Planning the perfect first trip to Italy can be daunting. With each region having its own specific character and feel, an itinerary for Italy can quickly become over packed.
Deciding whether to fly in and out of the same city or traveling around via car rental or train are just some of the decisions that need to be made when planning an itinerary around Italy. From what cities to visit to what form of transportation to take to get there, the logistics of an Italian itinerary are substantial.
Use this perfect Italy itinerary to plan your first trip to Italy.
Start in Venice
What better way to arrive in Italy than at an airport that you take a boat to get to the city? Just outside the airport you can hitch a ride on a boat to head to the city of canals, Venice. You can spend days wandering around the alleys of Venice and sipping on Aperol Spritz into the late afternoons.
Spend a day or a few days exploring Venice
Do not miss a trip to the islands of Burano or Murano. These brightly colored little islands are home to some delicately made lace and Instagram-worthy photos galore. The water taxis are a good network to get to and from the islands and around Venice in a jiffy. Spend your mornings sipping a traditional Italian espresso and munching on some homemade pastries. In the afternoons explore the local fish markets and try some of the best Adriatic seafood.
Head to Ferrara and Bologna
This is best done by train. The ride to Ferrara is only about an hour and a half and if you get an early start, can get your there with plenty of time to explore in the day. Don’t miss tourist spots like the Duomo and the Castello Estense and spend some time wandering the cobblestone streets of Ferrara. In the afternoon, hop the train for a less than hour ride to Bologna.
Bologna is a great place to spend a night or two. The nightlife here is some of the best in Northern Italy. Spend your days exploring the city. Climb the leaning tower of Torre degli Asinelli for panoramic views.
On to Florence
The next leg is another short train ride up to Florence. This city is infamous for its traffic so make sure to pencil in extra time to get anywhere. You can easily spend days in Florence exploring all of the architecture and history that the city has to offer. The art museums and the food are enough to keep you occupied for days.
Spend a day in Pisa
There are few side trips you can take on the train to Pisa if you have more time in your schedule like Lucca. But if you are strapped for time, don’t miss taking an iconic photo with the leaning tower.
The Eternal City of Rome
It will take a half-day train ride to get to Rome but it is so worth it. Again, there are plenty of places to stop along the way if you have extra time in your schedule. Don’t miss making a wish in the Trevi fountain or an aperitivo cocktail before dinner.
Leave from Rome
Book your flight or onward travel out of Rome as there is plenty for you to do in this city to keep you occupied for a few days. This major airport allows cheap options to many countries around the world. Enjoy your trip!