The Single Biggest Mistake when Planning a Trip to Italy
If you’re planning on visiting Italy for the first time, it’s natural to want to visit as much as possible.
Italy has so much to see and offer. In fact you can spend one week in Rome alone and still not being able to see everything. While it’s technically possible to “see” the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Cinque Terre, Tuscany and the Amalfi coast all in one week, the commute alone between all those places would take a week, so you’d end up seeing the countryside from the window of your bus/car.
If it’s your first time in Italy, and with one week to travel, I suggest only 3 cities: Rome, Florence and Venice.
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In particular I would spend 3 days / 2 nights in Rome (Click the city name for what to see & do), then take the fast train (AV) to Florence, spend 2 days / 1 night in Florence, then take the fast train (AV) to Venice and spend the remaining 2 days / 1 night there.
Some photos from my day in Rome
The train between Rome and Florence takes about an hour and it runs approximately every hour. If you catch an early train, around 8am from Rome you will arrive in downtown Florence when most stores and attractions open up.
Some photos from my day in Florence
The train Between Florence and Venice takes about 2 and half hours, and again, it runs about every hour. Keep in mind that the high speed trains require a reservation and it is better to book them way in advance.
Some photos from my day in Venice
Try to prioritize, do some research in advance, make a plan and only visit what really interests you. For example if you are into food and like to eat like the locals, but you are not into renaissance paintings in Florence you can skip the Uffizi Gallery and spend extra time at the San Lorenzo Market.
Another suggestion is book the “skip the line” tickets for museum or attraction in advance., This will save you hours in long line to visit attraction like the Sistine Chapel, The Colosseum or the Uffizi museum in Florence.
I would also suggest you to check for night tours of the Sistine Chapel, this will offer two advantages: 1 you will have the all day to explore other attractions, 2 they can be significantly less crowded (at night) giving you a better experience.
Here’s a photo of the sistine chapel. Its just impossible, in a photo, to display just how amazing it really is!
I hope these tips have inspired you- and perhaps you will consider visiting Italy more than once and explore for more than one week.
Andrea was born and raised in Northern Italy. At the age of 30, he moved to Vancouver Canada. Over the years he traveled extensively in North America, Europe, Central America, and Asia. He is passionate about traveling, cruising, and travel photography. He likes to write about his traveling and shows his travel photos.