Two Week Italy Itinerary
After writing my popular one-week italy itinerary I decided to expand on it to create the perfect two week Italy itinerary for you also!
If you are a first-time visitor and you have two weeks to explore Italy, this is a great introduction to the country covering a lot of highlights.
This Italy itinerary is heavily focused on northern Italy because that is my favorite region and the area I’m most familiar with, but you could alter this itinerary to fit in southern destinations like the Amalfi Coast if you prefer.
To do this you would need to cut out Milan and Lake Como or Cinque Terre, and plan to fly out of Naples at the end of your trip instead of Rome.
Without further ado, here is my ultimate two-week Italy itinerary!
Day 1-2: Venice
Start your trip in Venice, one of my favorite cities on Earth. This haunting and beautiful city is composed of more than 100 small islands connected by over 400 canals and bridges.
Fly into Marco Polo Airport and take a water taxi (an expensive option) or vaporetto (cheap public water bus) to your hotel.
Where to stay in Venice
I highly recommend the Grand Hotel Palazzo Dei Dogi. This gorgeous hotel is in a less touristy area of Venice and provides a free water taxi to St. Mark’s Square.
What to do in Venice
- Walk to St. Mark’s Square, trying not to get lost in the maze of canals and bridges. Although, if you have time, getting lost in Venice is highly encouraged!
- Visit the Doge Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica. Click here to your tickets online in advance because the lines get up to two hours long!
- Go to the top of St. Mark’s Campanile for a breathtaking view. You can buy tickets to the bell tower in advance here.
- Splash out for a gondola ride, or take a shorter ride for just two euros.
- Visit the island of Murano, home of the famous Murano glass, and the extremely colorful island of Burano. This boat tour will take you to Murano and Burano and includes a glass-blowing demonstration.
- See more amazing things to do in Venice.
Day 3-4: Milan
After Venice, take the train to Milan, just a short 2.5 hours away.
Milan is a cool city, but you really don’t need more than two days here. For this reason, I recommend staying near the train station so you can easily arrive and depart.
Where to stay in Milan
Spice Hotel Milano right by the train station and subway. It’s very clean and affordable.
What to do in Milan
- See the famous The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which requires reservations in advance—only a set number of people are allowed in each day and it sells out fast! I took this historic Milan walking tour that includes the ticket to see The Last Supper and highly recommend it.
- Admire the beautiful Duomo di Milano. If you want to see the interior of the stunning Gothic cathedral, buy this fast-track ticket that gives you access to the terraces as well.
- Visit Sforza Castle. You don’t have to pay to wander around the castle but I found the tour was very informative. Get this tour and see Michelangelo’s unfinished masterpiece, the Pietà Rondanini as well.
- Try panzerotti, an Italian street food that is kind of like a calzone at Luini.
- Check out Italy’s first Starbucks store—it was built in an old bank building and it’s definitely worth a peek inside.
- Enjoy the aperitivo aperitivo in Navigli. It’s the best area to experience the Milanese “happy hour”. If you are a foodie, try this aperitivo and street food tour.
- Do some shopping in this Italian fashion capital! Head over to Via Montenapolene and Via della Spiga for high-end stores or find your style for a fraction of the cost at Corso Buenos Aires’s shops and outlets.
Day 5-6: Lake Como
After a couple of days in Milan, it’s time to head to one of my absolute favorite regions of Italy: Lake Como.
This gorgeous Alpine lake is situated in northern Italy tucked away in the foothills of the Alps. Quaint, colorful villages and stunning private villas dot the shores of this glassy blue lake, which is the ultimate luxurious getaway.
Where to stay in Lake Como
- Best value: Hotel Regina. Great family-run hotel that is beautiful, affordable, and located in the sleepy town of Gravedona away from all the crowds.
- Best for budget travelers: Ostello Bello Lake Como
- Best mid-range hotel: Hotel du Lac
- Best luxury hotel: MUSA Lago Como
What to do in Lake Como
I wrote a whole guide to Lake Como but here are a few things you can’t miss:
- Take the ferry for day trip to Bellagio in the center of the lake.
- Ride the funicular in the village of Brunate for a panoramic view of the lake.
- Visit the stunning Villa del Balbionella and Villa Carlota.
- Relax lakeside at the pool or go for a stroll along the lakefront promenades.
Pro-tip: Staying in Lake Como can get expensive, so consider staying in Milan a little longer and take this full-day tour to Lake Como, Bellagio and Varenna. This will also make it easier for you to go to next destination — keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Day 7-9: Cinque Terre
No two-week Italy itinerary is complete without Cinque Terre. So after a few days in Lake Como, it’s time to change scenery.
Cinque Terre, meaning Five Lands, are five colorful fishing villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) built into the rocky cliffs of Italy’s Ligurian Coast.
Everywhere you turn in Cinque Terre, you will be faced with a postcard-perfect view!
The only way to get from Lake Como to Cinque Terre is to go back through Milan. The train journey should take about 4.5 hours.
Where to stay in Cinque Terre
You’re not going to find big hotel brands in Cinque Terre but there are plenty of small boutique hotels and charming B&Bs. Here are a few ideas:
- Best accommodation in Manarola — Affittacamere San Giorgio
- Best accommodation in Riomaggiore — The Sunset Line
- Best accommodation in Vernazza — The Sunset Suite
- Best accommodation in Monterosso al Mare — Roca du ma Pasu
- Best accommodation in Corniglia — Madüneta 5 Terre
- Best value hotel (with a view) — AllegroItalia La Spezia in La Spezia
What to do in Cinque Terre
I highly recommend you read my guide to Cinque Terre before you go. But here are some of the main activities:
- Visit all five villages by train, which only takes a few minutes from one village to the next. You can purchase the Cinque Terre Train Card for unlimited train and hiking trail access.
- You can also hike 1-3 hours from one village to another. If you enjoy hiking, take this 3-hour hiking tour from Manarola to Corniglia.
- Spend a day on the beach in Monterosso, the only village with a proper sandy beach.
- Enjoy a meal with a view at Nessun Dorma in Manarola.
- Go swimming or rock jumping in the harbors of Manarola and Vernazza.
Day 10-11: Florence
After a few magical days in Cinque Terre, head south to Florence, the Renaissance capital of Italy.
You can get there in less than 3 hours by train.
If you love art, shopping, and food, then Florence is the city for you!
Where to stay in Florence
The Westin Excelsior, Florence. Amazing hotel and great location in central Florence.
What to do in Florence
Florence is, unfortunately, one of those places affected by overturism and you should expect to face long lines in every major attraction. So be sure to make reservations and buy tickets in advance.
- Admire the beautiful Duomo Cathedral with its magnificent Renaissance dome. Buy your ticket to climb the Duomo climb ahead of time!
- Visit the beautiful Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. I recommend this walking tour of The Medici Mile with priority entrance to Boboli Gardens.
- See the famous David sculpture by Michelangelo at the Accademia Gallery.
- Check out famous Rennaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery.
- Watch the sun set over the Tuscan hills from the breathtaking viewpoint of the Piazzale Michelangelo with a panoramic view of Florence.
🎨 Tip: This Uffizi, David, and Accademia tour with a professional guide will get you in and out of those two places in only three hours. And trust me, it’s worth the money! Just be sure to book the tour way in advance because it does sell out!
Day 12-14: Rome and The Vatican
Finally, end your two weeks in Italy in the Eternal City, Rome.
Located just 1.5 hours away from Florence by train, Rome is an enchanting city packed with so much history. You will never run out of things to do in this incredible city.
Where to stay in Rome
The Pallazo Naiadi is an elegant hotel close to the train station and within walking distance to many of Rome’s most popular sights.
What to do in Rome
- Visit the Colosseum then head over to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill ruins to see what life used to be like for the Romans.
- Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain – legend has it that if you do this, it means you will return to Rome one day.
- Visit the beautiful Pantheon (head inside to cool down on a hot day!)
- Sit on the Spanish Steps to rest your feet and do some people-watching
- Spend some time exploring the hip Trastevere neighborhood and have dinner there.
🏛 Tip: Book your tickets and tour ahead of time to skip the line! This tour gives you fast access to the Colosseum and includes a visit to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
What to do in the Vatican
- Tour the Vatican City Museum and see the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo.
- Admire the grandeur of Saint Peter’s Basilica’s facade and the splendor of its interior.
✝️ Tip: Buy this early entrance, skip-the-line, small group tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. The early entrance tour is nearly three times more expensive but trust me on this: you’ll be in before the crowds and out early enough to enjoy the rest of your day in Rome. It’s worth it!
Departure from Rome
When it’s time to go, you can fly out of Rome’s Fiumcino Airport.
The airport is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Rome, and it can take 30 minutes to 1 hour to get there, depending on the time of day and traffic.
✈️ Tip: It can get expensive to get a cab to the airport. So, here’s a reliable transfer to the airport as an option. It’s a clean and air-conditioned bus that leaves from Rome Termini railway station.
Have more than two weeks in Italy?
If want to extend your Italian trip, I recommend head further south to the Amalfi Coast and visit Positano, Capri, Pompeii, and Sorrento for a few days, then fly out of Naples.
Italy Packing Essentials
I wrote a whole blog on what to pack for Italy but here are some commonly forgotten Italy packing essentials for your trip:
- European outlet adapter — I like this one because it also comes with two USB ports, so you can charge things like your phone or iPad without having to use the plug.
- Portable cellphone charger — charge your phone fully up to two and a half times. It comes in handy on those long days of exploration!
- Travel scarf with a hidden pocket — a stylish way to carry your valuables like credit cards, cash, passport, etc, while protecting them from pickpockets.
- Reusable water bottle — it’s eco-friendly and saves you money on bottled water – Italy’s water is some of the cleanest in the world!
- Travel-sized wrinkle release spray — to make your clothes look perfect even if you don’t have an iron or steamer wherever you’re staying!
And there you have it: you ultimate two-week Italy itinerary! From the canals of Venice to the colorful villages of Cinque Terre, and the history of Florence and Rome, you can cover some of the best that Italy has to offer in a couple of weeks.
Of course, there are countless other destinations to explore in Italy but this itinerary is a great introduction to the country of this is tour first time there.
Want more Italy? Check out my guide to solo travel in Italy.
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