In the last two articles I have talked about the VISA requirements and flights. If you haven’t checked them out, please do so first and come back to this piece in which I will discuss the perfect itinerary for your Italian sojourn.
But before delving into that, we must answer a very important question.
What is the correct number of days needed for Italy?
Well, that is a very subjective question. There are some who would say even one month is not enough and some who would say they can cover Italy in 2 days and the entire Europe in 10 days. If you fall in either category, this article is not for you. But if you want a reasonable and doable time-frame for your Italian sojurn, read on.
According to me 14 days is quite sufficient for covering Italy (other than the coastal areas). Obviously, you won’t be able to visit all the places and see everything there is to see, but you can cover the important ones and not get too rushed during your travels.
So, I will first tell you about the itinerary that we followed, and then give suggestions on how you can modify it according to your liking.
Day 1: Flight from India to Rome via Abu Dhabi. We took a night flight on Friday and reached Rome on Saturday morning (It guarantees the maximum utilization of time, but do take into consideration the grogginess after a red-eye flight).
Day 2: Reach Rome in the morning. Check in. You can visit the Vatican Museum after lunch. Explore the night scenes of Rome with a Gelato in hand.
Day 3: Visit the Colosseum in the morning, when the weather is bearable, and crowds are manageable. Roam around in Rome (sorry for the bad pun 😅)
Day 4: Travel from Rome to Florence by train, get settled; and then get out to explore the beautiful city of Florence. Don’t forget to visit Piazzale Michelangelo in the evenings, dance with hundred other souls while you catch a breath-taking sunset in the background.
Day 5: Visit the centuries old museums of Florence, explore a bevy of leather shops and test your bargaining skills. Spend the evening in any Ponte Vecchio to enjoy another magical sunset.
Day 6: Get a rented car from Florence to explore the Tuscan countryside. You can make a pit stop at Siena.
Day 7: Explore the gorgeous natural beauty of the wine capital of the world, Tuscany.
Day 8: Start early for your journey towards Pisa. Return the rented car at Pisa and head over to the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa for those coveted photos. Next, take the late afternoon train from Pisa towards the next destination, La Spezia, which is the main station to reach the famous five villages of Cinque Terre.
Day 9: Embark on the adventurous Cinque Terre trek and catch a glimpse of the Ligurian Sea from a vantage point.
Day 10: Head towards the shopping capital of the world, Milan. Don’t miss out on the awe inspiring and grandiose Milan Cathedral.
Day 11: Take a tour of Lake Como from Milan and explore the picturesque villages.
Day 12: Take the train from Milan to arrive at your final and most unique destination, Venice.
Day 13: Take a tour of the historically important and very Instagram friendly islands of Venice and watch their exquisite glass making.
Day 14: Roam around Venice and buy some souvenirs. Don’t forget to grab some Limoncello and Pizza while you’re at it.
Day 15: Take the flight from Venice to India with a heart full of irreplaceable memories.
If the itinerary seems too brief, don’t worry. I will write about each aspect of the travel in detail in the next articles. This is just an overview for reference.
We started from Rome and ended the trip in Venice. You can do it the other way around too. If you are short on time, you may skip the La Spezia and Cinque terre part and save 2 days there. You can also reduce one day in Venice.
Another option would be to include Naples, Pompeii and Amalfi coast after Florence if that catches your fancy.
In Italy, the public transportation is really good, and you can totally bank on it. We rented a car only for 2 days in Tuscany. The rest was all by train and bus.
In the next article I will talk about the transportation part in detail and then we will delve deeper into each individual place and what to explore there.