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Italy has 20 vibrant and beautiful regions to explore, from sipping wine in Tuscany to lying under colorful umbrellas on the Amalfi Coast. If you travel to Italy for one week, it’s best to focus on one region for a more in-depth experience. For the first-time visitors, we suggest taking classic small group tours of Italy: For example, visiting three cultural capitals! Venice, Florence, and Rome are the most popular and must-visit cities. Find out more about planning and experiencing these locales in this 7 days Italy itinerary below:
Venice (2 days)
Venice is filled with excitement! You can sway on its canals, see top sights, flavor tasty cuisine; the list might seem endless, so what to do on your first day in Italy?
Definitely, go to see the must-visit places of Venice. Firstly, visit the Rialto Bridge as well as the Rialto fish market. Then, stroll along romantic canals and narrow streets where Venice is hiding its unique architecture. Next, discover the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica and its Pala D’Oro altar. Later take a walk up to Loggia dei Cavalli to admire lovely panoramic views of St. Mark’s Square.
For the final experience of the day, go on a poetic gondola ride. This pleasant experience will be truly memorable! You will ride on the Grand Canal lined on each side by charming houses and landmarks. Also, you will see fascinating narrow canals and their pretty bridges.
Built on more than 100 small islands, Venice has no roads, just canals, so for your second day, we recommend exploring the best islands of Venice by boat.
The Venice islands that you should visit are Burano and Murano. Burano is a colorful fishing village boasting many stores and fine restaurants. Make sure to take your camera there, because the town is genuinely filled with plenty of colorfully painted houses! The next on your list – Murano island is also worth your attention. This island is famous for glass making and once was an independent commune. While you’re there, visit the Murano Glass Museum.
Florence (2 days)
On the third day of your trip to Italy, go to elegant Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance. Plan your today’s program with the most visited sights in the city. Start with the iconic Duomo of Florence and its Piazza; make sure to visit the Baptistery dedicated to St. John the Baptist too.
For the next point of interest, we suggest choosing the main square of the city, Piazza della Signoria. Furthermore, you can pass through Piazza della Repubblica and the spectacular Strozzi Palace. Later take a stroll around the Oltrarno district, where you will discover the local craftsman shops and the stunning Santo Spirito Church. In addition to Florence’s religious glory, the sight that you can’t miss is the world-famous Galleria dell’Accademia with its divine Michelangelo’s colossal statue of David.
A visit to Italy is not complete without tasting Italian wine or cuisine! So, on the fourth day, immerse into the mouth-watering experience, try the best Tuscan wines or fine Tuscan food. It’s an easy task, as Florence boasts lots of wineries, plus there are many outside the city. A lovely vineyard, hundred-years-old winery, and delicious wines accompanied with snacks is an irresistible activity for the guests of the region.
If you are not a wine enthusiast, you won’t regret tasting Tuscan cuisine! This gastronomic adventure could include authentic local dishes, such as Bistecca Fiorentina – T bone steak or tagliatelle al tartufo – pasta covered in a truffle sauce. Buon appetito!
Rome (3 days)
Continue your way to the capital of Italy, the legendary, historic, and one of the most charismatic cities, Rome! The city is crowned by ancient icons and treasures that every visitor must-see.
Here’s what you should include to your wishlist: the Spanish Steps, the grand Trevi Fountain, and the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers. Leave the evening to explore cobblestone streets and stop by one of the top restaurants for an elegant Italian dinner.
Once in Rome, it is essential to dedicate your time to visit the ancient landmarks of Eternal City. On this day, you can start by visiting the Roman Forum, situated between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. This incredible site dates back to the 3rd century A.D. It was a significant area, serving as the political and ritual center of ancient Rome.
Later make your way to witness the glorious columns and remains of ancient temples, such as the Arch of Septimius Severus, the Palatine Hill, and the Temple of Caesar. And of course, one of the most incredible spots you visit there will be the Colosseum. It’s also known as the Flavius amphitheater, which was the most impressive building in the Roman world.
Those who come to Rome with an eagerness to traverse it in-depth, without hesitation, must visit the world’s smallest independent state, Vatican. Religious heritage and historical gems are incredible there! First, enjoy a visit to the private apartments of Julius II, Pinecone Courtyard, the magnificent Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the Gallery of the Tapestries. Next, proceed to the Sistine Chapel to cherish Michelangelo’s frescoes and hear the fascinating stories of the relationship between Pope Julius II and Michelangelo.
Later take your time seeing the St. Peter’s Basilica and admire the magnificent Pieta masterpiece. And if you still have some energy left, go to St. Peter’s Square to relish Michelangelo’s Dome and majestic colonnades by Bernini.
All in all, Italy is a pretty vast country, and indeed has a large number of great things to see and to do. However, with only 7 days of vacation in Italy, try to stick to a smaller geographic area to have an exceptional experience visiting the globally-admired cities like Florence, Venice or Rome.
Love Italy like us? Here’s a few more posts and itineraries to check out about this vibrant country!
- Well Worth the Splurge: Adler Thermae in Tuscany, Italy
- A Mini Road Trip through Southern Italy
- Rimini, Italy: A Great Guide to a Seaside City
- Dad Diaries: Side Trips to Assisi, Citta della Pieve and Spello, Italy