Planning a trip to Italy? Then you really need to read our Italian itinerary before you book a single thing.
The itinerary starts in Venice but you could easily adjust it and start in Rome. The 28 days is just a guideline and can be shortened or extended. Simply adjust the time in each place or leave something out. Click on the links for more information on each recommendation.
To really explore properly you need a car. If you don't have a car then leave out the smaller towns and focus on the big towns and cities, they can all be reached by train.
Our Italian itinerary starts in Venice. One tip before we start; postpone renting the car until after Venice - that will save you a bit of money as obviously a car won't be needed while in Venice. Also, book your car before you leave home in order to get the best rates - this is the company we always use.
I'd suggest at least three nights in Venice as that will give you enough time to see the main sights and some of the less well known ones too. These are some of the restaurants to try in Venice and these are the hotels we like in Venice.
Venice is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Veneto region where Venice is located. Throughout the region you'll find quaint little villages, unforgettable scenery and much more - you could easily spend a month here. Our Veneto itinerary has all the best things to see in the Veneto and around Lake Garda so pick the ones that appeal to you and spend four nights/five days exploring - you'll find the itinerary here.
I'd skip Milan - apart from the cathedral there isn't much else to see - rather spend more time in Turin and Piedmont before heading down to the Cinque Terre. Turin was my old home town and is amazing - a far more elegant and interesting city than Milan.
Base you yourself for three nights in Levanto, which is on the doorstep of the Cinque Terre and is the ideal base to explore. My Cinque Terre Guide explains why you should stay here rather than in one of the Cinque Terre villages. While here take a day trip to Portofino.
After leaving the Cinque Terre head to Tellaro on the Gulf of Poets. Its a gem of a town, one of the loveliest in Italy and it hasn't yet been discovered by tourists outside of Italy.
After that head off to Tuscany. Include a night in Lucca (a stunning town), a day in Pisa and then 3 nights in Florence. While in Florence a day tour of the Tuscan winelands is a great idea. You can either do this yourself or take a tour.
If you've the time, a fabulous add-on would be Le Marche - it's one of Italy's best kept secrets. Here are some of the places you might want to visit.
Next it is Rome. Spend at least three night here, although longer is always better when it comes to Rome.
When in Rome I always stay in Trastevere at the Santa Maria. Their breakfasts, under the orange trees, are unforgettable.
When it comes to dinner in Rome try the Tramjazz - a great view of the city and the food is good too. If you would like a restaurant with an amazing view then it's hard to beat the Aroma near the Coliseum. Otherwise try La Nduja,
You've now five days to visit the Amalfi Coast and the Island of Capri. Here's more on the towns and islands you don't want to miss.
After that return to Rome or Venice (whichever you are leaving from).
If you have more time, or want to leave out something in order to explore Southern Italy, then here are a few ideas on places to see.
The Italian Itinerary