I’m not going to lie, answering the question how to see Italy in 10 days is anything but easy. There are so many amazing things to see in Italy that 10 days is just so less to even scratch the surface of this beautiful country. However, we understand that most people don’t have the luxury of time when traveling. That’s why we designed six different 10 days itineraries for visiting Italy. But before we get into it, let’s cover some basic information that will help you make the most out of your 10 days in Italy and help you travel easily without wasting time; in 10 days, this can be crucial.
How To Plan For 10 Days In Italy?
When it comes to traveling, there is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution. It mostly depends on what you want. You may want to see some of the most iconic sights of Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice. Maybe you want to explore the Dolomites, relax at the beaches in the south or get off the beaten track in Italy and go to places most tourists don’t. That’s why we used our past experiences of visiting Italy and designed a few different 10 days itineraries that cater to different types of travelers.
What’s The Best Time To Visit?
Again, it depends on what you’d like to do on your trip. Most people visit Italy during the summer and around this time of the year, most of Italy is crowded, hot, and more expensive than the rest of the year but perfect if you want to spend your vacation on the beautiful beaches of Sardinia, Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, or Puglia. But from my personal experience, the best time to visit Italy is April-May and September-October. The weather is perfect, there aren’t that many tourists around, and the prices for accommodation, renting cars, etc. are significantly lower.
Planning Your Transportation
When you have only 10 days in Italy, you can’t afford to lose a lot of time, and choosing your transportation wisely is one of the most crucial aspects of planning your itinerary. Of course, you can always travel from one city to another by flight but as we mention in our guide to visiting Italy on a budget, this isn’t something we recommend. It’s much better if you have a solid itinerary and know the transportation options of every place.
For example, if you’re traveling in the central part of Italy (Rome, Florence, etc.) or some parts of Southern Italy, the best option, in my opinion, is to travel by train. There are a lot of high-speed trains that can take you places in no time. If you’re traveling in Northern Italy, on the other hand, it might be a good idea to rent a car because the trains in the mountains are slower while the roads are more direct and also allow you to take your own time and even stop to enjoy some of the majestic landscapes of the Dolomites. And if you do that, make sure to check out this article that will help you choosing where to stay in the Dolomites.
A Few More Useful Tips
Learn some basic Italian and don’t be afraid to talk to the locals. They can give you the best tips on how to travel like a local and eat and do things locals like to do.
Find some “sister banks” to your bank in the cities that you plan to visit and create a map of the ATMs near some of the places that you plan to visit. This way, you can save some money on commissions and avoid costly currency exchanges.
Keep in mind that most restaurants and even some shops close during the late afternoon/ early evening and plan your meals accordingly.
If you’re traveling by train, don’t forget to validate your tickets in advance.
Costs Of Traveling To Italy
It depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. The most expensive places in Italy are Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan and they’ll probably be on your itinerary. You could save a lot of money if you stay in small towns or visit the countryside but I doubt that’s feasible when you have only 10 days in Italy.
The average costs of traveling to Italy are €150 per person per day. The average accommodation for one person is around €60- €70 per night. If you’re a backpacker, you can save a lot of money by staying in hostels (€20- €30 per night). The price of an average meal is €35- €40 and having all this in mind, perhaps the best possible option is to rent a Vrbo with an equipped kitchen where you can prepare your own meals but having in mind your limited time and crammed schedule, I’m not sure this is possible.
To sum up, on average, a 10-day trip to Italy should cost somewhere around €1500 per person.
Where To Go?
Now, this is perhaps the most important question and the answer to it is completely subjective. Most 10-day itineraries in Italy include the big 4; Rome, Milan, Florence, and Venice. However, some people want to see more of the south (Naples, Pompei, Bari, Reggio Calabria, etc.), explore the Dolomites, spend most of their time at the beaches in Puglia, on the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, or Sardinia. When it comes to Italy, the options are endless.
Our itinerary tries to cover as much as you can cover in 10 days in Italy. We’ll share the route of this itinerary in great detail but in the end, we’ll also provide a few alternative itineraries that you can take. Let’s start
10-Days Italy Itinerary For Active Travelers
There’s an old Roman saying that says “all roads lead to Rome” and when traveling in Italy, you’ll see just how true this saying is. Rome is the starting (and most often ending) point for most people who visit Italy. Rome is located in the central part of Italy from where you can easily get to Florence and Milan within a few hours but you’re also very close to Naples and the southern parts of Italy too. And even though this itinerary might seem exhausting at a glimpse, it’s completely doable. Let’s take a look at this 10-day Italy itinerary day-by-day.
Day 1: Rome
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Amalfi Coast
Day 4: Florence
Day 5: Florence + Day Trip
Day 6: Cinque Terre
Day 7: Milan
Day 8: Milan & Lake Como
Day 9: Venice
Day 10: Venice
Day 1: Rome
Our suggested itinerary for a day in Rome consists of visiting the following places (in this particular order); Trevi Fountain- Pantheon- Roman Forum- Palatine Hill- Colosseum. We know there’s a lot to see in Rome but if you want to cover some of the city’s most iconic highlights, this route is perfect to cover in a day because the total distance between Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum is only 3 kilometers and all other sights are located on the way. And the best part is that you could even cover this route by walking or cycling. But to be able to do this in such a short time, it’s also important to be strategic about where you stay in Rome.
Most people start their Rome itinerary in Trevi, one of the most beautiful and oldest streets in Rome (not as old as the Via Sacra though). Located at the endpoints of Aqua Virgo where Rome’s three famous streets meet, Trevi is probably the most beautiful fountain in Rome. The fountain is 85 feet tall and spills out close to 3 million cubic feet of water every day.
The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in Rome. In the past, it was the most important temple in Rome but throughout the years, it was transformed into a catholic church.
The Roman Forum was one of the most important political buildings of Ancient Rome and a place where a lot of important discussions took place. Located in the heart of Ancient Rome, the grandiose remains of the old forum is a place that was once called the most celebrated meeting place in the world.
If you want to take a glimpse of the glamour of old Rome, Palatine Hill is a must. Dotted as the home of Rome’s rich and famous, Palatine Hill is the neighborhood where Romulus and Remus were raised. The hill is dotted with ancient remains and you’d have to turn on your imagination to see the place at its former glory but nevertheless, it’s still one of the most important historic sites in Rome.
And in the end, we have perhaps Rome’s most famous monument; the great Colosseum. Built between 70 and 72 AD, the Colosseum was a site where numerous games (most notably gladiator fights) took place.
Where to Stay in Rome
When choosing a place to stay in Rome, the location is extremely important. Some of our favorite hotels that are close to the attractions we mention in this itinerary are Hassler Roma, Hotel Artemide, Avignonesi Suites, and Clarion Collection Hotel Principessa Isabella.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to save some money, you can always choose a hostel, or a convent (or other types of religious accommodation, some of them are really close to the city center).
Day 2: Vatican
Even though it’s formally an independent state, the Vatican is an enclave in the heart of Rome. I always say that no trip to Rome is complete without visiting the Vatican and that’s why I suggest you spend an entire day exploring the historical sites and beautiful cathedrals.
Some of the most famous sights in the Vatican include the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica (the largest Catholic church in the world), and the Vatican Museum. However, visiting these places isn’t that simple. The lines in front of these places oftentimes require hours of waiting before entering. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to pre-book your tickets or schedule a Vatican tour.
And if you didn’t like our previous suggestions, you can also visit the Roman Catacombs, walk the legendary Appian Way, go for a food tour, or take a day trip to Tivoli or Capri.
Day 3: Amalfi Coast
The best way to get from Rome to the Amalfi Coast is by train. The journey takes around two hours. Try to book your ticket at least 1-2 days in advance and since this itinerary leaves only one day for the Amalfi Coast, I suggest you leave around 5 or 6 AM so that you would have more time to explore. The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful (and unfortunately most touristy) stretches of sandy beaches in Italy.
Usually, I would advise anyone to spend 4-5 days to properly explore the region, and choosing what to do on the coast in a day can be very hard. That’s why I will give a few alternatives instead of suggesting a strict itinerary.
Alternative 1: Positano-Amalfi-Ravello (experience the best of the small towns of the Amalfi Coast).
Alternative 2: Spending a day in Sorrento, a beautiful coastal town where you can get a glimpse of the authentic Italian way of life.
Alternative 3: A day in Capri, one of the most luxurious travel destinations in Italy.
Alternative 4: Spending a few hours in Naples and catching a glimpse of the legendary ruins of Pompei.
Day 4: Florence
The train journey from the Amalfi Coast to Florence takes 3-4 hours, so if you want to make most of your time in Florence, I suggest you leave early again. The trains to Florence start from 5:30 AM and reach Florence around 8:30, so you would have the whole day to explore Florence. Just make sure to book your ticket online (Italiarail is always a safe choice).
You can start by visiting the legendary Il Duomo and climb to the dome to get the most spectacular view of Florence. From there, you can continue to the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in town from where you can get another spectacular view at the top of Giotto’s Bell Tower.
Don’t forget to check out Piazza della Signoria where you can see the Fountain of Neptune, the statues of Loggia dei Lanzi, and the gorgeous Palazzo Vecchio. And finally, to round up the day, visit Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze where you can see a lot of iconic Renaissance statues (i.e. Michelangelo’s David).
Where to Stay in Florence
Florence offers a plethora of accommodation options but it’s probably a good idea to stick to the city center (at least when you have only 10 days in Italy). This way, you’ll be close to most tourist attractions and you won’t lose a lot of time getting around. Some of our favorite hotels in Florence are Hotel Lungarno, Hotel Bonciani, Residenza Delle Arti, and Lost in Florence (you can use our links to save up to 15% when booking).
Day 5: Florence
I suggest you start the second day with a trip to the Basilica of Santa Croce (home to the tombs of some of the greatest minds of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, etc.). From here, you can head to Uffizi Gallery to see some of the most beautiful artwork from the Renaissance era. However, keep in mind that the queue at the gallery is always very long. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to pre-book your ticket.
After a short break, you can visit Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens and to round up the day, grab a gelato and stroll alongside the banks of the Arno River and enjoy the sunset at perhaps the most famous bridge in Europe, Ponte Vecchio.
Finally, if you don’t like these activities, you can also go for a walking tour, check out our list of hidden gems in Florence that most tourists don’t know about, or take a day trip to either Siena, Pisa, or Lucca.
The next day will be full of new activities and two new cities, so perhaps it’s best to leave Florence with the last night train and head to Cinque Terre where you’d spend the night, get a good rest, and start exploring again in the morning.
Day 6: Cinque Terre And Genoa
Cinque Terre is a sprawling city famous for its vineyards, medieval charm, and gorgeous hillside. You can spend half a day in Cinque Terre just soaking in the sun or exploring important historical sites, such as Doria Castle, Church of San Giovanni Batista, and Nostra Signora di Soviorea.
One hour away from Cinque Terre lies one of the most important medieval polices in Italy that’s often forgotten by most tourists; Genoa. Genoa is an important historic center with a lot of exciting things to do but since you’d only have half a day, I suggest you visit Via Garibaldi (the most famous ancient street in Genoa), Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, the Royal Palace Museum, and enjoy the views from the Lighthouse of Genoa.
Day 7: Milan
For your first day, I always suggest starting with Piazza del Duomo and the beautiful Duomo Cathedral with its jaw-dropping Gothic façade. Once inside, don’t miss the chance to climb to the top of the spire and get an amazing view of the Alps towering over the beautiful city of Milan.
If you’re into shopping, you can head to the symbol of Milan luxury, Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery. While in Milan, you should also visit the 15th-century castle, Sforza Castle, some of the city’s most beautiful churches like Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (the Milanese Sistine Chapel) and Duomo di Milano, and last but not least, the most important Italian theater; La Scala.
Finally, for a glimpse of Milan’s famous nightlife, don’t forget to visit the Navigli District. If you need more ideas for things to do in Milan but your time is limited, you can also check out this 2-day Milan itinerary.
Where to Stay in Milan
Again, when staying in big cities when you only have 10 days in Italy, sticking to the city center is a safe (but expensive) choice. Some of our favorite hotels in Milan include Hotel Ascot, Chateau Monfort, Uptown Palace, and Hotel Vecchia Milano.
Day 8: Milan & Lake Como
You can start your second day in Milan with a trip to Cenacolo Vinciano (the Last Supper). Try to visit early in the morning but I still suggest to go for a skip-the-line tour because the queue is always ridiculously long (there’s a good reason for that). This way, you’ll have enough time to spend the rest of the day at Lake Como.
Como Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy and its proximity to Milan makes it a perfect choice for a road trip. The most important town on the lake is Como but there are a lot of beautiful villages that are worth visiting too. You can rent a boat, walk along the coast, or rent a scooter and explore the area.
Day 9: Venice
The fastest trains reach Venice from Milan in two hours. That’s why it’s always such a shock for most people who visit Venice for the first time to see something so beautiful and exquisite and yet so different after only two hours of traveling.
On your first day in Venice, you can visit St. Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs, Doge’s Palace, and take a Grand Canal Tour. Warning: it will be crowded, expensive (Venice is perhaps the most expensive city in Italy) but it’s worth it.
St. Mark’s Square is probably one of the first places you’ll see in Venice. This bustling square is also home to Venice’s most famous Basilica (St. Mark) and another famous monument; the legendary clock tower of Venice from where you can get some of the most amazing views of Venice. From there, you can head to Doge’s Palace through the Bridge of Sighs that passes over Rio di Palazzo and connects the New Prison to the interrogation rooms of the palace.
Finally, you can complete your day with a sunset Grand Canal tour. It’s a great way to learn a few things about the city, admire the beautiful canals, and see the real charm of Venice through its beautiful narrow waterways.
If you’re looking for some more things to do in Venice (there are a lot, but unfortunately, this itinerary covers only 10 days in Italy), check out Ponte degli Scalzi and the main canal, Canal Grande, visit the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, catch a Vaporetto near Roma Square, explore the old Jewish Ghetto, visit Dorsoduro District, or check out some of the most famous theaters in Venice, such as Carlo Goldoni and La Fernice.
Where to Stay in Venice
Here are some of our suggestions about places to stay in Venice. If you’re looking for some luxury, check out Hotel Palazzo Stern or Ai Reali. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some great budget accommodation options, we recommend Hotel Mercurio or Gorizia a La Valigia. Finally, you can also go for Vrbo (you can get $55 off your first booking by using our code).
Day 10: Venice-Murano-Burano
In the end, we think it’s a great idea to complete you 10 days in Italy with a day trip to the most popular islands of Venice; Murano, famous for its hand-blown glass, and Burano, famous for its beautiful colorful houses and handmade lace. The best way to get to the islands is via Vaporetto which might take some time or via motorboat.
Alternative Ways To Spend 10 Days in Italy
As we mentioned in the beginning, in this part of the article, we provide a few alternative 10-day itineraries for Italy.
Itinerary For Slow Travelers
This itinerary is similar to our 10-day itinerary in Italy. The main difference is that this route allows more time to explore Italy’s most touristy cities. Having more time, you can indulge in more activities, such as cooking classes, food tours, and more alternative activities that will enrich your experience even though you won’t find them in most tourist guides.
Days 1-2: Milan
Days 3-4: Venice
Days 5-7: Florence+ (possibly) Bologna
Days 7-10: Rome and the surroundings
Rome, Florence+ Southern Italy
This itinerary combines sightseeing in Florence and Rome with experiencing the most famous tourist sites in Southern Italy (excluding Sicily) such as Pompei, Matera, and the main tourist attractions of Naples and the Amalfi Coast.
Days 1-2: Florence
Days 3-5: Rome
Day 6-7: Naples
Day 8: Pompei
Day 9: Amalfi Coast Villages
Day 10: Matera
Itinerary For Beach Lovers
This is probably the easiest 10-day Italy itinerary. It consists mostly of lazing on beaches, drinking wine, eating tasty food, exploring Sicily, and a little bit of walking. If you don’t want to move a lot and cover long distances during your 10 days in Italy, this itinerary is a great way to experience the famous Italian Il Dolce Far Niente (Art of Doing Nothing).
Day1: Porto Cervo and Olbia
Day 2: Maddalena island hopping
Day 3: Arzechena ruins
Day 4: Porto Rafael beaches
Day 5: Exploring the hills
Day 6-7 Palermo
Day 8: Mount Etna tour
Day 9: Taormina
Day 10: Catania
Southern Italy in 10 Days
If it’s not your first time in Italy and you’ve traveled enough in Northern and Central Italy or just want to travel around the south, this 10-day Italy itinerary is for you!
Day 1: Naples
Day 2: Pompei
Day 3: Sorrento
Day 4-5 Amalfi Coast & villages
Day 6: Matera
Day 7: Bari
Day 8: Alberobello
Day 9: Taranto
Day 10: Reggio Calabria
Northern Italy in 10 Days
If it’s not your first time in Italy and you’ve traveled enough in Southern Italy and had your fair share of Sicily or just want to discover the beauties of Northern Italy, this 10-day Italy itinerary is for you!
Days 1-2: Milan
Day 3: Lake Como
Day 4-5: Bergamo
Day 6: Lake Iseo & Monte Isola
Day 7: Verona
Day 8: Bologna
Day 9-10: Venice
Helpful Resources For Planning Your Italy Itinerary
If you’re looking for a cheap flight to Italy, Alitalia and their partner, Qatar Airways is always a safe choice.
Before renting a car in Italy, make sure to check out and compare all deals on Auto Europe to make sure you’re always getting the best price.
Finally, don’t forget about travel insurance. Do you know how it’s always better to be safe than sorry? That’s why we use World Nomads. They are more expensive than most other providers but my own experience has taught me (the hard way) never to try to save on travel insurance.
How did you like our 10-day itineraries for Italy? How would you spend 10 days in Italy if given the chance? Do you have anything to add that we forgot to mention? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
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