day Itinerary in Italy starts in Milan and finishes in Rome. It includes a day trip to Lake Como and Tuscany as well as a couple of days in Florence and Cinque Terre.
Day 1: Milan
Milan is often overlooked by many visitors even though some of the most favorable flight rates to Italy are flying into Milan. And it is a great, inexpensive hub for visiting many other places like Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, or the Piedmont wine region.
On your first day, take the afternoon to explore Duomo, Milan’s most recognizable landmark and enjoy a delicious, inexpensive dinner at Nerino Dieci Trattoria.
Day 2: Lake Como Day Trip
Lake Como is only less than 1 hr. train ride from Milan. Once you arrive at the Como train station it is a short walk to the dock where you can take a public or private ferry to explore the lake and villages around it.
Most people take the ferry to Bellagio, one of the more popular villages and spend the day exploring there.
You can do this on your own or book a tour.
Day 3: Milan
Spend another day in Milan exploring. Milan is the home of the Last Supper, La Scala Theatre and Museum, and Castle Sforzesco. Scoring the tickets to see the Last Supper is not an easy task and you have to buy them months ahead of time. Sometimes booking a tour is an easier way to get to see the painting rather than trying to get tickets yourself.
Hang out in the Navigli neighborhood where you can find gourmet restaurants and quirky bars. The Navigli neighborhood is what is left of Milan’s interconnecting canals.
Days 4&5: Cinque Terre
On the morning of day 4 take a train from Milan to Cinque Terre, either Monterosso or La Spezia train station. It takes about 3 hours to get there.
Cinque Terre is a string of 5 colorful, coastal villages on a rugged Italian coastline close to Genoa. You can use a local train to hope between villages from La Spezia to Monterosso or hike between them with some of the amazing views.
You can also travel by sea while enjoying the views or just relax at one of the many beaches.
Day 6: Florence
Take an early train from La Spezia to Florence. This journey takes about 1.5 hrs. with a changeover in Pisa. This gives you an opportunity to stop in Pisa and explore if interested. But keep in mind that takes time away from Florence.
Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and home to Renaissance art and architecture. Top attractions to visit are: Gallerie Degli Uffizi, Piazzale Michelangelo (perfect sunset spot), Galleria dell’Accademia (statue of David), Cattedrale di Santa Maria Del Fiore (climb the Duomo), Piazza Della Signoria (where Palazzo Vecchio Museum and tower are).
To do all of this you need a minimum of a day and a half, with some particularly good planning.
Day 7: Tuscany Day Trip
To make your way to Tuscany you can hire a driver or get on a tour. What we recommend doing is a bike tour of Tuscany.
We absolutely loved riding bikes through Tuscany. We departed Florance in the morning, stopped at three different wineries, had lunch at one of the Tuscan villas and returned to Florence in the afternoon just in time for sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Day 8: Florence
Today spend the day exploring attractions you did not get to explore on the first day. And continue enjoying amazing food in Florence.
Day 9&10: Rome
Arrive in Rome with the understanding that this is not enough time to see everything in Rome however, the highlights would be the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Step the Borgese art gallery and park, Piazza Navona and a tour of Vatican and Sistine Chapel.
With more time in this region, you can add:
Visit Courmayeur – a beautiful Alpine village, which is a part of the Tour du Mont Blanc and has some amazing hiking in the area, as well as take the cable car to Mont Bianco.
Visit the Piedmont wine region – if you are a fan of King Barolo and Queen Barbaresco you can’t miss visiting Piedmont.
Spend a day in Portofino – an easy train ride from Genoa or a boat ride from Cinque Terre to enjoy this beautiful seaside village.
# 2 10 Days in Italy Itinerary – Rome, Florence & Amalfi Coast
This 10 Days in Italy Itinerary covers less ground than the one above and it allows you to relax in Amalfi Coast or Tuscany.
Day 1: Rome
The first day in Rome will feel overwhelming. Depending on the time of the day you arrive, check into your hotel and try to hit at least the Colosseum, walk past Roman Forum to the Pantheon, and finally across the river toward Castel Sant’Angelo. Save Villa Borghese and Vatican City tour for Day 3.
Day 2: Montalcino Day Trip
One of our favorite wines is Brunello and a visit to Montalcino was a no-brainer. To get to Montalcino from Rome you will have to take a regional train from Roma Termini to Chiusi. In Chiusi, you can either rent a car and drive to Montalcino or hire a driver to take you there.
Make sure you drive on Val d’ Orcia, the most scenic drive in Tuscany. And both Montalcino and Montepulciano are beautiful villages with excellent wines – Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Day 3: Rome
Spend the day exploring the areas you did not get to explore upon your arrival on the first day.
Day 4&5: Positano
Early in the morning take a train to Amalfi Coast. You can arrive either in Naples or Salerno. We found it easier to arrive in Salerno and take a ferry to Positano. But if you are interested in a tour of Pompeii, it is better to arrive in Naples and find a private transfer to Positano.
Amalfi Coast, and the town of Positano in the middle of it, is one of the most scenic coastlines in the world but be prepared to climb a lot of stairs.
Day 6: Capri Day Trip
From Positano, you can take a day trip to Capri. There are a few different options for this excursion depending on your budget: ferry ride to Capri, shared wooden boat, gozzo, excursion, or rent a private boat.
On your way to Capri, you can stop at Blue Grotto. We skipped this as you usually have to wait for almost 2 hrs. for the 5-minute glimpse of it.
Day 7&8: Florence
Today’s train ride from Salerno to Florence is one of the longest, approximately 4 hrs. However, the trains are comfortable and calming, so take a nap and enjoy the ride.
In Florence, spend the next two days visiting the city’s points of interest and enjoying amazing food and wine.
Day 9: Day Trip Tuscany
There are many ways to take a day trip to Tuscany, the Chianti region, from Florence. You can do this on your own or take a guided tour. Some of the guided tours offer riding bikes, scooters or driving old-fashioned fiats through the beautiful Tuscan roads.
Day 10: Fly Home
Flying out of Florence can be pricey or the times may not work for you, in that case taking the train to Milan or Rome can give you more options.
With more time in this region, you can add:
More time in Tuscany – Tuscany is just beautiful, and you can spend days here from towns to little villages: Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino.
Day trip to San Marino – easy hop over from Florance to the world’s smallest country.
Visit to Cinque Terre – about 1.5 hrs. a train ride from Florence
#3 10 Days In Italy Itinerary – Venice, Verona & Dolomites
To complete this 10 Days in Italy itinerary you will need to rent a car to move around. This will give you a lot more freedom and flexibility.
Day 1-3: Venice
Once you arrive at Venice Marco Polo airport you will either take a bus to Piazzale Roma and then hop on the Vaporetto, or take a water bus to the city itself, there are a few different lines you can take with different stops in the city so you can pick the closest one to your accommodation. You can also hire a private water taxi that will take you as close as possible to your accommodations. Private water taxis are the fastest way to get to Venice and at the same time more expensive than other options.
After you check in to your accommodations, get lost in Venice! Literally, everyone gets lost in Venice. Make sure while exploring you check out: St. Mark’s Campanile, Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, Ponte Rialto, and take a Gondola ride.
You can also take a day trip to Giudecca, Lido Beach or Lagoon Islands (Murano, Burano and Torcello)
Day 4: Verona
Verona is only a 1-hr. train ride from Venice. Which gives you a full day to explore Verona. Hike up to the Piazzale Castel San Pietro for amazing views of the city, and spend the rest of the day at the Arean, Juliet’s house, and Piazza delle Erbe.
Day 5: Day in Emilia Romagna Province
Rent a car in Verona first thing in the morning for the rest of the trip.
Today’s road trip is to explore the food capital of Italy – the Emilia-Romagna region. The first stop is the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese-making factory, where you will learn all about how the cheese is made and get to taste it at the end with some Lambrusco wine (sparkling red wine). We visited 4 Madonne Caseifico dell’ Emilia.
The next fascinating part of this region is to learn how true balsamic vinegar is made, we toured Acetaia Leonardi in Modena. And finish the day with a tour of Salumificio Conti in Langhirano, learning how Prosciutto di Parma is made, where mother and three daughters are at the helm of the company.
You can choose to spend a night in this region or drive back to Verona to get closer to your next destination tomorrow.
Day 6: Lake Garda or Veneto Wine Region
Today you can choose if you want to spend a day on the lake or in the vineyards. For us it was vineyards. We visited Damoli Wines in Negrar, heart of Valpolicella Classica and Cantina A. Martinelli producing fine Teroldego in the heart of the Dolomites.
However, if you would rather spend time on the lake, you can take a boat tour to Castello Scaligero of Sirmione and the Roman ruins at Grotte di Catullo. Or just lay out on the beach and catch sun rays.
Again, you can choose if you would like to spend a night in the area or drive up to the Dolomites.
Day 7-9: Dolomites
The Dolomites are just gorgeous and if you are a hike and enjoy the outdoors, this should not be missed. Whether you are an avid hiker or just someone up for a walk every once in a while, there are things for you to do here.
Some day hikes to enjoy: Adolf Minkel Loop, Lago di Sorapis, Tre Crime di Lavaredo Loop, Lago di Braies and many more.
In the Dolomites, you can either base yourself in Bolzano or Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Day 10: Return Home
You can fly home from Verona or Venice. Venice may have more flight options than Verona. And you can arrive in your city of departure either on day 9 or day 10 depending on your flight times.
With more time in this region, you can add:
Visit Bologna – the food capital of Italy.
Take a ferry over to Croatia – an easy 4-hr. ferry ride to one of Istria’s coastal towns.
Best Time to Visit
Italy is a year-long destination. Easter, Summer and Christmas are packed with visitors. Depending on what you like to do and the time available you have but a less crowded time with still nice weather in Spring and Fall.
How to Get Around
Trains in Italy are amazing and inexpensive, especially during the off-season. Try to utilize them as much as possible. Buses on the other hand are not as reliable.
Renting a car is another option and the best way to see some of the areas like Tuscany and Dolomites.
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