Planning your First Trip to Italy
If you have never been to Italy before then you will want to see everything that this beautiful country has on offer.
You can opt for a top down trip and fly into Venice and then work your way down to Florence and Tuscany, then onto the Amalfi Coast and leave from Rome. You could go from Tuscany to Rome and then end your trip with a few days of doing nothing on the Amalfi Coast and fly home from Naples instead.
You should try and avoid going to Italy in August as this is when the Ferragosto holiday takes place and prices go up and places are closed. In the winter, Italy can get foggy and dark, but the best time to go is May, June or October.
If you want to go everywhere and do everything in Italy then this is the best plan to follow so you can get it all in within a two week period.
Venice – Two Days
Venice is a madhouse unless its winter. It is overrun with tourists and it can get frustrating, but it’s Venice and it is beautiful.
There is the wonderful St. Marks, you can endeavor in a glass blowing demo in Murano, get lost in the winding streets and eat plenty of seafood and cichetti.
Bologna – One or Two Days
Bologna is not always on the to do list for Italy, but it makes a great stop when travelling from Venice to Florence. The food is wonderful in Bologna and as the city is not too touristy you will get a different experience of Italy, but the culture is still highly present.
If you are in Venice it is a good idea to make a day trip to Padova which is a mere 40 minutes away by train and if you love art then you need to make the trip. The Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel is like a mini version of the Sistine Chapel. The frescoes tell the story of Jesus and Mary. This will not be a full day out but rather a detour when heading south. Stroll Piazza della frutta and Piazza delle Erbe, stop at Caffe Pedrocci for a zabaglione.
Florence – Two Days
Florence is the home of the Renaissance and the city is charming with art, architecture and amazing churches.
Tuscany – Two or Three Days
Tuscany is made up of quaint little villages. The popular towns for tourists to visit in Tuscany are San Gimignano, Siena and Lucca.
Rome – Two or Three Days
You will need a few days in Rome for museums, churches and sites. You will need to head out early to the Vatican in order to beat the crowds and opt for the audio guide which will truly enhance the experience and will help you make sense of the crumbling columns of the Coliseum.
On the Amalfi Coast, Lo Scoglio in Nerano is a little bit of heaven. It’s a family run restaurant and hotel in the Sorrentine Peninsula which is perched on the water two coves from the Bay of Naples meets the Bay of Salerno. You can visit Pompei as well as Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. You should avoid Sorrento as there is not much there and not worth the visit.