Think of pasta, pizza, street side coffee shops and good wine that is cheaper than water. Here is an itinerary to go around Italy in the summer! My husband and I took this trip after we found a great deal to Milan on Emirates for about $400 from New York. Watch out for deals like these on The Flight Deal or sign up to e-mail notifications on Scott’s Cheap Flights
Book your tickets, apply for your Schengen visa and you’re all set to be on your next Italian vacay!
Where in Italy?
I went to a few cities in the span of 10 days have broken it down below.
Summer is the best time to visit so you can walk around with ease and without carrying the load of jackets, scarves and ear muffs. I recommend visiting between the months of May and October.
How to get around?
Train. Train. Train. It is super convenient to travel by train between cities. Book your internal train travel beforehand. They can get expensive or sold out for your preferred timings if you wait till the eleventh hour. Alternatively, you can also rent a car and drive under the Tuscan sun.
Where to stay?
I always try to stay in the main city area. So, it is easy to walk around and is well connected to the rest of the city. Most of my accommodations are budget friendly and centrally located. I’ve put down the names of hotels I stayed at (mainly boutique places and not chains).
Day 1: Arrive in Milan
**Best way to get from the Malpensa airport to the main city is by bus. It costs about €8.
We spent this day walking down cobbled streets, taking the tram to explore our first port of entry into the Italian dream. With our hotel very close to the famous Duomo di Milano, it was very convenient to walk everywhere. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is in the area and is definitely every luxury shopper’s dream, but nearby streets don’t disappoint on high street fashion either. Romantic courtyards, the constant smell of fresh coffee had us all set for what was to come.
Accommodation: Hotels Milano Ambasciatori
To eat: There are a ton of restaurants and street cafés in the Duomo area where you can grab traditional Italian food.
Later in the evening take a tram ride to the Navigli area to enjoy the aperitivo hour (the Italian happy hour) by the Naviglio Grande canal. The main canal street has an array of restaurants where you can sit on the street side.
Take the morning train to Venice from the Milano Centrale station. It is in the city, so it won’t take you too long to get there to get you started on your short 2 hours 30 mins train ride to the city of canals, gondolas and crowds!
Some people make a pit stop on the way at Shakespearean town of Verona to visit Juliet’s balcony.
I’ve been to Venice twice and each time, it has been more crowded than the previous. There is a ferry that can take you to your hotel from the Saint Lucia train stop.
Accommodation: Hotel Torino
Located in a cozy street corner of the San Marco part of Venice, this hotel has a vintage European feel to it. It is a short walk to the main Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark’s Basilica, Rialto Bridge and a spot from where you can take a Gondola ride.
The cobbled streets land up in small local cathedrals, small bridges over canals and give you a feel straight out of book or movie.
What to do?
- Walk through the narrow streets of Venice and absorb the essence that this part of Italy has to offer. Get lost in Venice. This city has a very different vibe compared to any other city I have ever been to.
- Eat at the canal side restaurants. There are a few on either sides of the Rialto bridge that boast really mouthwatering Italian seafood.
- Visit the Rialto bridge when the crowds are lesser during early mornings or post dinner. It has recently been restored after being renovated.
- Take a Gondola ride.
Day 3 and 4:
Next train stop: Florence
Accommodation: C-Hotels Club
Located very close to the Firenze Santa Maria Novella station, this hotel is within walking distance to the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Ponte Vecchio and you can even make your way up to the Piazzale Michelangelo (providing the best views of Florence)
What to do?
## If you love shopping and want some great discounts, one of the best outlet malls is very close to Florence. You can take a day trip to the mall and shop your heart out.
Not only did I spend a while exploring the place, but I also did a day trip to Pisa and Cinque Terre. Had I known how beautiful Cinque Terre actually is, I would have spent a few days just admiring the beauty of it. Out of the 5 towns, I visited only two – Manarola and Riomaggiore. It had one of the most scenic drives I have ever been on with restaurants with a picturesque view that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
## Book your car rental beforehand for the best prices. Carrentals.com has good deals.
Day 5 and 6:
Last train stop before the drive: Rome
Accommodation: Hotel President
What to do?
- Go back in time at The Colusseum
- Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain
- Spend some time walking around the Spanish Steps area sip on local Roman beer.
- Rome is well connected by underground trains. You can buy a pass for as low as €7
- Here is a detailed guide for you to go around and one to eat.
- Add Vatican City to your list. You can even walk looking upwards at the cathedral because of how beautiful the ceilings are.
Day 7, 8, 9 and 10
Rent a car from here and drive South to Sorrento. If you have extra time, you can stop in Naples to see Mount Vesuvius which had destroyed the historical Italian towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. I had visited Naples on a separate trip, and it was worth it.
The drive down to Sorrento is about 3 hours. On the way is a factory outlet mall – McArthurGlen that can sometimes help you score a nice Salvatore Ferragamo’s for 50% lesser than most places in the USA.
I recommend staying in Sorrento as pricing can be very steep in the peak season in Amalfi and Positano. Both of the towns are at a driving distance from Sorrento, and the scenic drive is something you don’t want to miss!
Accommodation: Hotel Rivage
What to do?
- Drive along the Amalfi coast – make enough time, you will make frequent photo stops!
- Eat at a cute restaurant facing the ocean.
- Overdose on Limoncello and all the Limon dishes.
- Walk down to the beach at Positano and eat at an outdoor table.
- Shop at the local pottery stores – they have really pretty hand-painted kitchen souvenirs.
- Take a day trip to Capri or stay a night there – MUST DO! There are frequent ferries from Sorrento that you can take.
Tell me in the comments below if you make the trip or about your experiences if you’ve already been there!