10 day Italy itinerary ideas for all types of visitors: a classic itinerary through Italy’s and ten day Italy vacation ideas for returning visitors. Updated 2020
If you have 10 days in Italy, you have quite a choice of possible itineraries to choose from.
If this if you first and possibly only trip to Italy, you may want to see as much as possible and tick off items from your Italy bucket list while if you are a returning visitor, you may want to see Italy off the beaten track.
Maybe, you may want to do a bit of both! In this article, I aim at helping you plan your perfect Italy vacation sharing three tried and tested 10 day Italy itinerary ideas I am sure you will love.
10 day Italy itinerary: classic 10 day Italy itinerary for first time visitors
This first 10 day Italy itinerary is for first time visitors who want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time.
It will lead you to some of the most famous and popular destinations in Italy and it will allow you to travel by train and organised day tour.
Italy itinerary day 1 and 2: Venice
Venice is unique in the world and a great first stop in an Italy trip itinerary.
It has an excellent international airport, it is rich with hospitality structures and while it gets very crowded it is overall a great first place to explore in Italy.
Here, you can take your time strolling leisurely among its many streets, slowly get over jet lag and still have a wonderful experience.
I recommend you spend here a couple of days, during which you will be able to see St Marks Square, the Doges’ Palace, the Rialto bridge and many other known and lesser-known parts of the city, including wonderful Burano.
Need to know: Venice gets very crowded, especially in the area of St Mark’s. I do recommend you book tickets in advance to visit the basilica and the doge’s palace and I also invite you to explore other areas and not just stick to these two famous ones. Cannaregio, Castello and La Salute are wonderful and will make you see what the magic of Venice truly means (it is all very near, escaping the crowds in Venice is easier than you may think!)
Italy day 3: Florence
On day 3 you can catch the train to Florence (it is a short train ride: about 2 hours from Venice on the fast train).
The ride from Venezia Santa Lucia to Santa Maria Novella is short and easy and your arrival station is right in the heart of Florence.
This means you can easily then get to your hotel on foot or by taxi (official ones stop outside of the station)
Once you are settled into your accommodation in Firenze, you can spend the day simply walking around the city and taking in its beautiful streets and churches.
Unlike other cities, Florence is compact in size and very easy to enjoy even with a short time available. You can find my guide to the Florence in one day here.
With one day only in Florence, you are unlikely to have a lot of time to see both the city and the Uffizi (wonderful, but very big!).
If want to visit, I recommend you either prioritize the museum over other sightseeing or take an extra day in the city
Italy day 4 Cinque Terre day trip
Cinque Terre is one of the most photographed and iconic sites in the whole of Italy and with good reasons.
The ‘terre’ (lit. earths or lands) are 5 small towns along the coast of Liguria connected by train but more importantly by scenic path offering stunning views over this peculiar part of the Italian coastline.
To fully enjoy the Cinque Terre you need a couple of days.
However, if you only have 10 days in Italy and you want to maximize your time, you can visit the Cinque Terre with a day tour from Florence.
Please note: this is a rather long day.
Italy day 5: Tuscany hilltop towns
Florence is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is a perfect base to visit and enjoy those landscapes of hilltop villages and vineyard that are so quintessentially Italian: the area of Chianti and Val D’Orcia.
They can be a lovely area to relax after the long day to Cinque Terre the day before.
- Monteriggioni and San Gimignano, for small town charm (tour)
- Siena, to see a true UNESCO wonder
- Lucca, very pretty and easy to reach by train
- Chianti wine tasting (organized tour)
Day 6: Rome
At the end of this itinerary, you will have spent 3 days in Rome but this is my favorite of the 3.
On this day, I recommend you take your time to leisurely stroll around the city center.
Day 7-8: Amalfi Coast
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most popular destinations in the whole of Italy and with good reason.
Its famous high coastline is stunning and if you want to indulge in elegant aperitivo and a fashionable scene, you will not find a much better area than this one!
Places I recommend in this area are:
Once on the coast, the best way to explore the area is by car in the low season and by bus or even better ferry in the high season.
Day 9 and 10: Rome
The last 2 days of my 10 day Italy itinerary have you slow down in Rome.
After so much traveling I believe it is good to have a couple of days when you can just relax, sight-see and go shopping!
You can find my recommended itinerary for 2 days in Rome here.
Please note: if you want to visit the Vatican or as al alternative the Borghese gallery, booking tickets in advance is a must. You can find tips on how to skip the lines in Rome here.
10 day Italy itinerary idea: the Amalfi Coast and the South
This second 10 day Italy itinerary idea is perfect for visitors who want to focus on the South of the country and see both famous destinations such as the wonderful Amalfi Coast and slightly off the beaten path Italian gems like Puglia.
If this is you, the 10 day Italy driving itinerary I recommend is as follows (car essential)
Day 1 and 2: Puglia
Pugia is a wonderful region with a mix of natural attractions and sightseeing opportunities.
For this itinerary, I recommend you focus you attention to the area around Bari and in particular the town of:
- Trani, with nearby castle del Monte
- Alberobello, home to the famous trulli
- Locorotondo, a wonderful white town
- Martina Franca, a picture perfect baroque gem
Day 3 and 4: Matera
Matera is a city like no other, with a history and an appearance so peculiar, you need to see it to believe it!
While small, it is a town with a lot to see and do so I recommend you spend two days here, making sure you sleep in its famous ‘sassi’.
Find our guide to Matera here.
Day 5 – 7: Paestum and Amalfi Coast
On day 5 I recommend you drive to the Amalfi Coast making sure to stop on the way at one of the most beautiful archaeological sites you can see in Italy: Paestum!
After admiring its incredible temples, it is only a short drive to the Amalfi Coast, where I recommend you spend the following 3 days.
You cannot go wrong when it comes to visiting the Amalfi Coast so my recommendation is to pick whatever town excites you more: you can find our favorite places and what to expect in each Amalfi Coast town here.
I recommend you then spend the night in Sorrento so you can easily reach your next destination: Capri!
Day 8: Capri
Glamorous, beautiful, home to some of the clearest waters you will ever see: all of this is Capri! You can find our guide to seeing Capri in one day here.
Day 9 – 10: Rome
Finish your itinerary with 2 days in Rome, for a full immersion in this incredible and always surprising city.
If this is your first time in the city, you can visit Rome must see sites
If you have been already, you can use this time to explore some of Rome hidden gems
10 day Italy itinerary idea: Tuscany and Rome
My last recommended 10 day itinerary around Italy digs into the beauty of Tuscany and its wonderful countryside.
This itinerary requires a mix of driving and train travel.
Day 1: Florence
Take your pick our of the many Florence must see attractions to start your itinerary with an overload of beauty and art
Day 2 and 3: Cinque Terre
Use the train to reach and explore Cinque Terre: spend at least two days to take in the beauty of each town and, in the good season, take one of the paths. The views are wonderful!
Day 4: explore Monteriggioni and San Gimignano
Get a car (or an organised tour from Florence) to discover two of Tuscany’s most beautigul hilltop medieval Villages: Monteriggioni and San Gimignano
Day 5: Explore Siena and soak in the hot waters of Bagno Vignoni
Spend the day in UNESCO famous Siena: take your time to see at least Piazza del Campo and Siena’s duomo then take the short drive down to Bagno Vignoni.
A small thermal village, Bagno Vignoni is wonderful for a soak in natural hot springs!
Day 6: Pienza and Monticchiello
Day 7: Montepulciano and San Quirico
Spend the days in two of the most charming hilltop villages in Tuscany exploring wonderful Montepulciano and the tiny San Quirico d’Orcia.
Make sure you stay for lunch in one and dinner in the other to make the most of the delicious food
Day 8: Orvieto
Cross over into Umbria and spend a day in wonderful Orvieto, home to one of the most ur incredible churches, the Duomo, you will eve
Day 9 -10 Rome
End your trip with two relaxing days in Rome.
Tips for a 10 day Italy itinerary: need to know
The best time of the year for a trip to Italy
Italy can be visited all year round but your experience will be very different depending on the season of your travels and exact destinations.
You can find my month by month guides to Italy here.
Necessary documents for your Italy vacation
Depending on your nationality, you might need a visa to enter Italy.
Please contact your nearest Italian Embassy to make sure of requirements and waiting times, should this be the case.
If you are traveling alone with children with a different surname as your own, make sure you have with you their full birth certificate to prove their relationship with you.
You can find our tips for planning a family trip to Italy here.
Be advised that it is compulsory in Italy to have ID on you at all times.
Italy risks and annoyances
Italy sees a large number of tourists every year and this sadly means some locations do see pick-pocketing happening.
My best advice is to be aware that this may be the case but not let fear ruin your trip.
Always keep a photocopy of your passport ready and never keep your phone, wallet or valuables in your back pocket or in a backpack unless you can securely close it.
To women, I always recommend crossbody bags and, if you want extra safety, you can buy one of the slim money belts for your documents.
I never fund this to be necessary in Italy but in very crowded places, this may be a good solution to set your mind at ease.
Italy packing list
What to pack for 10 days in Italy will largely depend on the season of your travel.
For the summer, you can find a full packing list here, while for the winter you will need a good winter coat, scarf, woolen jumpers and most of all good walking shoes.
Favor shoes with a rubber sole to minimize the impact of the hard surfaces on your joints and tendons. You can find a list of my favorite shoes for Italy here
Travel resources for your Italy vacation
- Best luggage for Italy – all our tried and tested recommendations
- Omio – Handy website for Train and Bus connections across Europe
- Booking.com – My go-to resource for accommodation (hotels, apartments and specialty lodging) with good deals and excellent cancellation policies
- LuggageHero – Large selection of luggage storage options for bags-free day trips
- GetYourGuide: booking platform for attraction tickets and day tours
- Lonely Planet: my one and only go-to travel guide provider
- AutoEurope: handy comparison website for the best car rental deals
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