Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Rome, Cinque Terre and the Amalfi cost. Find out the best destinations Italy can offer you if you can count on two weeks to explore it.
Two weeks are probably the minimum time needed to give you a fair view and feeling about Italy: you should be able to see most of Italy highlights and spend a decent time in each one of them.
This is a potential itinerary, based on my tastes and on a tight schedule (reasonable days in brackets). It’s based on the hypothesis you are purchasing and “open jaws” ticket, to save valuable time. A round trip would imply at least half a day more.
I tried to use train / public transportation as far as possible, and showed (in brackets) average transfer times.
These are just ideas, with a decent logistics. Days to be spent in the different places are very rough: they depends on your tastes and interests. Feel free to mix everything up, it’s your holiday!
1 Venice – (2-3 days), Ferry Boat in Venice + a lot of walking (and maybe a cheap Gondola ride). Of course Rialto, San Marco and Palazzo dei Dogi, but also fancy Museums (Punta della Dogana) and off the beaten track walks . If you are travelling with kids, have a look at a child oriented itinerary. On the third day visit Murano-Torcello- Burano (1 day, ferry)
2 – Florence (1-2 days), depending if you are keen on museums or not. Uffizi, Michelangelo’s David (in Galleria dell’accademia, the one in front of Palazzo Vecchio is a copy) , Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce, San Miniato, piazzale Michelangiolo, Via Tornabuoni, Palazzo Pitti, Boboli, Fiesole (20-30’ out of town).
3 – Florence >> Pisa (Lucca) >> Cinque Terre (1 day). It take a little less than 3 hours to go by train from Florence to the Cinque Terre area, via Pisa. Lucca is half an hour from Pisa by train. If you decide to visit also Lucca, you could consider spending the night in one of the two towns (I personally prefer Lucca).
4 – “Cinque Terre”. It’s worth spending 1-2 days at Cinque Terre, but should also visit Portofino and San Fruttuoso (convenient boat services/tour available). Sestri Levante, lovely little town located between Portofino and the Cinque Terre could be a good Base. Don’t use a car, parking is a nightmare. (2 days).
5 -Sestri / “Cinque Terre” – Siena / Tuscany country side. Here you could consider renting a car, to provide you with all the freedom you want to explore this fascinating countryside. Tuscany country side >>> Rome. Chianti, Monteriggioni, Siena, Montalcino, Val d’Orcia, Pienza, Montepulciano >>> Rome. (1-2 days, even more if you like the countryside and the good food).
6 – Rome (3-4 days or more). You don’t want to have a car in Rome; walk + On&Off buses. Bicycles or scooters, if you dare, are fantastic solutions!). Spanish steps, Piazza Navona, Panteon, Fontana di Trevi, Campo dei Fiori, Old Ghetto, Trastevere. St Peter (consider climbing on the Cupola) + Vatican Museum (RESERVE! queues are terrible). Mercati di Traiano, Fori Imperiali (including Orti Farnesiani), Colosseum, Palatino, Aventino. Trastevere + Isola Tiberina (very lively area in summer time, funny & crowded). Appia antica + Catacombs (best by bike, you can rent one in via Appia), medieval Rome and its underground treasures. . If you are a running fanatic, don’t miss Villa Borghese. Villa Adriana and Villa D’Este, both in Tivoli (30 km from Rome) make a pleasant one day trip out of town.
7 – Rome >>Naples/Sorrento (2/3 days) Train. You can sleep in Naples or, better, in Sorrento. Visit Pompei, Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, Capri. Naples is also worth a visit. You can use public transports: boat service between Sorrento and Positano is very convenient, while buses, especially to Ravello, could be extremely crowded (consider sharing a taxi with fellow travelers). Renting a car could be an option in high season, but car parks are very expensive (and driving on the costiera is an experience on its own!).
Would you like an independent advice on your next trip to Italy? I’ll be happy to answer to your questions. Just ask, it’s free!