Italy’s historic landmarks, unbeatable art and culture, and breathtaking natural beauty make it one of the most sought-after European destinations. A visit to this ancient country will offer a wealth of experiences, from Classical ruins to some of the best food and wine on the planet.
I have been to Italy twice. During my first trip, I mostly explored Rome, where I also got a chance to stay with a local family. Living with a Roman family made me learn more about Roman culture and practices. On top of that, I got to explore some of the tourist highlights in Rome.
But I understand in a destination this intriguing and varied, the biggest problem you will face is a lack of time. If you only have a week to spend in Italy while cruising to Europe, it’s important to plan your itinerary carefully to make the most of your time.
Take a look at this suggested itinerary, which is designed to help guide you through a week in Italy. It covers some of the country’s most famous destinations, as well as a few of its hidden gems for good measure!
7-Day Italy Itinerary
Day 1: Rome
Start your Italian adventure off by exploring the historic landmarks of Italy’s ancient capital. The Eternal City is a must-visit destination for any traveler to Italy and serves up some of the most recognizable sights the country has to offer.
On your first day, start by exploring some of the city’s historic landmarks, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. You can also take a stroll through the beautiful Piazza Navona and visit the Trevi Fountain, where it is said that good luck will be yours if you toss a coin in and make a wish.
One of the best things to do in Rome is to get out of the city center and discover some of the quieter neighbourhoods on the legendary seven hills on which it was originally built.
Charming Trastervere is a hip, alternative district with a rich, working-class history, and now one of the best parts of the city for inventive eateries and cool bars. Monti boasts both archaeological wonders and bohemian culture, with boutiques and classical ruins galore. Finally, upscale Prati is an Art Nouveau delight, full of beautiful architecture and stylish cocktail bars.
The best way to complete all these highlights, on a fast track, is by a Segway Trip.
Day 2: Vatican City
On your second day, why not visit a new country without leaving the city? The Vatican is the home of the Pope, and an independent country and city to Italy and Rome, as well as being one of the most remarkable and significant religious sites in the world. St. Peter’s Basilica is a marvel, and the Vatican Museum houses some of the world’s most famous art treasures, as well as the breathtaking frescoes of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Visiting the Vatican is an immensely popular part of almost all Italian itineraries, and it can be an overwhelming and crowded experience. It is worth getting a head start on the crowds and starting early if you want to take in the beauty of its collections before the tourists really start to arrive.
Day 3: Florence
On your third day, jump in the car or take a train to Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. There is so much to see and do in Florence that it is worth its own vacation, but if you only have a day there are a few areas to concentrate on. Start by visiting the Duomo, Florence’s magnificent cathedral, which features a stunning dome designed by Brunelleschi.
Afterwards, take a stroll across the Ponte Vecchio, a picturesque medieval bridge lined with shops selling jewellery and souvenirs. Don’t forget to visit the Uffizi Gallery, which houses an incredible collection of Italian Renaissance art, including works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
Dining out is an exceptional experience in Florence, and the Tuscan capital prides itself on being the center of the Italian culinary arts. From ancient trattorias serving up classic Florentine tripe and vast slabs of bistecca a la Florentina to artful, innovative fine-dining spots offering incredible modern takes on classic Tuscan cooking, this is the most stylish, gluttonous, and gourmet place to eat in the country.
Day 4: Venice
No trip to Italy would be complete without a visit to the iconic, unique canal city of Venice. This remarkable spot is built entirely on water, with its major highways consisting of canals and waterways, and the best way around it is by gondola!
Stroll across the Rialto Bridge and explore the winding cobbled streets, float gently downstream while being serenaded with o Solo Mio, and visit St. Mark’s Basilica for a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture (a demonstration of Venice’s historic sea power).
Don’t forget to try some authentic Venetian cuisine, including seafood risotto and Cicchetti, small plates of snacks that are perfect for sharing.
No trip to Venice would be complete without a quick dash across the lagoon to the tiny island of Murano. This charming speck of land is home to the finest glassblowers and artisans in the world, who create remarkable figurines, trinkets, ornaments, and other items of glassware in the unique Murano style.
Day 5 and 6: The Amalfi Coast
For your final days in Italy, it is time to relax on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast, a stretch of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. The Amalfi Coast is famous for its picturesque towns and villages, stunning beaches, and turquoise waters, as well as its charming clifftop towns. Visit Positano, known for its colorful houses and steep, narrow streets, or take a boat tour to explore the nearby islands of Capri and Ischia.
One of the best ways to really get a feel for the grandeur and exquisite nature of the Amalfi Coast is to go for a drive. The SS163 road winds and hairpin-bends its way along the coast, up and over towering cliffs, through gorgeous lemon groves, around eye-catching bays fringed with pine trees, and past ancient, sun-kissed villages.
Italy is an amazing country with an almost uncountable number of astonishing places to visit and things to see. This itinerary offers a tiny taste of what is in store, but you are guaranteed to want to come back time and again to this Mediterranean jewel.