Discover Italy in 2 weeks. Visit classical destinations such as Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Rome, Cinque Terre and the Amalfi coast.
Two weeks in Italy are probably the minimum time needed to give you a fair view and feeling about this wonderful country: you should be able to see many of Italy highlights and spend a decent time in each one of them.
This Italy in 2 weeks itinerary is based on my experience, personal tastes and on a tight 2 weeks schedule (reasonable days in brackets). I’m assuming you will purchase an “open jaws” ticket (meaning: landing and departing in two different airports), 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.
However, you may wish to rent a car, especially to explore Tuscany at your own pace, and to discover beautiful hamlets off the beaten path. If this is the case, I recommend you have a look at www.rentalcar.com, and book your car as early as possible, to ensure availability and to get the best rates. It’s an aggregator, and allows you to compare offers from the main car rental companies.
These are just ideas, with optimized logistics. Days to be spent in the different places can be modified based on your tastes and interests. Feel free to mix everything up, it’s your Italy in 2 weeks very personal trip!
Destination 1: Venice – (2-3 days)
Ferry Boat in Venice + a lot of walking (and maybe a romantic gondola ride ). Of course Rialto, San Marco and Palazzo dei Dogi, but also fancy Museums like Punta della Dogana . If you are travelling with kids, have a look at a child oriented itinerary. On the third day visit Murano, Burano and Torcello (1 day, by ferry).
Venice main highlights, and especially San Marco church, suffer from very long queues. To skip the line and to know more about its masterpieces, a guided tour could be a clever option. Click here for a good San Marco guided tour.
Where to stay in Venice:
- The Foscari Palace: enjoy a room on the Canal Grande, just in front of Rialto market
- The Hotel Pausania: a charming hotel in the off the beaten path Dorsoduro Neighborhood.
Destination 2: Florence (1-2 days)
The length of your stay in Florence will depend on how much time you wantto dedicate to Florence Museums.
Key highlights are 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). Have a look here for a one day walking itinerary.
You may consider a guided tour, to better appreciate Florence history and culture. If you would be interested in taking a guided tour, or to skip the line in the main museums, just follow the link.
Where to stay in Florence:
The Grand Hotel Cavour: lots of atmosphere and history for this fascinating hotel located between Santa Maria del Fiore and Palazzo Vecchio. The roof bar will seduce you with its fantastic views over the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.
Destination 3: Florence >> Pisa (Lucca) >> Cinque Terre (1 day).
It takes 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).
Destination 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).
Destination 5: 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).
This itinerary assumes you rent a car, by far my suggested option. In case you didn’t feel comfortable driving on Tuscany country roads, then you can use Florence as a hub and join Tuscany country side guided tours. Here are my recommended ones.
Where to stay in Tuscany: Monteriggioni (Siena)
- The Hotel Monteriggioni: a charming and romantic hotel, located in a fortified medieval village
- The Castel Pietraio, a true medieval castle, now four star hotel, to treat yourself like a king
Destination 6: Rome (3-4 days or more).
You don’t want to have a car in Rome; walk + hop on – hop off buses (follow this link to reserve on line, no need to print the receipt). 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 – click here if you wish to reserve your visit with Ticketbar).
Mercati di Traiano, Fori Imperiali (including Orti Farnesiani), Colosseum, Palatino are unmissable destinations, and for this reason may be crowded. Purchasing the ticket in advance is a clever way to skip the line and to save time .
Don’t miss 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 and the awesome Borghese Gallery. Villa Adriana and Villa D’Este, both in Tivoli (30 km from Rome) make a pleasant day trip out of town .
Where to stay in Rome:
- The Hotel la Lumiere, a delightful hotel hidden a few blocks away from the Spanish steps, in posh via Condotti. Great roof top, have your breakfast while admiring Rome century old roofs!
Destination 7: Rome >>Naples/Sorrento (2/3 days).
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!).
For more info about Amalfi coast visit my posts: Capri: breathtaking Faraglioni and Natural Arch walking tour and Best of Amalfi coast
Would you like an independent advice on your next trip to Italy? Visit my Italy Travel consultant page.
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