Obviously you can’t see all of Italy in 9 days. Below is roughly the Italy itinerary we pulled together last time we went on a week off from work. It doesn’t hit any of Southern Italy (high on our list of places to visit in the future) or any of the mountains in the north. But for a limited timeframe, and especially for someone who hasn’t spent much or any time in Italy before, it works.
Additional pictures are available in our Italy gallery (Click Here).
You can’t see all of Rome in two days so pick and choose what sights are important to you and go. The most popular ones include the Colosseum, Vatican (easy +1 to those country counting travelers out there), Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Whatever you decide to do, don’t leave the city without sampling the pizza and gelato. And don’t make the mistake of avoiding eating at all touristy areas – we shockingly had the best pizza on our whole trip to Italy at a patio restaurant within spitting distance of the Vatican!
When we last went, we timed it around the Internazionali BNL D’Italia tennis tournament, which won’t be a surprise to anyone who knows us or has read our guide to Paris (Click here).
If you really want to see all the sights, do some shopping, dine in nice restaurants, you could easily spend your entire week in Rome. But that would be a pretty boring post, and not really what we do on our trips, so….
Rome makes a good base for exploring other parts of the country given its fantastic train network. If you want to see more than big cities in Italy, visit the five seaside villages on the Italian Riviera coastline that make up Cinque Terre. It takes about four hours to get there from Rome. We chose to stay in the northernmost town, Monterosso, due to it being the most accessible by train and it having a wider selection of restaurants and accommodations. This area is beautiful. We recommend starting out early one day and doing the famous hike between the villages.
We’d probably try to add a day here if we could. The best part is exploring the villages, so you want to make sure you have some flexibility in your schedule in case of bad weather.
Why go to Florence? Aside from the fact Florence is a great destination in and of itself, with famous churches, museums and art galleries, Florence also makes for a fantastic base to explore other great cities, such as Venice, Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano. It’s also a great place to book a wine tour of Tuscany. You could easily spend a week in Florence, but we jammed it all in four days (Click here).