There are endless ways to craft a 10 day Italy itinerary. Depending on what you are interested in and your mean of transport, you could spend 10 days in the mountains, on the coast, in one of Italy’s cites of art or even have a whistle stop tour from the North to the South of the Italy boot.
However, many people looking into a 10 day itinerary for Italy are interested in knowing how much you can see in this amount of time and if this time is sufficient to see Italy’s must see sites.
This is my take on how to see Italy in 10 days. I have written it with the first time Italy traveller in mind and I have included locations that gets mentioned most often in the queries I receive about crafting a good trip.
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10 day Italy itinerary
This 10 day Italy Itinerary starts in Venice and assumes you will be travelling mostly by train.
Train is a fast and efficient way to move through Italy and my mean of transport of choice in the Bel Paese. There are several types of train and tickets available and depending on your party, you may be eligible for train passes and discounts.
If travelling by train with young kids, you can find good info on our family guide to train travel in Italy here.
Italy itinerary day 1 and 2: Venice
Venice is unique in the world and a great first stop in an Italy trip itinerary.
The city is in the North East of the country and is well served by international airport and a convenient train station.
I believe Venice deserves 2 full days: during this time, you can visit the main Venice island and also take a tour to the small island of Burano, just in front.
This time will be sufficient for you to get a sense for the city, take in some of the city’s main landmarks such as St Mark’s square and the Rialto bridge and also venture a little off the beaten track and lose the crowds.
Italy day 3: Florence
On day 3 you can catch a train and take the short trip to Florence (about 2 hours from Venice on the fast train).
Once you are settle 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 our best itinerary to see Florence in a day here but we highly recommend you also allow yourself to get lost: Florence has gems at every corner!
If you decide to include a museum stop in Florence, it is advisable to book tickets in advance and pay the premium for ‘skip the line’ options in popular museums such as the Uffizi.
Italy day 4: Florence – 5 Terre – Florence
Le Cinque Terre are 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 and I have advocated here not to take a day trip here.
However, if you only have 10 days in Italy and you want to maximise your time, some compromises are worth making and this is one of them.
If you do so, take into account that it will be a long day so I recommend you join a guided tour so you can relax while travelling in between one point to the next.
Italy Day 5: Florence to Rome
On day 5 I recommend you have a leisurely morning in Florence to recover form the previous day long trip and then make your way to Rome.
A fast train connects the two cities and getting from one to the other doesn’t take more than a couple of hours.
Rome main trains station, Termini, is in the city centre: I recommend you choose a city centre location for your accommodation in Rome so you can already start exploring the city on this day.
Day 6: Rome
At the end of this itinerary you will have spent 3 days in Rome but this is my favourite of the 3. On this day, I recommend you take your time to leisurely stroll around the city and maybe include a museum.
My favourite way to see Rome is starting from the area of the Colosseum and the roman forum and walk down towards the area with the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain.
The walk between one landmark to the other won’t take over 20 minutes but it is worth stretching it to a full day activity.
Depending on your interests you can enter the Colosseum or forum (in this case, factor in at least 2 hours) or you can just walk along them and then see Piazza Venezia, Via del Corso, Pantheon, Spanish steps and Trevi fountains and surrounding areas.
This is the very heart of Rome city centre and a part of the city generous with hidden corner, churches and galleries.
You can spend a week here and not get bored to the day will be pretty full even if on the map it may not seem like you are covering a lot of ground!
Day 7: Rome to Capri
I believe the Italian coastline and Italy’s islands don’t get enough credit for being as stunning as they are. One place I adore and I believe should be visited for its natural beauty is the island of Capri.
The island is known as a honeymoon destination and a paradise for luxury shopping but it is a lot more than that.
The Capri coastline is stunning, the small towns of Capri and Anacapri in particular are a delight to visit and the sea rivals the most azure waters you have in exotic locations half the way across the world.
From Rome, you reach Capri by train and ferry and and I highly recommend you stay the night. The evening and early morning are magical in Capri.
Day 8: Sorrento and back to Rome
Day 8 sees you making your way back to Rome. You can go directly into the city, retracing your steps or you can decide to make this trip a longer one and stop along the way.
The easiest stop between Capri and Rome is Naples, which is where the train from Rome departs.
If you are open to booking tours and budget allows you can also make this day another day of exploration and go from Capri to Sorrento and explore Sorrento before heading back to Rome
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 without having to hop on trains on ferries!
Since our first day in Rome has already covered the Colosseum and some of Rome’s main landmarks I would spend these two days visiting the Vatican, shopping and picking one museum among the many available.
I would also spend my last night having dinner in Trastevere to finish my 10 day Italy trip with gorgeous food and authentic atmosphere.
Tips for a 10 day Italy itinerary: Before you go
Moving around Italy is easy and you can either drive or use the train. I find driving is better avoided in large cities and overall unnecessary to follow the itinerary outlined above.
if you travel Italy by train you can find exact schedule and tickets here
If you prefer to drive in Italy, have a look at our observations here
Documents for your Italy trip
Depending on your nationality you maybe require a visa to enter Italy. Please contact your nearest Italian Embassy to make sure of requirements and waiting times, should you need a Visa.
If you are travelling 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.
Be advised that it is compulsory in Italy to always have ID on you.
Italy sees a large amount of tourist 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 have phone, wallet of valuables in your back pocket or in a backpack unless you can securely close it.
To women I always recommend a crossbody bags and, if you want extra safety, you can buy one of the slim money belt 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.
What to pack for 10 days in Italy will largely depend on the season of you 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.
Favour shoes with rubber sole to minimize the impact of the hard surfaces on your joints and tendons.
Books to read and bring on your trip to Italy
Guide books about Italy
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