Greetings, loved ones – or should I say ciao, bellas! After all, we are here to talk 10 days in Italy after all.
Before we dive in, I just want to quickly address what has been quite the blog hiatus! Wowza, I missed this little ol’ space. I can’t promise it’ll be perfect, but I sure am going to try to carve out more time to write – for you, and for me! Reading back on special moments (like our crazy wedding day, getting engaged in Paris, or moving to Austin) is my favorite part about having Days By Day.
Okay…back to travel!
Eric and I actually planned this trip in January 2020. Welp, we all know what happened then. When it came time to planning a trip this fall, we pulled up our old notes and made this adventure a reality, finally! Fresh from our trip, I’m excited to be sharing our itinerary for 10 days in Italy (it’s reallyyy good y’all, I’m proud of us) and some favorite photos.
This itinerary and post discuss four spots: Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Venice.
HOW LONG TO SPEND IN ITALY
After visiting, I would say carving out at least 1 week, ideally 2 weeks to visit Italy – and of course, if you can do more, that’s amazing! Allocating 2 – 3 days minimum to a city (depending on size) allows you to typically see the highlights and ensures you aren’t moving accommodations every day. That said, if one city in Italy is part of a grander Euro tour, like Rome, than a few days alone could work. For this post and our experience though, we were focused on a full Italian excursion!
NOTE: This itinerary reflects 9 days truly on-the-ground in Italy, and accounts for ~1 day of travel to and from the country. This will vary from your place of origin! Our flights to and from Italy were oddly both at 12 pm local time. Yes, there is a time change, but when it came to marking calendar days and planning for time off, that’s where that 10 day trip total comes from!
It was my first time to the cities we visited, and Eric’s second (except Cinque Terre). His last trip was a high school excursion though, so we knew this time together would be really different and special. I felt that Rome and Florence were musts for a first-timer, and we had about 10 days to to play with, which helped us land at the itinerary I map out below.
Before sharing, I have to emphasize how difficult it was to pick our final destinations!
It was a balance of how much we could see, but also wanting to be mindful of having enough time in each spot to truly enjoy it. Ultimately, we focused on Northern and Central Italy*, with the promise to ourselves we’d return for Southern Italy. I’m really glad we did this, it allowed us to fully soak up everything we planned. (*Note: I learned that while Rome is located in Central Italy, it is actually considered to be more of Southern influence.)
GETTING AROUND ITALY
Getting to Italy: We flew from Houston, Texas into one place (Rome) and out another (Venice). This ended up costing slightly more than a round trip from one destination, but allowed us more time in Venice on the back end, as opposed to sacrificing time to travel back to Rome for a flight. Time is money, so getting to maximize our visit for a few hundred bucks was 100% worth it to us.
Getting around Italy: TAKE THE TRAIN. Gosh, not only is it beautiful, but it is SO easy. The trains in Europe are sophisticated, clean and as comfortable as a flight (sometimes more depending on your airline or ticket). There is also free, working Wi-Fi!
The train stations are like airports – restaurants, foods, big display boards showing arrivals and departures (like gates at an airport). Unlike airports though, you aren’t waiting in long lines to go through security or to check bags – you pretty much just move through everything with all of your belongings, show your ticket to get onto the platform and board.
We had an amazing experience and I would take trains again in a heartbeat to get around. I’m listing specific train stations and the website we booked through (in advance a few weeks before arriving) below!
WHERE WE STAYED
I’ve listed our accommodations below, but plan to do a post about each city that will touch further on them! For now, feel free to click through and check the places out for yourself. My priorities when searching for places to stay are always 1) location and 2) cleanliness. I read lots of reviews – for better or for worse – and can be indecisive, but our hard work paid off! We truly enjoyed each place we stayed and had great experiences as it relates to both those criteria.
I should also note, we booked these spots anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks ahead of staying because we were a little last minute with our planning…oops. Makes me feel even luckier, and I’m sure you’d have even more options if you’re planning further in advance!
10 DAYS IN ITALY ITINERARY – NORTHERN/CENTRAL FOCUSED
*TRAVELING THERE: As noted above, ~ .5 day accounted for making our way to Italy. This could be less depending on your flights and place of origin (ours was Houston, Texas – CT time zone). We left Wednesday mid-day and arrived Thursday morning local time, which counted as our first full day in Rome. You’ll be jet-lagged and tired (we napped for a few hours in the evening) unless you are blessed with the ability to sleep the whole way to Europe, but that’s part of it – and there is lots of espresso!!
1) ROME– 3 days, 2 nights (including Vatican City!)
- How to get there: Fly into Rome Fiumicino Airport, we came from Houston.
- Where we stayed: A clean, simple Airbnb at Dream Castle Rome – essentially a 4-bedroom no frills apartment (with en suite bathrooms) turned hotel.
2) FLORENCE– 3 days, 2 nights
- How to get there: Take the high-speed train from Roma Termini station to Firenze S M Novella in Florence. This will take 1.5 hours. Book your train here: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en
- Where we stayed: La Gabbia del Grillo, our own apartment with courtyard views that were *chef’s kiss*!
3) CINQUE TERRE – 1.5 day, 2 nights
- How to get there: Take the train from Firenze S M Novella station to Monterosso in Cinque Terre. This will take about 3.5 hours. See website above to book.
- Where we stayed: Camere D’ Autore La Poesia. The SWEETEST host and delicious breakfast included!
4) VENICE – 1.5 days, 2 nights.
- How to get there: Take the train from Monterosso Station to Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia in Venice. This will take about 5.5 hours. See website above to book.
- Where we stayed: Residenza Corte Molin. True Venetian charm and decor in a fantastic location.
*TRAVELING HOME: This is easier from a jet-lag perspective. Again, this is counted as the last ~ .5 day of our trip, but know because of the time change, you’ll be on-the-go a for full day depending on your flight/destination. We left Saturday mid-day and arrived Saturday evening in Houston. By the time we had a snack, showered and went to bed, we had been up for 24+ hours, so I highly recommend giving yourself a buffer recovery day before returning to work!
Getting inspired for your own 10 days in Italy yet?? I hope this helps with planning, even if you take away just a couple nuggets.
Stay tuned! More details by city to come.