Italy is such a beautiful country, I understand that it’s difficult trying to come up with the perfect itinerary where you see absolutely everything. So that you don’t try and see Sicily, Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Venice, Lake Como, etc. all in one trip, I put together an itinerary for 10 days in Italy. As a warning, you’ll only see a small part of Italy, but you’ll definitely see more than just the main attractions and you’ll get to know the culture a bit. Plus, I built in plenty of time for gelato, wine, and pasta…I know because this is how I spent my 10 days in Italy. I’m very aware this doesn’t include Rome, so play with the schedule a little if your heart is dead set on it.
Day 1: Hop on a Plane
Leave your desk job, and hop on a plane to Venice! Pretty easy, am I right? In all actuality, this is the worst part because you’re stuck on a plane for hours. To make sure you’re properly prepared, make sure to check your carry-on packing list and bring plenty of snacks! Snacks (and wine) make everything better.
Day 2: Arrive in Venice (And Eat Pasta!)
Arrive in Venice bright and early in the morning! If you’re anything like me, you can’t sleep on planes, but you do accept all complimentary wine, so you’ve probably felt better. In any case, hop on a water taxi to the Venice city center, and that’ll perk you up.
The first day should include napping (to get rid of jet lag), plus plenty of walking around and eating pasta. I spent my first day in the city just wandering and getting to know the area a bit better.
Day 3: Venice Main Sights
Focus on the main sights of Venice, Italy (aka the top tourist attractions.) Yes, they will be busy, but they’re busy for a reason. Highlights include St. Mark’s Basilica, heading to St. Mark’s Campanile (the bell tower) for panoramic views, taking a cruise down the Grand Canal, and of course a secret tour of the Doge’s Palace. I definitely recommend the secret tour—you can see the room from which Casanova escaped, cross the Bridge of Sighs, and get sneak peeks into other hidden rooms! Also, you can skip the line…
These are some of the main sights in Venice, so after a full day of touring, put your feet up and have some pasta and gelato (please note that you should end every day this way.)
Day 4: Venice “Off the Beaten Path”
After hitting up Venice’s main sights, your next day will be dedicated to some of the lesser seen areas of Venice. Take a gondola ride down quiet canals, join a walking tour of “Hidden Venice,” and of course, take advantage of aperitivo time with a cicchetti and wine bar tour.
Tonight, after your spaghetti, gelato, and wine, check out the ghost tour through Cannaregio. You get to see some seriously cool places and hear legends of ancient Venice. For more insight into magical adventures in this city, check out my ultimate Venice bucket list!
Day 5: Murano & Burano Day Trip
For my last day in Venice, I decided to check out Murano and Burano, two islands near Venice, and both easily reachable by water taxi. Another option is to do a Murano and Burano tour. Murano is known for its glassblowing (very warm to watch, but soooo cool to see). Burano is known for lace making, and also its colorful houses. I was obsessed with them and took approximately 2000 pictures there. For more, check out my guide to Burano…you can see all the awesome photo ops, logistics on how to get there, and tour information.
Day 6: Get to Know Florence
For day 6, head on over to Florence and take advantage of all the beauty the city has to offer. Some of my favorite spots were the top of the Duomo (warning: very many stairs!), the Bank of the Arno River, and all of the adorable side streets. Make sure to read up on my 5 top photo spots in Florence, Italy!
Day 7: Florence Art
After you’re somewhat acquainted with the city, spend the next day taking in all of the artistic masterpieces. I’ll be real, you could spend months just looking at all of the art in Florence, but I’m not big into art, so a day was plenty for me. Big highlights not to miss include the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, and Palazzo Vecchio (do the secret tour!)
If you’re an art newbie like me, I put together a cheat sheet to art in Florence to help you through these sights…I just wish I had it in advance! You’ll know the big pieces to look out for, plus I give some details about skip-the-line tickets. I did it, and it was soooo worth it.
Day 8: Cinque Terre day Trip
Pretending to know about art is exhausting, so reward yourself the next day with a trip to Cinque Terre. I did a combination of hiking, train rides, and boat rides between the five villages, and it was such an awesome time. I’m a sucker for colorful houses, so when you put colorful houses against a gorgeous Mediterranean backdrop, I’m basically going to die of happiness. Add in a gelato, and I’m in heaven. You can either take public transportation there (too many connections), or do a Cinque Terre tour (I opted to do that.)
Day 9: Tuscan Countryside on a Vespa
For your last day in Florence, do as the Italians do and take a Vespa ride through the countryside. It’s nice to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, check out the olive groves, and of course, enjoy a beautiful lunch (and wine!)
Top the day off by visiting Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset and seeing the sun go down on Florence.
Day 10: Fly Home
Sadly, you probably have to fly home now. I know I totally fell in love with Italy… check out my post on all of the wonderful reasons why. Hint: many had to do with their food and wine. You pretty much had to roll me onto the plane #noregrets. I know I’ll be back again someday!
So tell me, how would you spend 10 days in Italy? I have to plan for my next trip…let me know your suggestions in the comments!
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