From its indulgent food to its incredible architecture, Italy is one of the best countries to visit in Europe. Whether you are looking for a feel of its historic past or searching for a glimpse of its dramatic landscapes, Italy has so much to offer. While it is nearly impossible to explore this country in a short period of time, 10 days in Italy is a decent amount of time for a first visit. There are many Italian towns and cities to choose from and it can get a bit overwhelming to plan so we thought we’d give our readers some insight of how much can be done in 10 days. The cities we have chosen were based on what we wanted to experience for our first trip to Italy — a mix of history, romance, natural scenery and of course, food.
3 Days in Venice
Some people suggest that Venice could disappear within the next century. It would be a real shame if you didn’t see one of the world’s most romantic cities! Whether you choose to walk along its narrow alleyways by foot or navigate its canals on a gondola, Venice offers picturesque scenes on every corner. It’s not all about seeing the iconic sites like the Rialto Bridge, Saint Mark’s Square and Bridge of Sighs, but rather about experiencing the life and soul of the city. Wander aimlessly, discover the outer islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello and fall in love over and over again with this city.
While it’s easy to spend weeks in Venice with its undying beauty, it can be an expensive so we only allotted 3 days to see most attractions (although we wish we had the chance to stay for longer). A hotel stay within the main island starts at 100 Euros during low season (which isn’t much if you’re on a holiday). Food starts at 8-10 Euros per meal. Read more about our time in Venice in the post below.
5 Days in Naples
After exploring Venice we flew to Naples. Naples was one of the few cities I didn’t like in Europe but it was probably more because I did’t give it a proper chance. We hardly saw the attractions in Naples because we were too busy exploring attractions outside of the city. It’s a cheap base if you want to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Amalfi Coast. Looking back, it actually wasn’t so bad. It’s a little untidy compared than other cities we’ve been but it’s not as unsafe as one may think. Plus, the food there is amazing. Expect to pack on a few pounds with the Italian gelatos, Nutella croissants and Neopolitan pizza. Margherita is the best flavour. It was so good I finished a whole pizza by myself for the first time!
Naples is cheaper than other places in the area. If you’re looking to visit the Amalfi Coast, it’s a good base if you want to save on accommodation, A hotel room starts at 30 Euros during low season. Food starts at 5 Euros per meal.
READ MORE: Getting Fat on Pizza in Naples
Pompeii and Herculaneum
The volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, one of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in European history, killed thousands of people and buried the ancient Roman cities Pompeii and Herculaneum in a thick layer of volcanic ash. When the cities were discovered, it was a surprise that underneath the ash, most of the buildings were left intact and skeletons were frozen right where they’d fallen. After their recovery, Pompeii and Herculaneum give tourists a chance vividly imagine Roman life in the first century. From the Roman baths to arena, from market places to artisan shops, the different segments of the cities will leave you in awe. If you love history, don’t miss Pompeii and Herculaneum! They’re only an hour or so away by train from Naples.
From the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean to the colourful cliff-side towns, the Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most beautiful stretches of coastline. If you’re looking to explore the natural landscapes of Italy, the Amalfi coast is a great place to go.
From Naples, we took a train Sorrento then took a bus to explore the different towns along the Amalfi Coast. Romance fills the air as you walk along the small alleys of the towns on the Amalfi Coast. With your partner, discover hidden cafés, try the local limoncello and end the day at a viewpoint to watch the sunset. Read more about our visit to the Amalfi Coast in the post below.
READ MORE: Amalfi Coast: A Romantic Day Trip in Italy
2 Days in Rome
Rome was one of my must-visit cities in Europe. It’s touristy and way too busy but for good reason – it’s an incredible city. Despite the tourist crowds, Rome doesn’t fail to disappoint with its historic architecture. From the iconic coliseum to the enchanting Trevi fountain, Rome has heaps of attractions that make this city unforgettable.
I have seen many photos of Rome but the city just took my breath away. I will never forget how thrilled I was when I finally saw The Coliseum. Maybe it was just the engineer side of me that can’t resist the astounding structure but it truly deserves its glory as one of the best man made sites in history.
We spent two full days in Rome (and half of another day), which is not a bad amount of time to explore most of the iconic sites including a day in the Vatican City. A hotel stay starts at 30 Euros during low season and a basic meal starts at 5 Euros. The Italian food we tried in Rome wasn’t as good as expected but we may have just chosen the wrong places. The gelatos in Rome are so good though, so make sure to try some.
Are you planning a trip to Italy but only have a short amount of time? Where are you most excited to visit? Let us know in the comments below!