Carefully crafted 10 day Italy itinerary for all types of traveler: spend 10 days in Italy visiting Italy’s most famous sites, discovering its food, slow traveling in one region or getting off the beaten track. Planned by a local for a perfect trip to Italy
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.
So, where does this leave a born and bred Italian like me?
Should I craft a 10 day itinerary that tried to please everyone, write every possible way of seeing Italy hoping to match everyone’s interest or give up entirely?
I went for a compromise!
Based on my experience of Italy and the places I believe are the most impressive for visitors, these are itinerary ideas for seeing Italy in 10 days.
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How to visit Italy in 10 days: how to use these itineraries
10 days are a good amount of time to explore Italy. In this article, I give you several options to help you decide how to make the most of your trip.
Whatever way you decide to plan you trip, I do recommend you book well in advance tickets for the sites you most dearly want to visit.
Whenever possible, for major works of art and museums, I have included links to the official sellers or trusted ticket providers for your convenience
When available, I have chosen skip the line tickets and reserved entrance options: a life saver especially in high season!
10 day Italy itinerary idea #1: classic Italy
I start this list with a classic Italy itinerary for 10 days, one that touches Italy’s main art cities and some well known regions.
This itinerary is best for first time visitors and it is a good way to see Italy if want to see as much as possible and make this a trip of a lifetime
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.
You will find useful links and information at the end of this article.
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.
In two days, you can see some of the city’s main landmarks such as St Mark’s square, Doge’s palace 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 the train to Florence (it is a short train ride: 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 recommended itinerary in Florence here: it includes Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and many more must see sites
Italy day 4: Florence – Cinque 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 (see my recommended itineraries here)
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.
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.
For the most scenic welcome to Rome, head to Campo de’ Fiori for aperitivo before indulging in dinner near piazza Navona
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.
My favorite way to see Rome is to start from Colosseum and the Roman forum and walk down towards the area with the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain.
This is the very heart of Rome city centre and you will quickly find yourself in front of the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and many other must see sites, as well as hidden gems
If you find tickets for the Sistine chapel and Vatican Museums for this day, I recommend you plan your whole itinerary around that visit, so you don’t feel rushed
Day 7: Rome to Capri
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 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.
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!
10 days in Italy itinerary idea #2: Venice, Verona, the Dolomites and lake Garda
Another wonderful way of spending 10 days in Italy is to concentrate on the North-Western corner of the country and explore the Venice – Lake- Garda – Dolomites area.
This is a great itinerary if you want to experience the beauty of Venice and also enjoy the great outdoor beauty that is the area of the Dolomites.
My recommended 10 day North of Italy itinerary is as follows:
- Day 1-3: Venice
- Day 4-7: The Dolomites. I recommend you explore the area of Dobbiaco/Toblach, easy to reach from Venice
- Day 8-10: Verona and lake Garda
The best time of the year to visit this area is the summer: at this time, the weather is usually mild and sunny and hiking paths are open.
The best way for adding the Dolomites to your Italy trip is renting a car: this will give you maximum flexibility as public transport will limit your options
10 days in Italy itinerary idea #3: Rome, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre
If your dream is to see the fabulous hilltop villages of Tuscany and the romantic colorful houses of Cinque Terre, my recommendation is to build a full itinerary around them.
This will allow you to escape the crowds (most towns in this area are popular day trips and get quiet and authentic in the evening only) and will also allow you to tune in with the slower pace of the Italian countryside.
Tuscany is, by far, best enjoyed with a slow tourism approach.
To visit this area, my Italian 10 days would be as follows:
- Day 1-2 Rome: this will give you the time to rest after arrival and enjoy the city
- Day 3-5: Florence and surrounding area
- Day 6-7: Cinque Terre
- Day 7- 10: Tuscany return from Rome
The best time to visit this part of Italy is the late spring and the most convenient mean of transport is the train
10 days in Italy itinerary idea #4: Rome, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Florence
If the Amalfi coast is at the center of your Italian dreams, I believe the best thing to do is to create your itinerary around it
This is one day to spend 10 days in Italy and includes these two stops:
This is one day to spend 10 days in Italy and includes these two stops:
- Days 1-2: Rome
- Days 3-5: Amalfi coast
- Day 6: Pompeii
- Day 7-10: Florence (via Rome)
The best time of the year to plan 10 days in this area is the spring and the early autumn, when the weather is mild and all tourism structures open (many hotels and restaurants close in winter).
The best way yo visit this area is a mix of train, boat, and bus
Italy itinerary idea #5: 10 days in Apulia, Matera, Paestum, Rome
This 10 day Italy itinerary touches on some of the most scenic and up and coming destinations in the whole of Italy: Apulia (Puglia, in Italian) and Matera
For this itienrary I recommend:
- Day 1-4: Puglia (Bari, Trani, Alberobello, Martina Franca, Lecce are only some of the examples of stunning locations in this area. The closest airports are Bari, Brindisi and Naples
- 5-7 Matera
- 7-8 Paestum, to see amazing stunning Greek temples that rival the beauty of those in Sicily
- Days 9-10 Rome
This is a wonderful Italy itinerary in any season and will require renting a car
10 day Italy itinerary idea #6 for foodies: Tuscany, Cinque Terre Bologna and Parma
If you love food, you will love this itinerary built around the food powerhouse regions of Tuscany, Liguria and Emilia Romagna, the home of Parma ham, parmignano, tortellini and much much more.
This foodie itinerary around Italy includes:
- Day 1-2: Rome (with a Trastevere food tour)
- Day 3-4: Florence and surrounding area (with winery day your)
- Days 5-6: Cinque Terre (to taste the amazing Ligurian food and maybe learn to make with a local cooking class)
- Day 7-9: Bologna and Parma (food tours here are a foodie paradise)
- Day 10: Rome
The best time of the year for this Itinerary is the spring followed by late summer/ early autumn (September).
The best mean of transport in this area is a mix of train between the main cities and private yours for winery visits.
10 day in Italy itinerary idea #7 Milan, the Lakes, Florence
If what you are looking for, from your Italy trip is a mix elegant atmosphere, beautiful villas and serene landscapes, then this is the itinerary for you.
The area of the lakes is beautiful but I don’t recommend you spend too long here as to be honest, it can get boring.
Instead, I recommend you mix a few days here with stops in Milan, Florence and Rome, easy to reach by train: they are very diverse and all worth a visit
- Day 1-2: Milan
- Day 3-6 Lake Como and Lake Maggiore
- Day 6-8 Florence
- Day 8-10 Rome
This is a great Italy itinerary from spring to autumn and the easiest way to visit this area is with a mix of train journeys and private car
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.
At a glance, when planning your trip to Italy, this is what you can expect weather-wise:
Summer: Summer in Italy is a hot and sticky season. This is a great time for the mountains and seaside location but it can be tiring for city exploring and traditional sightseeing.
Summer is very high season in Italy for tourism and advance booking for hotel, transport and attractions is mandatory
Spring and autumn: spring and fall are usually the most pleasant times to visit Italy.
Both these seasons are popular with tourists so advance booking is mandatory and crowds must be expected
The winter is low season in Italy and it is the best time to visit if you want to avoid excessive crowds.
There is a significant exception to this rule however: Christmas is high season in Italy (Rome and Florence especially) and Venice hosts its famous carnival in February, a time when prices and the number of visitors soar
Transport: the best way to travel around Italy
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
When renting a car, make sure you familiarize yourself with the specific driving rules and limited access areas in cities/towns
If you prefer to drive in Italy, have a look at our observations here.
Within city, I suggest you do not drive and use public transportation instead. The busiest and hardest city to navigate is Rome, but you can find our easy Rome public transport guide here
Necessary 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 risks and annoyances
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.
Italy packing list
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 and guidebooks for your trip to Italy
Lonely Planet Italy (excellent overview is traveling extensively in Italy)
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