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Italy is truly one of the most amazing places to visit, with so much incredible history, art, culture and food.
I’m sure you’ll love it here.
But if you only have a week for your trip, seeing everything Italy has to offer can feel a bit overwhelming.
Where do you even start planning with such a short amount of time?
Well, let me share some of my top tips for making the most of a one week itinerary in Italy based on what really may interests you.
We can focus your itinerary on seeing the best highlights while still leaving you feeling relaxed instead of rushed.
How does that sound?
How to plan the prefect one week Italy itinerary
Let’s see what are the steps to put together an ideal week that hits all the top spots.
Step 1: Decide when you want to go and your budget
The first step is figuring out timing and budget.
When were you thinking of going?
Italy is beautiful no matter the season, but each time of year does have its advantages.
Spring and fall tend to be less crowded with mild weather.
Summer is peak tourist season so you’ll find everything in full swing but it can be hot – just keep hydrated!
Winter is chilly and rainy at times but also more affordable.
As for budget, Italy does have a reputation for being pricey, especially in the big cities.
But don’t worry, there are ways to save too.
Traveling by train is often the most convenient and reasonably priced option.
You can also opt for hostels, Airbnbs or budget hotels to cut costs on accommodation.
And the local restaurants (Trattorie) are always the best value – you’ll love the authentic Italian cuisine.
What kind of budget did you have in mind?
Once you nail down dates and a rough price point, it’ll be much easier to start mapping out a fantastic itinerary that fits your trip vision.
How does that work for getting started on the planning?
Step 2: Choose your destinations and prioritize your must-sees
Next up is deciding where you want to go and what you don’t want to miss seeing. With only a week, you’ll really need to prioritize your destinations.
Some things to consider are what interests you most – art, history, nature, food? Do you prefer exploring multiple places or staying in one base?
And how much ground do you want to cover each day?
Let me give you some ideas of the top spots based on what’s most popular for a week in Italy:
Rome is a must – as the capital it has so many iconic sites like the Colosseum, Vatican and Trevi Fountain.
Florence will wow you with Renaissance art at the Uffizi and Duomo.
Venice is just magical to wander through the canals and bridges.
Tuscany is gorgeous countryside with charming towns like Siena and San Gimignano plus amazing wine.
And the Cinque Terre villages along the coast are a treat, with colorful houses and hiking trails between the seaside towns.
Does any of those appeal to you more than others?
Knowing your interests will really help focus the itinerary.
You can also map out how long in each place depending on your pace.
Let me know your thoughts on destinations – I’m happy to provide more details on any of them too.
Step 3: Plan your route and book your transportation
Now it’s time to start mapping out your route and booking transportation between destinations.
The best and most scenic way to get around Italy is definitely by train.
The trains are so efficient – you can sit back, relax and enjoy the views going from place to place.
It’s usually cheaper to book in advance so maybe you can start looking at dates and routes.
Renting a car is also an option, especially if you want flexibility to explore smaller towns.
Just be prepared for some stressful driving with traffic, narrow roads and ZTL zones (restricted areas where you need a special permit to enter)!
You’d also have to pay for tolls and parking.
It may be easier to focus on train travel between cities and only rent a car for certain day trips into the countryside.
What do you think would work best – trains, a car, or a mix of both?
Let’s start plugging in transportation to complete your itinerary.
Step 4: Book your accommodation and activities
Last but not least is sorting out where you’ll stay and what exciting things you’ll do each day.
Italy has such a variety of accommodation – you’ve got luxury hotels, charming bed and breakfasts, hostels if you’re on a budget, or even apartments through Airbnb if you want more space.
You can browse options on sites like Booking.com and read reviews from other travelers to help you pick the perfect spots.
Make sure to book early too since places fill up quickly, especially in the summer.
And don’t even get me started on all the amazing activities!
Between the world-class museums, historic churches and palaces, ancient ruins, outdoor adventures, food tours and local festivals, you’ll never run out of ways to entertain yourself.
Get in touch with me on socials to know if any special events are happening during your dates too.
Does this help wrap up the planning process?
Let me know if you need any recommendations once you get your full itinerary mapped out.
I’m sure you’re going to love every moment of your trip to Italy!
3 Amazing One Week Italy Itineraries
As someone who loves traveling myself, I know how important the planning stage is for ensuring you have an amazing time.
That’s why I put together a few sample itinerary ideas to help you get started imagining your dream vacation.
Depending on your travel preferences, one of these routes might appeal more than the others:
One Week Italy Itinerary For the History Buff:
Day 1-2: Rome
You’ll want to spend your first couple days in Rome soaking up the incredible history and art.
Start by taking in some of the most famous sights – be sure to check out the Colosseum, Vatican Museums, Roman forums and the beautiful Trevi Fountain.
But Rome has so many hidden gems to discover beyond the top attractions.
Go to Galleria Borghese which houses stunning sculptures by Bernini and Canova.
The gallery is hidden in a beautiful villa, offering serenity amidst the city hustle.
Secondly visit the National Museum of Rome, and check out various collections on one ticket.
This museum houses artifacts spanning from prehistoric times all the way to the modern era.
Before you leave Rome, put the Palazzo Colonna – Galleria Colonna on your list. It’s not one of the most popular art museums, which is exactly why you need to visit – you’ll feel like you’ve uncovered a secret treasure trove of art.
With so much history packed into every corner, you could easily fill two full days wandering the streets of Rome.
Days 3-4: Florence
Next up on your Italian adventure is the exquisite city of Florence.
Art lovers will be in heaven here – this place practically oozes creativity around every corner.
On day three, you have to visit the Uffizi Gallery.
Quite simply one of the best art museums in the world, its vast collection spans the Renaissance and features works by giants like Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo and more.
Plan to spend most of your morning here soaking it all in.
In the afternoon, head to the Galleria dell’Accademia.
This gallery is famous for housing one masterpiece above all others – Michelangelo’s incredible statue of David.
It is great to admire it in real life.
On the second day of your stay in Florence, visit Palazzo Vecchio with its bold architecture and history.
Then wander through the Pitti Palace galleries to discover its treasure trove of European paintings.
With its artistic soul, Florence is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the works of the great Renaissance masters.
Here are more articles about Florence:
Day 5: A Day in Medieval Siena
To break up your time in Florence, take a day to explore the charming hill town of Siena.
Only about an hour away by train, it makes for an excellent day trip if you want to see a new Italian city.
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when wandering Siena’s narrow medieval streets, lined with brick buildings and bursting with history.
Be sure to stop in the beautiful Piazza del Campo, the heart of the city and site of the famous Il Palio horse race.
While Siena doesn’t have the blockbuster art museums of Florence or Rome, it offers a glimpse into a very different side of Italian culture.
Wander in and out of churches decorated with stunning frescoes, and peek into courtyards hidden behind tall gates.
The pace of life feels calmer here compared to the bigger cities.
Enjoy soaking it all in over lunch in one of Siena’s cozy trattorias before heading back to Florence after a delightful day of exploring Tuscany’s scenic hill towns.
Here are a few tours that could be fun to check out:
Days 6-7: Venice
Next up on your Italian art tour is the enchanting city of Venice.
On your last two days, spend your time exploring its waterways and islands buzzing with creative marvels.
On day six, visit the Accademia Gallery.
As part of this unique collection are paintings by several great Venetian artists, including Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese.
Be sure to see Titian’s iconic Assumption of the Virgin.
In the afternoon, head to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.
In her former residence where she lived, the galleries display a unique collection of modern European and American art.
It’s a unique glimpse into her avant-garde tastes.
On your last day, check out the La Biennale di Venezia – Ca’ Giustinian.
Stroll through this vast compound of pavilions featuring modern art from all over the globe.
It is one of the best spots to find avant-garde works.
From the artistic background seen in every canal, Venice offers a watery grand finale to your Italian art tour.
Pro tip: An alternative to this itinerary would be to swap out the Siena day trip, and take the day trip to visit the archaeological site of Pompeii while you’re in Rome.
Or if you have more days you can simply add it to your schedule while you’re in Rome.
One Week Italy Itinerary For Food and Wine lovers
Day 1: Florence
Start your morning off right with a visit to the magnificent Florence Cathedral – take your time wandering the aisles in awe of the stunning architecture and artistry. When your stomach starts rumbling, fuel up with a delicious aperitivo at La Ménagère.
This trendy spot is beloved by locals.
After filling your belly, it’s time to fill your mind at the Uffizi Gallery.
Use your skip-the-line pass to breeze past the queues and immerse yourself in the masterworks of Renaissance greats like Botticelli, da Vinci and Michelangelo. When you exit, reward your brain with a classic Tuscan lunch at All’Antico Vinaio. Indulge in their famous panini overflowing with the region’s finest meats and cheeses.
Take a stroll along the romantic Ponte Vecchio as the sun starts to set over the Arno River.
Browse the glittering jewelry before your evening truly begins.
Treat your taste buds to a multi-course gastronomic experience at Michelin-star Enoteca Pinchiorri.
As you savor innovative dishes perfectly paired with wines, you’ll feel like a local for the night.
Day 2: Montepulciano and Pienza
On your second day take a day trip to explore more of Tuscany’s gorgeous countryside.
Head to the charming hill town of Montepulciano, located in the idyllic Val d’Orcia region.
Nestled atop its hill, Montepulciano is famous for its ruby red Vino Nobile wine. Spend the morning visiting some of the historic cellars tucked within the medieval streets.
Be sure to chat with the winemakers as you sample their velvety creations straight from the source.
As you wander, take a moment to admire the panoramic views of rolling vineyards and cypress trees stretching to the horizon.
The scenery is truly breathtaking.
Before heading back, stop in the nearby Renaissance gem of Pienza.
Wander its postcard-perfect piazzas and be sure to try the local pecorino cheese – it’s divine.
Here’s a tour that could be fun to check out:
Day 3: Bologna
Make your way from Florence to the culinary mecca of Bologna.
After either a scenic train ride or car drive, arrive in the city known as Italy’s food capital.
Your first stop is one of Bologna’s legendary markets to take in the sights and smells.
Wandering through the stalls overflowing with fresh produce, meats, cheeses really gives you an appreciation for the region’s deep food culture.
In the afternoon, sign up for a hands-on cooking class to learn how to make some classic local dishes.
Under the guidance of your chef instructor, you roll out pasta dough and shape tortellini.
You may want to check out this tour!
Being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor for dinner is so satisfying.
Before you know it, it’s time to sample more of Bologna’s specialties.
Dine on plate after plate of tortellini in broth, bolognese ragù pasta and wine so hearty it could only have come from Emilia-Romagna.
It is the perfect way to end your food-filled day exploring what made this city such an epicurean destination.
Day 4: Modena
Drive out to Modena, it is located in the Emilia-Romagna region, which is famous for things like balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and – of course – Ferrari cars.
I think you’d really enjoy spending the day exploring some of what the city is best known for.
In the morning, I’d recommend hitting up some tasting sessions of the local delicacies – that aged balsamic is truly something special.
And can you imagine sampling it with the local cheese? Food heaven.
Next, any car enthusiast will want to check out the Ferrari Museum.
Get an inside look at their impressive collection and learn about the iconic brand’s illustrious history.
Who knows, maybe you’ll even get the chance for a test drive in LaFerrari!
But the real highlight has to be this hands-on cooking class where you’ll learn directly from a local chef about making fresh pasta from scratch.
Just wait until you try your homemade tagliatelle – it’ll be unforgettable.
By the end of the day spent exploring Modena’s food, cars and culture, I think you’ll feel like you really experienced what makes the city so special.
Here’s a day trip to Modena from Bologna that’s worth checking out:
Day 5: Turin
It’s time to head up to Piedmont.
You could hop in a rental car for the 3-4 hour drive northwest, passing through beautiful countryside and villages along the way.
Another option is taking a high-speed train from Modena Centrale station (or Bologna Centrale,) which would get you to Turin in under 2 hours – no hassle with traffic!
Whichever mode of transport you choose, it will bring you to the elegant city of Turin, located in the heart of Piedmont.
As the regional capital, Turin has grand architecture, world-class museums and of course, amazing chocolate shops.
Day 6: Day trip to the Langhe Hills
This next stop is all about experiencing everything the Piedmont region is famous for.
Start your day in the beautiful Langhe hills – the rolling landscapes there are just gorgeous.
Spend the morning wine tasting at a few local vineyards.
You’ll be impressed by the variety of wines made from Nebbiolo and other regional grapes.
After filling up on delicious reds, tour one of the medieval castles dotted around the hills.
The architecture is incredible to see up close.
But for a real treat make sure to go truffle hunting with a local guide and his specially trained truffle dogs.
The dogs have the best noses for finding the rare white truffles.
Even if you don’t uncover any yourself, I’m sure it’ll be fun to watch the pros in action.
And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky!
Before heading back, a stop in one of the hill towns is a must.
Alba is supposed to have the best restaurants serving dishes with their famous truffles.
You can cap off the day with a nice meal there.
If you’re looking for a more low-key option than renting a car to check out the Langhe Hills from Turin, I’d recommend looking into hiring a private driver for the day.
Day 7: Milan
For day 7 of your trip, you head to Milan, the well-known fashion and business capital of Italy.
This marks either the end of your Italian getaway, where you’ll fly out from Milan’s international airport, or an opportunity to extend your travels even further.
If choosing to spend more time exploring the country, you use day 7 to immerse yourself in everything Milan has to offer.
You start by admiring the incredible architecture of the Duomo.
The intricate details carved into the facade leave you in awe.
After taking in the stunning cathedral, you hit the bustling boutique-lined streets to do some high-end shopping.
Whether it’s Versace, Prada or Gucci, you indulge in some souvenirs from the top Italian fashion houses.
In the evening, take in Milan’s lively energy as the sun goes down.
Over drinks in one of the buzzing Navigli pub, people watch the stylish locals.
It’s the perfect ending to a day experiencing why this city is such a global capital of culture.
From there, you can either call your Italian adventure complete, or continue on to destinations like Lake Como or the Cinque Terre coast for even more beautiful scenery and adventures to round out your trip.
One Week Italy itinerary For Luxury and relaxation
I’ve tried to craft this Italian itinerary with a nice mix of major sights, relaxation time, and more indulgent experiences.
Everything is aimed at giving you a well-rounded trip showcasing the best of what each destination has to offer.
Just keep in mind that specific opening hours, availability, and schedules may vary for certain attractions and activities.
Also, don’t feel like you need to rigidly stick to this plan – it’s really just meant as a suggested guide.
Feel free to alter things as needed based on your own interests and energy levels. The goal is for you to experience Italy in a way that you truly enjoy.
So whether you decide to sleep in one morning or add an extra gelato break, please go with the flow and have an amazing time!
Day 1-2: Milan
Start your adventure in Milan, the fashion capital.
On your first day, take in the stunning architecture of the Duomo – it’s truly a sight to behold.
Then spend the afternoon browsing through Gucci, Prada and all the top designers at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
To end the day on a high note, book a table at a gorgeous restaurant where you can indulge in all the finest Italian cuisine.
Day two will be just as fun-filled.
First, wander through the charming streets of the Brera District and take in the art galleries and bohemian vibes.
Next on the list is the Castello Sforzesco, a historic castle that now houses some incredible museums and art collections.
I think you’ll love exploring all the exhibits.
To wrap up the evening, stroll along the picturesque canals in the Navigli area.
There are great little shops and bars plus a really lively atmosphere.
Day 3-4: Lake Como
From Milan, head to Lake Como, known for its dramatic scenery, elegant villas, and luxury resorts.
Check into a luxury resorts located directly on the lakefront.
The accommodations are truly world-class and I know you’ll love unwinding in your room with those stunning views of the water.
Be sure to take full advantage of the resort amenities too – maybe a relaxing spa treatment after your journey?
For dinner, make a reservation at the resort restaurant, which is renowned for its exceptional cuisine.
You’re in for a real treat!
Start your day with a private boat tour of the entire lake.
Most local guides are experts on the region and will point out all the highlights along the way, like the magnificent villas and gardens.
The scenery is just breathtaking.
After your tour, I recommend spending the afternoon exploring the charming town of Bellagio.
Wander through the cobbled streets and admire the elegant architecture – it’s like stepping back in time.
To cap off your stay, book a table at a lakeside restaurant for dinner.
As you dine on seasonal specialties, you’ll fall in love with the lake all over again as the sun sets on the water.
I promise these few days in Lake Como will leave you feeling completely relaxed and inspired.
Day 5: Verona
On your way to Venice, stop in Verona, a city known for its Roman ruins and Shakespearean connections.
For your day in Verona on the way to Venice, here’s an action-packed itinerary for you.
Start with a visit to the Verona Arena, which is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world.
Can you believe they still hold large-scale opera performances today?
You should try and snag tickets for a show next time you’re in town.
Next up is a stop at Juliet’s Balcony – you know, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
All the love-struck tourists flock there to leave love notes behind.
You’ll have to get a cheesy selfie too while you’re at it.
After that romantic start to the day, spend the afternoon exploring Verona’s historic center.
The architecture is just stunning.
Check out the Verona Cathedral for its impressive size and Castelvecchio museum too.
To wrap up your day, make a reservation at one of Verona’s finest restaurants. Nothing says goodbye to a city like enjoying its local cuisine.
Then you’ll be all set to continue your trip to Venice.
Day 6-7: Venice
Make your way to Venice after your time in Verona.
Explore this unique city – it’s unlike anywhere else with its waterways instead of roads.
On Day 6, book the quintessential gondola ride to kick things off.
Cruising through the canals with that scenic backdrop will be so romantic.
Then spend the afternoon browsing the high-end boutiques Venice is known for. And of course, check out some of the historic sites too.
The grandeur of St. Mark’s Square, then tour the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. The architecture is just stunning.
For dinner, head at a restaurant with the freshest seafood. Paired with an Italian wine, it’ll be a perfect meal.
Day 7 has some left must-see sights, before jumping on a boat tour to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano.
They are known for their glassblowing and lacemaking, it’ll be cool to see it in action.
To end your time in Venice, have dinner at a restaurant right on the Grand Canal. Remember, nothing says ciao like a romantic meal and views of the waterways!
The Perfect One Week Italy Itinerary: In a nutshell
Of course, these sample itineraries should only be a starting point – you’ll want to tweak them to your own travel style.
Not sure if you prefer more relaxation or jam-packing as much as possible?
That’s no problem, just adjust the pace however you like.
Also keep in mind that traveling between places in Italy takes some time. Be sure to account for transit when plotting out your route.
And if one city really speaks to you, by all means extend your stay there!
Italy has so much to offer that it’s easy to fall in love with a particular spot.
The most important thing is building an itinerary that feels truly tailored to your interests.
But I’m always here if you need help customizing or refining your plans further.
Just let me know!
Ciao and buon viaggio!