From Rowing Lessons in Venice to Swimming in the Green Grotto in Capri- The Perfect 10 Day Itinerary for Italy



I traveled around Italy for 10 days, and it was an amazing trip! We started in Venice and made our way down to the Amalfi Coast with lots of stops in between. There’s so much to see in Italy, and I feel like I just scratched the surface. I had amazing experiences and some not so great ones, so I have my honest opinion about all the places I traveled and recommendations for things to change so you can have an even better trip than I did. If you don’t have a whole year to leisurely travel around Italy and eat your fill of pasta and pizza (isn’t that the dream?), here’s the perfect 10 day itinerary for Italy! 🙂

From Venice to Capri- The Perfect 10 Day Itinerary for Italy

You’ll notice that Rome isn’t on this itinerary. Don’t worry, I will definitely go to Rome at some point, but because there’s so much to experience in Rome and we already had a growing list of places to visit in Italy, we didn’t think that going for a day and a half would do the city justice. If you do want to visit Rome, I would give it at least two days, and you could extend the trip to 12 days (who wouldn’t want to spend more time in Italy?) or remove some of the cities I didn’t think were worth visiting!

Two days in Venice

Visiting Venice

I think two days in Venice was the perfect amount for me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the city because it was crowded and really catered to tourists, but it is a unique place so I think it’s worth seeing if you get the chance! Plus, flying in and out of Venice was the cheapest place I could find in Italy (and it was surprisingly cheap!). Within two days, we saw the main sights, did an amazing rowing lesson and tour (highly recommend instead of an expensive gondola ride!), and visited Burano and Murano. If you have more than two days in Venice, I would go to more local areas to see how Venetians live. We saw some of the local areas during our rowing tour and they were really pretty and empty!

My favorite experience: I loved visiting Burano and Murano, even in the rain!

What I would have done differently: I visited the Damien Hirst “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” exhibit, which isn’t open anymore so I would do tour of the Doge’s Palace or St. Mark’s Basilica instead. I also loved visiting Burano and Murano and would have loved to visit Torcello if we had more time.

Posts about Venice:
13 Things to Know Before Visiting Venice
Skip Expensive Gondola Rides, Try Row Venice
Tour of Venice: How to See Venice without Crowds of People
Tour of Venice: Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, and More 
Murano Island: More than Glass
Beautiful Burano Island: A Must See in Italy
Guide to Burano Island

One day in Bassano del Grappa

One day in Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa is only an hour train ride from Venice, and it was my favorite place! It was a great way to see local Italian life and escape the crowds from Venice. It only takes a day to walk around the town and see the sights, but I would recommend staying a couple of days if you want a quiet place to relax in Italy.

My favorite experience: I loved just leisurely walking around the quaint historic town and walk along the river.

What I would have done differently: Nothing! Maybe stay an extra day just to soak it in some more.

Posts about Bassano del Grappa:
Bassano del Grappa: Italy’s Hidden Gem
Bassano del Grappa: Nardini Distillery & a Serendipitous Encounter

Half a day in Verona

Gates of Verona

We took a train for an hour and a half to Verona to visit it for a half a day before going to Florence. It was a pretty town, but it was overrun with tourists and the coliseum was a HUGE disappointment and waste money. None of my friends liked being in Verona, so we actually left a lot earlier than we planned.

My favorite experience: I didn’t really have a favorite experience, but it was nice to escape the crowds and selfie sticks and get a pretty view of the river.

What I would have done differently: I wouldn’t have wasted my money at the coliseum! (I’m still really bitter about it). I’ve heard a lot of people say they loved Verona, so don’t write it off yet. It was a very pretty and colorful town, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if we had stayed overnight so we could have done the “touristy” things early in the morning to beat the crowds and spent the rest of the day walking around the more local parts.

Post about Verona:
Verona Didn’t Win My Love 

Two days in Florence and Tuscany

Florence skyline

Two days wasn’t nearly enough! I loved Florence and would have spent a month there if I could. We took a train from Verona to Florence that took two and a half hours and spent the afternoon, one whole day, and one morning in Florence. It was enough to see the main sights and to take half a day tour of Tuscany. Florence was beautiful and even though it’s a major city in Italy, it didn’t feel as crowded, it wasn’t as expensive, and it had more local life instead of cheap, touristy restaurants and stores. Every meal I had there was absolutely amazing!

My favorite experience: Everything! I loved our tour of Tuscany (I cannot recommend Hills and Roads enough), and I loved walking around Florence and taking photos of all the beautiful buildings.

What I would have done differently: I definitely would have spent at least one or two more days there. I would have loved to explore Tuscany more and go inside the Duomo or the bell tower. We also only went to Accademia Gallery to see the David, and I would have liked to have visited the Uffizi Gallery if we had more time.

Posts about Florence and Tuscany:
Florence: Visiting the Duomo and Chasing Sunsets
Florence Architecture & the David
Tour of Tuscany: Vineyards & Medieval Villages

Four days in the Amalfi Coast- Positano, Capri, Praiano, Amalfi, and Naples

View of Praiano

The Amalfi Coast was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been! However, getting to and from there was quite a nightmare. We had horrible experiences on the trains in Naples, so I would recommend getting there another way. I probably would have spent another day in the Amalfi Coast (and skipped Naples altogether) to see other towns like Ravello and to have spent some more time relaxing by the water.

My favorite experience: My absolute favorite experience in Italy was swimming in the Green Grotto in Capri! 🙂 The water was FREEZING but it was an amazing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The boat tour around Capri and sightseeing on the island was great, too!

What I would have done differently: I would DEFINITELY skip Naples. We had a really rough time there, and since I wrote a post about it, I’ve had TONS of people tell me that they’ve had even worse experiences there! I know a lot of people love Venice and Verona, but I haven’t had a single person tell me they love Naples yet.

Posts about the Amalfi Coast:
The Ultimate Guide to Transportation on the Amalfi Coast
Tour of Positano
The Best Boat Tour of Capri
One Day in Capri
Praiano, Italy: The Amalfi Coast’s Hidden Gem
One Day in Amalfi, Italy
Naples: What NOT to Do (And How to Avoid Dead Pigeons and Thieves)

After the Amalfi Coast, we escaped flew from Naples to Venice for our flight back to the U.S. We crammed a LOT into our trip so if you want to visit fewer places, I would skip Verona and Naples and add more time in Florence (and add Rome if you want!). We had a great mix of big cities, history and museums, small villages, and coastal towns (plus amazing food everywhere). Even though I didn’t love everywhere we went, I really enjoyed visiting Italy and I want to go back!If you’re planning a trip soon, I hope this perfect 10 day itinerary for Italy helps! 🙂

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Blog, Europe, Italy, Travel

  1. Cailin says:

    I’m going to Italy next year so this was great to read! Unfortunately, I only have time for a week in Tuscany so I’m limited to that area, but I’m still excited to explore the area!

  2. I’ve never even thought of visiting Italy but i after reading your post I’m not sure why I haven’t. It’s so beautiful and it looks really fun!

  3. Sanne says:

    I didn’t like Naples either.. probably my least favourite city in Italy. I loved Verona though! Although I agree that the amphitheatre is not as impressive as the one in Rome.

    • Julia says:

      Yeah Naples was my least favorite, too! I really want to go see Rome’s amphitheatre now! Verona’s was so disappointing

  4. Darla says:

    I’ve never heard of Bassano del Grappa, but any town with the word “grappa” in it is bound to be good! 😉

    I agree with Naples! My great-Grandma is from there, so we stopped just to see it and have pizza. Pizza in other areas was so much better and Naples was like being in New York City.

    We skipped Tuscany/Florence and did Rome. It was a cool city, but definitely more Americanized than Venice. Did Amalfi Coast, but totally regret skipping a day in Capri! Will have to try this itinerary sans Naples/Verona next time!

  5. Constance says:

    What a great starting point for anyone to build an itinerary on! I loved how you included what you learned from your experience, it’s super helpful for planning to know what could’ve been done better. I’m sad that you didn’t enjoy Naples though, I still dream about the pizza I had there everyday!

  6. Andy says:

    I’d imagine two days in Florence isn’t nearly enough, too! Awesome photos from this… it makes me want to just jump on a plane.

  7. LOVE this post (obviously you know how I feel about Italy haha) Next time you’re there, stop by Siena (about an hour outside of Florence). My absolute favorite place in the entire world.

  8. Lydia says:

    I haven’t explored Italy yet but when I do, I will definitely use your post as the ultimate guide for there, Julia. This is one of the most detailed itineraries I’ve read in a while. When’s the best time to explore Italy and beat the crowd?

    • Julia says:

      I hope it helps! I went at the end of April through early May and I thought it was the perfect time! It was warm but not too hot, and we beat the big summer crowds.

  9. Em says:

    Great post, Julia! I’ve done Rome, Venice and Verona. I hated Venice and wouldn’t go back, it was too hot and too crowded. It might be okay in the winter but I’ve seen it now and I’m happy with that. I would like to go back to Rome since I went about 10 years ago so I’d love to see it now that I’m older and can appreciate it more. Verona is my absolute favourite place! I’d love to go back for 4-5 days and visit some of the surrounding areas again. When I went I stayed in Garda but when I go back I’d stay in Verona because I just found it so beautiful.

    • Julia says:

      Thanks! Yeah I don’t really want to go back to Venice now that I’ve seen it! I’m glad you had a better time in Verona than me!

  10. I live an hour from Florence in Umbria, the next region down from Tuscany. Beautiful things to look at, places to visit and lots of yummy food and ice cream! This is a nice summary of your trip and I like the thoughts on what you would do differently next time.

  11. Rachel says:

    Great post! I too spent ten days in Italy in 2016 ( with 2 days in Venice, 2 days in Tuscany, 3 days in Rome and 3 days in Naples. I wish I went to Capri, though!

    Rachel |

  12. Tonya says:

    Love that you give what you liked and would have done differently, it’s great advice for traveling around Italy.

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