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ITALY ROAD TRIP: Two Weeks Itinerary By a Local!

In BLOG, EMILIA ROMAGNA, ITALY, ROME, TRIPS IDEAS AND TIPS, TUSCANY, USEFUL GUIDES by Clelia Mattana96 Comments

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Are you planning on visiting Italy? Then you can’t miss this excellent two-week itinerary for your Italy Road trip, created by a local Italian! You’ll love it, I promise!

 

Ah, Italy… my country, my pride, my love! Being Italian is truly a privilege, so let me transfer some of my knowledge to you with some fantastic tips to have the best Italian road trip experience of your life!

 

Starting from Rome, my favorite city in the world, through the famous green hills surrounding all the Tuscany and Umbria regions, not to mention the jaw-dropping view provided by the Cinque Terre – What more can you ask from a country? Italy is simply magnificent!

 

If you want a truly unique Italian experience: Road trip is the main word! Nothing beats a road trip in Italy, trust me. I took my driving license in Rome (crazy, I know!), and from there, I discovered every region by car. Slowly, savoring the panoramic scenery that only my beautiful country can offer. Using the train is also a great option, but nothing beats driving around Italy! 

 

 



 

Video of this two weeks Italian Road trip itinerary!



The main cities are well connected, but I suggest you take as many detours from the highway as possible because it’s driving across the countryside that you will find the real hidden gems of Italy!

 

Pro Tip: You might want to see as much as possible of Italy during your epic road trip, but in my opinion is better to pick 3-max 4 cities or villages. You don’t want to miss any reason and leave the rest as a last-minute choice. 

 


TWO WEEKS IN ITALY ROAD TRIP: CONTENT

Click to check the relevant chapter


What is The best Italian road trip itinerary for 2 weeks?

-I will give you some great recommendations on where to stay and how to save A LOT on accommodation fees later-



I’m Italian, and before leaving my beautiful country to travel indefinitely, I explored it by car, discovering every Italian region, so we can safely say that you are in good hands here! From Rome to Milan, ending in the enchanting setting of Lake Como for a 15-day epic journey that you’ll never forget. I promise!  


In This 2 weeks Italy Road Trip Article You Will Discover:


— THE BEST PLACES YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IN YOUR TRIP TO ITALY 

— THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN ITALY

COOL TOURS OR EXPERIENCES YOU CAN BOOK DIRECTLY ONLINE

MY RECOMMENDED HOTELS/B&B THAT ARE PERFECT FOR YOUR TOUR OF ITALY 

HOW TO USE A GENIUS (FREE) TOOL TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR HOTEL BOOKINGS — 


 

Without further ado, here are the breathless places you must include on your Italian road trip.

The Italian Road Trip Itinerary Map

Click to enlarge the image


An article about a road trip in Italy wouldn’t be complete without showing you the map of the itinerary with the starting point, stops on the way, and ending point of this incredible trip around Italy.

 

Depending on what kind of flights you find, you can obviously do it in reverse, starting from Milan, with a little detour up north to Lake Como and back.

 

It’s just 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to Varenna, on a lovely route as well) and then go back to Milan and start your Italian Tour heading south and departing from Rome Fiumicino airport.

Either way, you’ll see spectacular landscapes along the road, don’t forget that on a trip like this, moving from one place to another is a massive part of it, so enjoy it, drive safely and slowly and let the beauty of Italy sink in! -Map data ©2022 Google-

2 WEEKS ITALY ITINERARY DAY 1 – 2 | ROME &  VATICAN 

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Ah, Rome – It always makes me wonder: Is there a way to describe this city without using clichè words? I lived in the eternal city for more than 3 years, and I love it (and hate it) to pieces πŸ™‚ Even if Rome is the most predictable stop on this itinerary, a trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without a stop in its Capital, right? It would be like spending 15 days in the UK and not visiting London. Well, for as much as I love London too,  Rome is … Rome! Yes, being Italian, I’m biased, but not without reason.

Is it possible to have a glimpse of the beauty of Rome in one day? Definitely yes! I could even see the main attractions in the center, rushing a bit of course, in just 5 hours one time! I always find the time for a quick pit stop to Rome, and every time I discover something new!


WHAT TO SEE IN ROME IN ONE DAY:


Stroll around the historic center of Rome: It is a must! Driving can be challenging or better put: you must be fearless to drive in Rome, so park up and walk or take the buses, or metro. Use public transport while you’re there. Remember to stamp your bus tickets once you get on the bus or subway, especially if you take the train! (more on valuable tips for your first time in Italy in a post coming soon!) 😉

Most Famous Things To Do In Rome:

  • Saint Peter’s Church and Dome
  • Piazza Di Spagna /Pincio Terrace
  • Piazza Navona
  • Fontana di Trevi
  • Colosseum and Via Dei Fori Imperiali (at night is a must!)
  • Lungotevere Castel Sant’Angelo (At sunrise, I did it: Best experience in Rome ever)
  • Pincio Terrace (At sunset, for the best view of Rome)
  • Trastevere (For dinner, obviously!)


WHAT TO SEE IN VATICAN CITY IN ONE DAY:


I took two days to explore the inner part of the city – which gave me ample time to include a day in the Vatican City. Enclaved in the town of Rome, Vatican City is officially the smallest recognized state in the whole world. Home to the Pope, the Vatican is the beautifully preserved state of the Catholic Church. It is definitely worth a visit!

 

Most Famous Things to do and see in Vatican City:

  • Visit the Musei Vaticani.
  • Take a tour of The Sistine Chapel.
  • Visit the Vatican’s beautiful gardens.
  • Admire the view from the top of St Peter’s Dome!

 

Helpful Info: As with most famous sights, just remember to buy your tickets early or online. Otherwise, be prepared for a few hours waiting around peak times (still worth it if you ask me!)




RECOMMENDED BEST HOTELS IN ROME:

RESIDENZA MONFY


I could say it’s one of the best places to stay on a road trip to Rome. Gianluca, the owner, is helpful and will give you all the info you’ll need to have the best time in Rome.

Everything is clean and well arranged, and the location (Via Veneto, in the center) is perfect for public transport or walking around the main attractions. Most importantly, it has a parking option. Trust me: in Rome, you WANT to have that option. Finding a parking spot is a nightmare for everyone living or visiting Rome. Click to Check the Hotel out!



RECOMMENDED BEST TOURS IN ROME:



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Beautiful Castel Sant’Angelo, another spot (among the endless landmarks in the eternal city) you can’t miss! Tips: Go there at sunrise… trust me, I did it, and it was SURREAL, to say the least!



Do you think you don’t have enough time to see it all and/or are not keen on walking all day with the risk of missing something important? Then an organized tour is what you need to set your mind at peace. Below are the ones I recommend the most:


Hop On-Hop Off Ticket: 

Super Touristy, I know, but when you don’t have much time is so worth it! I remember hating that red bus, and I ended up loving it when I had only one day in Warsaw, and I managed to see it all (at my own pace, but they don’t miss the important spots). Check it out!

 

 

Three Hours evening Walking tour: 

As Suggested, Rome is even more magical at sunset, so this Tour will take you to the main attractions and to the Pincio Terrace right at sunset (I love that spot, you’ll see!). Highly recommended as the guides are usually locals. Check it out!

 

Other Tours in Rome:

There are a million tours I could recommend, but you can check them out here or below (click for more tours on the list) and see if something strikes your attention. I love this website, and it’s the one I use the most when I have to book my tours online. Super convenient and hassle-free. I don’t like to spend my precious time waiting to buy my tickets, especially in touristy cities like Rome!

The “Skip the lines” tickets are exceptional, and you won’t regret buying them as they will save you SO MUCH TIME!


ITALY ITINERARY DAY 3 | ROMAN CASTLES

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Rome itself has many sites to see even just outside the city itself! Roman Castles (or as we call it “Castelli Romani”) are an opportunity to leave the metropolis and immerse yourself in the natural and artistic beauty of the small medieval villages outside Rome.


WHAT TO SEE AT THE ROMAN CASTLES:


Leaving Rome, you can drive by the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla and onto the Ancient Via Appia by the Church of Domine Quo Vadis. This Tour of the Roman Castles will take you along the ‘Road of the Lakes’ through one of the hilly areas of volcanic origin that characterize the outskirts of Rome, the Colli Albani, with its many growing villages. 

Most Famous Things to do and see in The Roman Castles:


Castel Gandolfo:  On the shores of a volcanic lake, this is the village where the Pope has his summer residence. You’ll enjoy a stunning view over the Lake and a great but tranquil atmosphere.

Rocca di Papa and Grottaferrata: They are fascinating villages to visit in the Roman Castles area. Both are known for their culture, sights, and gastronomic delicacies, including the traditional “porchetta.”

Frascati:  Towards the northern part of the Colli Albani, you can reach Frascati, popular with visitors for its beauty and wine production. Here you can stop for a taste of local wine and products in a local tavern and absorb the flavor of the authentic village life in the Lazio region.




RECOMMENDED BEST HOTELS IN CASTELLI ROMANI:

ATLANTIS INN 


A lovely central hotel with fantastic views over the Lake, the owner Francesco is friendly, like most people from Rome and surroundings! Breakfast is included, and a parking space is available too, mandatory for a stress-free Italy road trip, right? πŸ™‚ Click to Check the Hotel out!

 


ITALY 2 WEEKS ITINERARY DAY 4 | MONTEPULCIANO

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I’d like to take credit for “finding’” this town, but I accidentally stumbled across Montepulciano, the medieval town in lovely Tuscany hills by complete accident. It was a ridiculously beautiful town to stumble upon, providing a welcome opportunity to fill up on some fresh Bresaola and a little wine (for the non-drivers of course).  


WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN MONTEPULCIANO:


This lovely town is all about strolling around slowly admiring its beautiful historical buildings and the old medieval atmosphere, so take your time to enjoy it, find an excellent trattoria to eat, drink espresso and take it “the Italian way” = EASY & SLOW πŸ™‚ 

Things To Do in Montepulciano:


The Main Square:  The lovely fountain on the side, the Duomo and Palazzo Tarugi, and Palazzo Contucci.

Palazzo del Comune Tower:  Do you want to admire the incredible views of the Tuscany Hills surrounding this lovely village? Climb the Tower, and you won’t be disappointed!

Gate Porta del Prato and Corso street:  Almost every medieval village in Italy has a main gate to the town. Cross “La Porta del Prato” and stroll around the “Corso street,” with its lovely shops, elegant palaces and renaissance buildings, the church of Sant’Agostino, and the Palazzo Cervini.




RECOMMENDED BEST HOTELS IN MONTEPULCIANO:

ALBERGO IL MARZOCCO


Located within the medieval walls of Montepulciano, this hotel is quite remarkable! Built in the 16th century, it is the oldest hotel in town. It has a bar, free Wi-Fi, rooms with views of Lake Trasimeno or the town, and free parking πŸ™‚ Click to Check the Hotel out!

 




RECOMMENDED TOURS IN MONTEPULCIANO:


Being a tiny town, after you have admired its historical center, there are many activities you can book for an even more memorable experience!

Montepulciano Terme: Wellness & Wine Experience: Honestly? In my view, this is an absolute must (I’m a SPA and wine lover). After driving and walking for hours, you deserve a bit of relaxation! Check out this fantastic experience here.

Montalcino/Pienza/Montepulciano Full day wine tour: This is one of the best-selling tours in the area and within reason! If you want to relax 100% and see 3 lovely villages instead of one (while tasting the best wines in the region), this is it! Check out all the details here.


TWO WEEKS ITALY ITINERARY DAY 5 | SAN GIMIGNANO

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While many visit San Gimignano, the town declared by UNESCO to be part of the World’s Architectural Heritage, for a very short time, there is plenty to do to keep you busy an entire day if not more!


How do you pronounce/spell “San Gimignano”?! Maybe the most challenging part is genuinely pronouncing its name correctly. Well then, I’m Italian, and I will help you out once and for all: San Gimignano pronunciation sounds like: San jee mee NYAH noh. Try to repeat it a few times faster, and that’s it! 😉


THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SAN GIMIGNANO:


I had the luck to discover the town I have declared the loveliest of the entire Tuscany Region during a Road trip from Rome to Florence. It was a super dark and rainy day, but my first reaction when I left the car in the spacious parking lot just before the town walls was: WOW, WHAT IS THIS PLACE? 

As soon as you enter San Gimignano, you will feel like time has stopped, and you are either back to the medieval era or in a lovely fairy tale!

Things to do in San Gimignano:

A stroll down the entire town is required, as well as a visit to the Duomo di San Gimignano and the Palazzo Comunale to view the Pinacoteca of Medieval art.


Torre Grossa views: Climb to the very top of the Torre Grossa, the tallest tower in town to enjoy the best view of San Gimignano ever. The green hills and spectacular Tuscany landscape will make it worth the effort!

Enjoy the food in Piazza della Cisterna:  From gelato to die for to a delicious lunch or dinner at the many restaurants specializing in Tuscan cuisine. I still remember the cute little restaurant in one of the small alleys, where I tasted the best spaghetti with clams (10 years ago!)

Montestaffoli Fortress:  Climbing up to the remains of the Montestaffoli fortress and lots of tastings of the local white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, will round up your unforgettable visit to San Gimignano. You will fall in love with the town, I promise!




WHERE TO STAY IN SAN GIMIGNANO:

HOTEL BEL SOGGIORNO


One of the best hotels in San Gimignano! You’ll have everything at your doorstep: public parking just 50mt away, breathtaking views from the windows, and a superb location, right in the city center. This hotel will be the cherry on top of your fantastic experience in San Gimignano! Click to Check the Hotel out!




RECOMMENDED TOURS IN SAN GIMIGNANO:


There are many tours, but they depart from other cities like Siena to visit San Gimignano, but since you are on your epic road trip, you don’t need those! The only one I feel I can recommend is actually a “detour” or a secondary option to your itinerary.

Visit Pisa and Lucca (and climb the lining Tower): Your next stop on the map should be Pisa, but what if you want to slow down and stay a day more in San Giminiano? after all the beauty of these road trips is that you can change your itinerary on a whim. 


With this Tour, you’ll see both Pisa and Lucca; climb the famous leaning tower, and return to San Giminiano for another fabulous night before resuming driving the next day, heading to Florence via San Miniato. If you like this alternative itinerary, check out the detail of the Tour here.


14 DAYS ITALY TINERARY DAY 6 | PISA

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An obvious choice for any visitor to Italy! Pisa and its famous leaning tower has become a symbolic representation of Italy across the globe.


WHAT TO SEE IN PISA IN ONE DAY:


Pisa’s historic town is relatively small and can be explored in as little as one day. It’s the perfect place to stop en route between Cinque Terre and Florence. You can stop here for food and explore the Pisa Baptistry, The Leaning Tower in Piazza Dei Miracoli, and San Sisto. Don’t forget to strike “that cheesy pose” when you’re there! πŸ™‚


Yes, I did it too… so why I didn’t put it in here? Because when I went there, digital cameras didn’t exist yet, so we used the whole film to try and be in the right position for the photo. Only one had the right angle, but it was super blurry! 


RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN PISA:

HOTEL DI STEFANO


If you want to rest up and spend the night in Pisa, this is the perfect hotel for you; right in the city center, a mere 5-minute walk from the leaning Tower, it provides a parking space on-site, buffet breakfast, and has excellent reviews πŸ™‚ Click to Check the Hotel out!

 


ITALY ITINERARY FOR 2 WEEKS DAY 7 | SAN MINIATO

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San Miniato is a gracious small town which is perfect as a quick (or long, it’s up to you!) pit stop on your way to Florence.


WHY YOU SHOULD SEE/STOP IN SAN MINIATO:


San Miniato has always given a warm welcome to (friendly) travelers! Hence why you should go! 🙂 As the main town was a major thoroughfare for medieval traders between Rome and the rest of Europe, San Miniato became shaped by its constantly changing population and exchange of exotic and sought-after goods.

Nowadays, the town still welcomes travelers from all over the world with stunning sites like The Duomo, The Tower of Frederick, and the medieval precinct of the town. You can spend the whole afternoon here filling up on local olives! Isn’t that a good enough reason for you to stop in there? I know it would be for me πŸ™‚


RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN SAN MINIATO:

HOTEL SAN MINIATO


Since this is YOUR road trip, you might decide to spend the night in San Miniato. In this case, I highly recommend this hotel, located in a former convent; it offers free parking space and even a SPA and wellness center to recharge your batteries πŸ™‚ Pisa and Florence are only 45 min away by car! Click to Check the Hotel out!

 


14 DAYS ITALY TINERARY DAY 8 | FLORENCE

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I love visiting certain cities more than once, and Florence is one of my favorites for this purpose. I was 20 when one lazy afternoon my friends and I decided to hop on the first train available from Turin (I was studying at University then) to visit this glorious city!


It was a rather cold October weekend, and we slept without a tent at Piazzale Michelangelo, an amazing spot with amazing city views from the hill. Florence may be an obvious choice to include on a road trip to Italy, but don’t let its popularity stop you from visiting. In fact, it’s never stopped me. Each time is completely different and unique.


WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN FLORENCE IN ONE/TWO DAYS:


This beautiful Tuscan city with its super friendly people has SO MUCH to offer that two days should be the minimum to fully enjoy it.


Best Things to do and see in Florence:

Oh my…where do I even start? Just like Rome, Florence is packed with unforgettable experiences and sights. I will try to give you a glimpse of what it can offer.

The Uffizi:  If you love Renaissance art, a stop at the Uffizi is mandatory. Obviously, the lines to get in are insane, but once inside, your jaw will drop from all the beautiful paintings by Botticelli, the statues, and the whole atmosphere.

Piazzale Michelangelo:  It will give you the most incredible view of Florence from above, especially at sunset. Perfect for photography lovers. If you go there, think about me sleeping with only a blanket on the ground. What an epic trip!

Giardini di Boboli:  We spent a whole afternoon there, and you can’t miss these gardens for anything in the world; the main word here is GREEN. So many green fountains, groomed trees, statues, and hidden caves. Go there and … RELAX!



OTHER THINGS TO DO IN FLORENCE:


Visit the “Duomo:  Famous for its red-tiled dome, colored marble facade & the Giotto tower. A beauty for the eye and impossible to miss when strolling around the beautiful historic center.

Santa Croce Church: Its gothic facade and the vast plaza are well-known landmarks in Florence, famous for being the final resting place of Galileo and Michelangelo. You can visit their tombs in Santa Croce.

Ponte Vecchio: The oldest and more peculiar bridge in Florence, it still houses many jewelry shops and buildings, a typical practice back in the day. It is very suggestive to walk by the bridge or over the Arno river banks, especially at sunset, to admire it from the “outside.”



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Ponte Vecchio at sunset. Such a peculiar and beautiful bridge. You won’t see anything like this anymore in Italy.



WHERE TO STAY IN FLORENCE:

HOTEL PITTI PALACE AL PONTE VECCHIO


This hotel has the most perfect location. It is easy to find at the very end of the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. The hotel is spotless; it has a parking space available, and rooms have a super view of the entrance to the bridge. Breakfast is served on the terrace on the 6th floor offers a lovely view of the Duomo and Florence skyline. What more can you ask for? Click to Check the Hotel!

 




RECOMMENDED BEST TOURS IN FLORENCE:


If you stay for two days in this magnificent city, you will have some spare time to choose from some of the most incredible tours. Since there are so many to choose from, I put some of my favorites below, and you can check out more tours by clicking on the whole list.


One I strongly recommend? The “Fast line” ticket to enter the Uffizi Gallery! You don’t want to waste your precious time waiting in an endless line, which will make you skip it, allowing you to discover much more of Florence.

 




14 DAYS ITALIAN ITINERARY DAY 10 | BOLOGNA

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Often neglected on travel itineraries in favor of Italy’s more famous hotspots, Bologna has plenty to offer tourists, from food (ah, the food guys!!) to art and hidden secrets.

Bologna is known in the Italian language as “la Dotta, la Rossa e la Grassa”: “the educated one” in a nod to its University, Europe’s oldest; “the red one,” about the terracotta hues of its buildings and the city’s historic communist leanings; and most importantly, “the fat one,” about the delicious food.


THINGS TO DO IN BOLOGNA IN ONE/TWO DAYS:


I will give you one day in Bologna /Emilia Romagna only because I have to stay within the 2 weeks Italy Road trip Itinerary.  If you are free to change your plans a little (or are lucky to have more time), I would strongly recommend discovering Bologna and Emilia Romagna for at least 3-4 days.

Check out my article “What to do in Bologna and Emilia Romagna.” I’m sure you’ll love it, I tried so many things, and the pictures speak for themselves!


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Best Things to do in Bologna:


The Markets:  The markets in the center are great for fresh fruit and pastries. Via del Pratello is an excellent spot for lunch, and the student area near Via Zamboni has plenty of options for a filling “aperitivo” – but you can’t go far wrong wherever you choose to eat.

The Two Towers:  Believe it or not, Bologna’s leaning tower would put Pisa’s one to shame! The Two Towers are an iconic symbol of the city, and the shorter one, the Garisenda Tower, leans much more dramatically than Pisa’s leaning tower. It is well known (in Italy) that Dante Alighieri invoked this tower in his “Divina Commedia”, so look out for the plaque with the quote.

Giardini Margherita:  One of my favorites spot in Bologna to chill and relax to end the day after walking its gorgeous streets! You will find mostly local people, and there are so many hidden spots for a nice picnic while seeing the turtles in one of the ponds inside. Highly recommended (and easy to get there by bus too.



OTHER THINGS TO DO IN BOLOGNA AND EMILIA ROMAGNA:


Visit Ravenna: Lovely city easily reachable by train for a one-day trip and famous for Dante’s remainings and the many stunning churches.

Explore the Apennines:  Definitely, a must if you have some more time; it was the highlight of my trip to Emilia Romagna. Lake Baccio and Lake Santo are amongst the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in Italy (and not a tourist in sight either!)

Terme Della Salvarola:  If you are a SPA lover, this place is heaven on earth for wellness lovers. Try the cherry bath and the cherry massage, and rest assured you will have to make an effort to leave this place!



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The beauty of the Apennines in Emilia Romagna. The tranquil landscape you can admire at Lake Baccio!





WHERE TO STAY IN BOLOGNA:

HOTEL CORONA D’ORO 


An excellent centrally located hotel with a private garage in a restricted traffic area, a great feature to have (since you’re in the middle of your Italian Road trip!). Friendly staff and great reviews. Abundant breakfast with lots of choices. The rooms are nice and clean, with comfortable beds, crisp linens, and many amenities.  Check this Hotel!

 



RECOMMENDED TOURS IN BOLOGNA:


As usual, in the most beautiful Italian cities (and Bologna is definitely one of them!), you will have plenty of choices if you want to book a tour online. What I recommend is going for the food tours. Bologna and Emilia Romagna are the top in terms of delicious dishes, so you can’t go wrong! Below are a few tour options, but click the button to see more and enjoy the experience πŸ™‚


 



2 WEEKS ITALY TINERARY DAY 11 – 12 | CINQUE TERRE

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One of my favorite coastlines in Italy and a must-see on any road trip around Italy, Cinque Terre national park is an area around 1.5 – 2 hours’ drive north of Pisa.


The region is characterized by its dramatic, rugged landscape and of course, its 5 picturesque terraced towns that only beg to be explored (from North to South):

MONTEROSSO AL MARE  | VERNAZZA | CORNIGLIA | MANAROLA | RIOMAGGIORE



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Even if not all the 5 villages show on this map, the train stops in each one of them. The road in white you see behind the red line is the road you should use my car, and it takes around 2 hours drive. Image credit: Map data ©2022 Google



One of the best tips I’ve learned is to leave the car at La Spezia city and take the train between these 5 towns. It’s usually the easiest way to discover them without the issue of finding a parking spot (unless you decide to choose one of the villages to stay in for the night).


THE 5 VILLAGES TO SEE IN CINQUE TERRE IN 2 DAYS:


Obviously the main attractions of the Cinque Terre National Park are the famous villages, so let’s check them out in detail to see what distinguishes one from the other, they are all marvelous and unique!


RIOMAGGIORE-Cinque-Terre-View-on-the-colorful-houses-along-the-coastline-of-Cinque-Terre-area-in-Riomaggiore-liguria-la-spezia italy-road-trip-Panorama-view-of-Manarola-village-one-of-Cinque-Terre-at-night-in-La-Spezia-Italy Italy-Cinque-Terre-Liguria-CORNIGLIA-narrow-picturesque-streets-Italy-best-things-to-see

From the top: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia


1) RIOMAGGIORE:  The most southern village of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is a beautiful town to sit back and enjoy your afternoon. Grab some local food (especially fried calamari) from the street vendors and head for the rocky harbor front. Helpful tip: spend a good few hours dipping your feet and legs into the sea! This town is a fabulous place to watch the sunset, and why not take a swim and cool down after a day under the scorching Italian sun.


2) MANAROLA:  Arguably one of the most photographed towns in Cinque Terre, Manarola is a beautiful place to explore and, of course, grab a bite to eat! Every time I visit Manarola, I put on 4kg in weight! The gelato, the calamari, the wine … it’s all just too good!


3) CORNIGLIA:  Unlike the other four villages of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not perched on the seafront but at about 100 meters high on the top of a cliff. Warning: Trying to walk in the scorching midday heat is not the greatest idea – you could end up sweaty, hot, dehydrated, and no doubt looking a bit messy 🙂 you can use the connecting shuttle bus from the train station instead. It takes about 5 minutes to reach Corniglia. A perfect place to enjoy the views of this magnificent area!


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Top: Vernazza – Bottom: Monterosso al Mare


4) VERNAZZA: Dating back nearly 1000 years, the iconic Vernazza is still standing to show you a beautiful piece of historic Italian charm – that I fall in love with every time. This city really stole my heart! Don’t forget to see the Church of Santa Margherita and the hidden Vernazza beach just off Piazza Marconi.


5) MONTEROSSO AL MARE:  The westernmost of all the Cinque Terre villages is Monterosso al Mare, famous for its wider beach and for the many open spaces compared to other countries. What I love most about Cinque Terre is that it feels like a “personality test.” Everyone has their favorite village for very specific reasons. Monterosso al Mare is my least favorite town in the Cinque Terre, but that’s because my heart has already been stolen from Vernazza’s colorful houses (I love colorful houses) 🙂



BEST HOTELS IN CINQUETERRE AND LA SPEZIA:

LEVANTE RESIDENCE 


Just minutes from La Spezia center. Clean, spacious rooms with kitchen. A good option is to have a base there for your La Spezia Gulf or Cinque Terre trips. Safe, private parking and simple breakfast. The train station is within walking distance, and free parking is a plus. Highly recommended. Check out this Hotel! 




BEST TOURS IN CINQUE TERRE:


When you visit the Cinque Terre villages, you can take your time and explore them on your own or book a guided tour to discover the secret places, best restaurants, and panoramic views.

One of the best ones is definitely from Florence to Cinque Terre and it’s most suitable if you are flexible with your dates and are on an Italy road trip, coming from the south and ending in the northern part of the country, like in this case.


Depending on your budget, some of these tours, especially the boat ones, are worth the money. They will provide you with a completely different experience. As usual … it’s up to you to decide! Sometimes I like to opt for a tour, other times I prefer to discover an area on my own.




ITALIAN 2 WEEKS ITINERARY DAY 13 | TURIN

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I lived in Turin for 8 years while studying at the University, and not only do I know the city well, but I love it pieces! Unfortunately, the city is one of the least known and appreciated by tourists. While most of those visiting Italy head for the Rome-Florence-Venice triptych, Turin remains off the tourist radar. What a shame.

Maybe is because the city has always been associated with Agnelli and his automotive empire (Fiat). However, people forget that another dynasty, not industrial but royal, chose Turin as its capital eight decades earlier.

Nineteenth-century Turin was also a favorite of intellectuals and artists such as Nietzsche, who loved the city for its austere elegance, atmosphere, literary cafes, and food. So, this seething city should definitely be on your wish list for your Italian road trip.


THINGS TO DO IN TURIN IN ONE DAY:


The beauty of Turin, compared to other Italian cities, is that it is easy to get around on foot and public transport is excellent. I have never used a car in 8 years, and I know every street as it is easy to walk to the city center and some of the most beautiful palaces and squares.


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The beautiful Mole Antonellliana by night

Best Things to do in Turin:


Il Quadrilatero Romano: One of my favorite places in Turin for its many restaurants, aperitif bars, and lovely streets filled with history from the Roman empire. Great for an exciting night out in Turin!

La Gran Madre Church:  The “Gran Madre” is a Neoclassic-style church located in front of Piazza Vittorio. Straightforward to reach by foot from Piazza Castello through via Po (famous for its many shops, bars, and restaurants), it’s stunning at night.

Piazza Castello/Via Garibaldi:  Turin’s central square is lined with museums, theatres, and cafes. Dominating it is the part-medieval, part-baroque Palazzo Madama, the original seat of the Italian parliament. To the north is the beautiful facade of the Palazzo Reale, “The Royal Palace” built for Carlo Emanuele II in the mid-1600s. If you are up for some shopping, on the left of Palazzo Reale, you will reach Via Garibaldi, packed with high-end and budget shops (I used to live in the student house in that area!) πŸ˜‰


OTHER THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN TURIN


Il Castello /Parco Del Valentino:  My favorite spot in town, a massive park with botanical gardens, statues, and, of course, the iconic castle. Perfect for a romantic walk or just to chill during the hot summer days. You can admire the spectacular views of the Valentino Castel by night just by crossing one of the bridges over the river PO. Highly recommended!

La Reggia di Venaria: Declared UNESCO Heritage Site, the Reggia di Venaria is a spot you can’t miss. The palace is marvelous, and during summertime, you can enjoy a wide array of events, from artists performing accompanied by relaxing music to video-mapping shows.

Basilica di Superga:  Another fantastic place to visit in Turin! The church is on a hill where you can admire the city from above. Perfect at sunset to see the city lights and chill after visiting the inside of the beautiful Basilica.



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The beautiful Castello del Valentino in the “Parco Del Valentino (Valentine’s Park). One of my most precious places in Turin. Day or night it is truly marvelous!



Museo Egizio:  An excellent place for people passionate about Egyptian History, this museum is the most important one in Italy as it preserves some rare mummified human remains and several Egyptian statues.  

Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace):  Located in Piazza Castello; if you visit it, I promise that the inside will leave you totally speechless. I still remember the first time I saw it, admiring the beautiful dancing room, statues, paintings, and seemingly never-ending luxurious rooms in awe. No wonder it was included in the list of World Heritage sites in 1997. Totally worth it!

La Mole Antonelliana: This spectacular building towering over the city of Turin is the equivalent of the Colosseum in Rome. You can’t visit Turin without seeing it! Even from the outside, you will be impressed by its majestic size, and once inside, you can take a transparent elevator located right in the middle of the building that will take you to the top. On the ground floor, there are usually fascinating art expositions.



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The beauty of Turin at sunset: Ponte Isabella over the River Po that divides the city in two.





WHERE TO STAY IN TURIN – BEST HOTELS :

HOTEL URBANI


Excellent location to head off in any direction and explore. The hotel itself is lovely. Accommodating and friendly reception staff. Delicious breakfast, charming rooms, and parking space. The perfect mix to set you up for the day and relax once back from your strolling in Turin. Check out this Hotel!

 



14 DAYS TALY ITINERARY DAY 14-15 | MILAN & LAKE COMO

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DISCOVER MILAN:


Milan is one of the trendiest cities in Italy. It is the city of fashion and the economic capital of Italy. Both traits are clearly visible when you’re walking around the city. Modern and trendy skyscrapers scattered here and there, surrounded by beautiful historical buildings throughout the city center.

Many of Milan’s most exciting sights and attractions are not readily apparent, so you’ll need to dig deeper to discover the gems that make the city unique.

Luckily, Milan is surprisingly walkable and, at times, feels more like a compact town than a major European metropolis.
And once you start chipping away at its foreboding exterior, you’ll find untold treasures below the surface: priceless works of art, beautiful eccentric buildings, world-class restaurants, and oases of calm. Explore the best things to do in Milan and remember: appearances aren’t everything.



DISCOVER LAKE COMO:



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Como is filled with luxury Villas you can visit, like Villa Balbianello here, a perfect setting even for weddings!



The itinerary for your Italy Road trip started in the glorious city of Rome, and it couldn’t end less gloriously in the fantastic Lake Como setting.
Relax in the shade of a tree in front of the lake, admire its beautiful views … and, who knows? You might even spot George Clooney (owner of one of the most beautiful villas in Lake Como), his buddy Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, or any other A-list celebrity, but there’s so much more to this destination than its famed visitors.

The glacial Lake Como is a mere 1.5-hour drive north of Milan and only 30 minutes or so from the border of Switzerland. The biggest draw to Lake Como is its natural beauty – especially the scenic mountainous region that always leaves me in awe.

Hop on the ferries that cross the lake; it’s a perfect way to explore the beautiful little towns surrounding it like Menaggio, Bellagio, and Varenna, to mention but a few of my favorites.



THINGS TO DO IN MILAN IN ONE DAY:


In Milan, as previously stated, it is super easy to get around by walking a bit or via their efficient public services (the underground system is excellent). This way you can do quite a lot in one day.

The most famous things to do in Milan are:


  • The famous Duomo di Milano: The symbol of the city.
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (on the left of the Duomo)
  • Sforza Castle for a bit of history
  • Parco Sempione to end your day in total relaxation!




THINGS TO DO IN LAKE COMO IN ONE DAY:


Honestly? If it was for me (personal taste!) I would spend just half a day in Milan and aim straight to Lake Como, but the itinerary is yours, so maybe you are a fashion addict and want to spend a whole afternoon shopping in Milan πŸ™‚ Either way, Lake Como would deserve at least 2 days of exploring.

 

So, what to do and see in Lake Como?


  • Visit Varenna, a lovely village with great views of the lake.
  • Take the ferry! You’ll discover the hidden spots as well as the more popular sights.
  • Visit Villa del Balbianello
  • Discover Castello di Vezio for awesome views



ITALY-RITALY-ROAD-TRIP-MILAN-sforza-Castle-Milan-Italy-with-water-fountains-at-night
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Villa Del Balbianello, Lake Como

Best Things to do and see in Milan:


Il Duomo Di Milano:  Do I really need to tell you why you should visit it? There is so much information online, and the pictures speak for themselves. It goes without saying that this should be your first stop in Milan, no question about it. And it’s as beautiful as in the pictures. My only tip: go there early in the morning; you will make the most of the experience!

Castello Sforzesco: Nearby the Parco Sempione, the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castel) is a mandatory stop on your visit to Milan; apart from its famous towers, it hosts several museums from the Ancient Arts to the Pinacoteca and the Egyptian museum, just to name a few. If you love history, this is a great place to visit.

 

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: Just on the left side of the Duomo di Milano, its architecture (especially the roof) will leave you in awe. You’ll find many shops, from luxury ones to nice cafes where to sip an espresso and relax, bookstores, restaurants, and more. Since it’s in Piazza Duomo, you can easily make it your second stop in Milan.

Best Things to do and see in Lake Como:


Villa Del Balbianello: Located on the left wing of the Lake, near the village of Lenno, it is a must-see. Beautiful views of the Lake and the Villa with its terrace garden are genuinely out of this world! One of the best spots to admire Lake Como’s mighty beauty. It’s undoubtedly one of the most touristy and popular Villas to visit.

Villa Carlotta: Just a few kilometers away from Villa Del Balbianello (heading north of Lenno), it’s a true gem with its botanical gardens, museums, the staircase, and the stunning entrance to the Lake. Not to be missed! (I will write an article just for the villas to visit around Lake Como as they are jaw-dropping!)

Take the ferry:  One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Como is by Ferry. There are both public and private ferries. The public one is relatively cheap, but obviously, it doesn’t let you hop off to explore what you want. You can either find the private companies online looking for “private ferry lake Como” or, as I suggest below, I’d recommend the Tour from Milan without the hassle of driving there and back.


MORE THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN MILAN


I Navigli Di Milano: A system of canals running in the heart of Milan, surrounded by lovely cocktail bars, are the perfect location to spend your dinner and after-dinner time, not to be missed for an excellent aperitif. Great for a romantic walk at sunset as well. It’s easy to reach by public transport, which is always a bonus!

Parco Sempione:  Located in the heart of Milan, Parco Sempione is a lovely park where you can relax, chill and visit the Sforza Castel and the Arch of peace, two of the most famous landmark in Milan. 

Via Montenapoleone:  If you are in Milan and love fashion, via Montenapoleone is the place you want to be! Filled with luxury shops, whatever brand you are looking for, you will find it there! Splurge as much as you want and enjoy!



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The famous Navigli Di Milano, great for the nightlife and the peculiar atmosphere



MORE THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN LAKE COMO


Trekking/hiking Lake Como:  If you have some time or, during your Italy Road trip planning, you decide to skip a place or two, this is one of the best and more rewarding activities to do, with breathtaking views over the lake. The most famous walks/hikes are the Greenway Del Lago and Spina Verde (suitable for everyone, they will take you to the top spots like Villa del Balbianello). For more advanced trekking and hiking, organizing with private companies is better.

Castello di Vezio:  Located in the middle of Lake Como, with an overview of Varenna village, it is a lovely spot for jaw-dropping sights of the lake and its history. It was built over a thousand years ago. Don’t forget to climb its famous tower to enjoy even more incredible panoramic views!



The stunning views you can admire at Lake Como are endless!





WHERE TO STAY IN MILAN AND LAKE COMO :

HOTEL BELLAGIO (LAKE COMO)


In the city center, accessed directly from Bellagio’s main square by 38 cobblestone steps, Hotel Bellagio is within walking distance of the town’s shops, cafés, and restaurants. Parking is available, free cancellation, and incredible views of the Lake. Check out this Hotel!  If you prefer to take a day tour to Lake Como and base yourself in Milan, check out the NH PORTA NUOVA hotel, which is convenient and well located.



BEST TOURS IN LAKE COMO :


Given the proximity of Lake Como to Milan, you can opt for booking one of the grand tours from the Lombardy Capital instead of spending money (and time) using your car. Many people choose this option, and they can enjoy a full day in Lake Como without stress and see all the top sights stated above.

Usually, when talking about the tours, my advice is to decide which option is more suitable for you (car or tour) but in this case, the day trips from Milan are genuinely the best option, also money-wise. Highly recommended!


 

THE TAKEAWAY OF THIS ITALY ROAD TRIP ITINERARY


As you might have noticed, I tried to fit in as many “pit stops” as possible for your 15 days on the road in Italy. I know many people would rather rush a bit to see as many beautiful spots as possible.

That said, If you want to travel slower and stay more in one place, you can easily rearrange this itinerary by skipping a few places, no problem!

I hope you enjoyed my article and that you will be inspired to visit my beautiful Italy, loving my country as much as I do!

If you have any questions or locations you have visited that you particularly liked, shoot me a message in the comments below, I’d love to hear your experience!


Images credits/attributions: Shutterstock.com (except for Emilia Romagna)




SAVE IT FOR LATER,  PIN IT!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for a very interesting article. I greatly appreciate the time you take to do all the research to put together your posts. I especially enjoyed this one!!

  2. Hi Clelia!

    What a great article! I have to say I did a bicycle trip in northern Sardinia, from Olbia to Santa Teresa passing by Maddallena. I have been to many many beaches in my life but I have never seen so beautiful beaches like in Maddalena. The colors of the sea was absolutely stunning! And the scenery in North Sardinia is unique, almost lunar.

    This being said, we did a road trip in France from Nice to to Bordeaux avoiding the highways and going through the little villages. Back country road trip. In our mind, the road is as important as the destination. We prefer B&Bs (I think you call them agroturismo in Italy) where we can talk with the hosts and guests and get their ideas about the nicest places in their corner of the country..

    So……we are planning a 3 weeks road trip in Italy, September 9 to 30, 2022 more or less. Probably from Venice to Rome and maybe going down to Sorento. We were planning to go to most of the places you mentioned in your article except for Milan and Torino which I’ve already been and not so keen to visit twice. So, adding a week to your 2 weeks itinerary, I was wondering if you have any suggestions for those additional days.

    Thank you so much and keep on your good work!

    1. Author

      Hey Stephan, wow I’m envious just reading all you will see on your road trip in my beautiful Italy! If you have 2 more weeks I would definitely go :
      1) Val D’orcia in Tuscany, it’s BREATHTAKING, I want to make a photo post with the photo I shoot. Just that will convince you. I stayed in a lovely home rented in Castiglione D’orcia and it has been one of the best road trips ever.
      2) South of Rome I’d go to Sorrento, Capri, and all the Costiera Amalfitana. It’s mainstream clearly but you can’t miss it! This would deserve a full week to fully explore all the little corners of this beautiful place.

      There will be so many places I can add but I don’t want to overwhelm you. If I had these 2 additional weeks I would explore more of Tuscany in general, and the Val D’Orcia area in particular, and all the Costiera Amalfitana. It will make for a fabulous Italy Road trip!! Plus the time of the year is perfect, still warm but with fewer tourists. What can I add if not… Enjoy Italy!! πŸ™‚

      Cheers
      Clelia

      1. Thanks for reaching out! We will definitely put Val D’orcia on our itinerary. Can you let us know what was the lovely home you stayed there? Always nice to go somewhere recommended by some one who stayed there. So 2 weeks from Venice to Rome and one week in the costiera Amalfitana, Right?

        1. Author

          Hi Stephan, yes I’d say 1 week in the Costiera Amalfitana, not less… and the remaining 2 weeks you go from Venice to Rome. Oh, I envy you right now πŸ™‚ Let me check the name of the place! I booked it with booking.com I remember so it still should be in my records πŸ™‚ Ok, after a while I found it! It’s the lovely home called “La Cantina di P
          I hope you didn’t book anything yet because this was a truly lovely place, especially the location was so amazing! Let me know if you need any more help and enjoy your road trip to Italy!

          1. Fantastic! Thanks for the valuable information and we will definitaly book there, Covid permitting. Keep on the great work! Grazie

          2. Author

            Thanks Stephan! I’m so glad you liked my Italy road trip itinerary, I’m supposed to create the second part, from Rome to … Sardinia because I had to leave out so much. Two weeks are not nearly enough to enjoy the beauty of Italy and everything it has to offer πŸ™‚ Fingers crossed about the Covid yeah. We had some small trips in Italy so it’s not super bad but in winter it’s always a bit worse. With the proper precautions, I believe we will be able to have a sort of “normal” life again soon.

  3. Wow what a wonderful article, spectacular pics. Italy’s a beautiful country and everyone should know this. I have been twice and looking forward to visiting it after the pandemic. Thanks for sharing with us this fab post.

  4. Italy is Indeed a good place to visit in the world. Being a travel enthusiast I learn that Italy is a place where every city is beautiful as well as historical. You will find the different kind of travellers in Italy and its the place where you can meet new peoples and interact with them. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

  5. Great pics and information. This is my dream destination, I would like to visit here someday. Hope to hear more from you. Thank you.

  6. Very nice information thank you for sharing! We can’t travel to Italy right now but this will be a huge help for when we will be able to visit!

  7. You should work for the Italian tourism department, they are in dire need of people like you. Unlike France and Spain who have done a great job in marketing themselves, in Italy international tourism is unfortunately restricted only to some areas of the country (city of Rome, Veneto, Lombardia, Liguria, Tuscany and maybe Sardinia). Nice to see that you mentioned Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna here. Then there is central Italy outside of Rome, and especially “Mezzogiorno” that I think is super underrated (I’m from Puglia and in my own biased eyes, it’s the closest thing to Paradise on Earth). Also, as much as I love Rome, my favorite city in the world will always be Napoli, which I would recommend to every visitor in Italy.

    1. Author

      Ciao Gianmarco, thanks for your kind words, I sadly must agree with you about how we promote certain parts of Italy and completely disregards other parts, and actually this article is just part 1 of another than covers all the regions in Southern Italy. I have been to Puglia and LOVED IT!! (and it’s obviously included in the second article that IΓ¬m going to publish). I’m from Sardinia so we can both say we are very lucky! Interesting about you loving Napoli so much! Why ? Mine is Rome (I have lived there for years) but also Napoli is beautiful for sure!

      1. Napoli is just another city that has no equivalent in the world. First of all, it has the most beautiful landscape in all of Italy, if not the world (try searching “panorama piΓΉ bello del mondo”). The city has the largest historic center in whole Europe, and just like Rome, it is full of castles, churches and ancient ruins (have you been to the underground areas). Despite everyone in the world consuming pizza these days, all others are fake except Neapolitan one. While the city center still retains it’s ancient vibe with narrow, chaotic streets full of people, some of the most beautiful metro stations of the world are located just below it, highlighting that Neapolitans and Italians in general continue to be great innovators of contemporary times, even if we are obsessed with with our past and aren’t obsessed with becoming “successful” by contemporary definition.
        Than of course the surrounding areas (Pompei, Amalifi, Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento) are also among some of the most breathtaking places.
        Overall, I find Rome and Napoli are very similar both in their good and bad aspects, except that Rome is less dense and more spread out. While I won’t trade Rome for any other city in the world, I give Naples the edge over it because of metro, surrounding areas and the overall vibe and sheer passion of the city.

  8. I might say that Italy the most beautiful country in Europe and the world, considering that I’ve traveled to at least ten different locations in Italy, and that you have managed to mention so many amazing places despite touching only a quarter of whole Italy. But as a Frenchman, some things in Italy are really frustrating.
    Relying on public transport is a real pain, especially if you want to travel to smaller towns. Even if it is available, trains are poorly maintained and always late.
    Many places are dirty and not taken care of. And it gets crazier as you go southwards with Sicily being the worst, despite still being stunning and soon I’ll be there again.
    My Neapolitan friend jokes “To drive on roads of Naples, you must have the special ability to pray for San Gennaro”. And he’s so right. Sometimes, it really feels like the vehicles are there to hit you and traffic rules are meek requests. I think this can be said of almost all Italian cities.
    I do love Italy but I don’t see why Italians don’t acknowledge the clear superiority of the French.

  9. I’m Spaniard and I’m a big fan of Italy. In Spain, Italy is seen as a dream girlfriend that drives you crazy yet you can’t stop loving her.
    Personally, my favourite Italian regions are the Alps, Veneto, Tuscany and Campania – but the country is very beautiful almost everywhere and there is no city or region in Italy that isn’t worth visiting.

    1. Author

      Thanks Lucas, it means a lot especially now. I hope people will start to visit Italy again very soon. Be well!

      1. I wish the same for Spain too. Just like Italy, we choose to ignore the warnings and go on with the fests and parties, and now we are in an even worse situation. Us Mediterraneans are too similar I think.

        1. Author

          Indeed we are… I have no idea when this nightmare will be over. I hope people won’t fear traveling to our beautiful countries when all this will be over.

  10. Great post. However, I would like to add my two cents. First of all, I think Milan and Turin, while fantastic, are probably the least breathtaking cities in Italy. Southern Italy and the two islands certainly feel less developed, yet they have an older and more exotic vibe, with better beaches.
    Finally, I think that something like a planned Italian road trip doesn’t exist. In Italy, you are always close to a centuries old streets and buildings. gorgeous landscape or beach. Apart from some must visit cities that are well known, one can simply drive anywhere between Bolzano and Reggio Calabria and easily discover a lot of magnificent yet unspoiled places all around the country.

  11. Hi Clelia
    Thank you for your excellent road trip guide . We are travelling from Rome to Lake Como . We have booked most of the hotels you have suggested . We are doing a slight detour.
    Only concern i have is driving from Rome airport to Hotel Monfy in Rome. I know from visiting Rome previously the roads can be extremely dangerous if you are not a local.
    Thank you for your help.

    1. Author

      Hi Paul! Glad you found my guide useful… As someone who actually took her driving license in Rome, I can relate with your concerns πŸ™‚ I’m not going to lie, driving in Rome is an adventure! Dangerous, I wouldn’t say that maybe you will have to be super careful and prepared before you drive. Meaning knowing exactly your route, but these days using google maps as a navigator will do the trick. You have to be careful with the scooters driving around you but other than that, if someone like me with no driving license could take it and drive safely for 3 years in Rome, I think you won’t have a problem (and I didn’t even have any google maps navigator, at the time!)

      Let me know if you need some more help!
      Cheers
      Clelia

  12. I love Italy. It is, in many ways, a unique country where you can always find something amazing nearby regardless of the region where you are.
    From my experience with Italians in UK and Italy, I must say that they are group of humble, outgoing and loving people who are masters of enjoying life. What I don’t like about them is that most of them don’t value rules, work ethic and public property. But my general perception about Italians is quite positive.

  13. I love Italy. It is, in many ways, a unique country where you can always find something amazing nearby regards of the region where you are.
    From my experience with Italians in UK and Italy, I must say that they are group of humble, outgoing and loving people who are masters of enjoying life. What I don’t like about them is that most of them don’t value rules, work ethic and public property. But my general perception about them is quite positive.

    1. Author

      Hey Andre, thanks for your comment and point of view about Italy and Italian people.
      Just one thing (being Italian I might understand the dynamics a bit) πŸ™‚ Many people think our work ethic is not good but it’s actually not entirely true. Sure there are “lazy” people everywhere and in Italy, we might seem lazy but we are not. We have simply a different approach when it comes to this part of our life, and when we are working we give 110% most of the time. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to be masters of “enjoying life” as you mentioned!
      Regarding the rules, yes you are right we don’t like them especially when they are stupid but also when they are ok. We tend to disregard them more but not in bad faith, we just give the rules less importance I guess. Right, wrong? It really depends on the situation I think. I remember when I first arrived in London people wanted to kill me because I didn’t know I had to stay on the right side of the escalator, while in Italy we just stay wherever we want, and funny enough, after a few years living in the UK, once back in Italy I was like “why people don’t stay on the right!!” so we are just laid back for a few things I guess. I’m sure you’ll find my next article coming soon about Italian culture quite entertaining then.

      Cheers
      Clelia

  14. One of my favourite itineraries and absolutely right about staying at least 3-4 days in each location. Drives me mad to see people racing from photo op to photo op without taking the time to at least get a flavour of the locale…

    1. Author

      Exactly my philosophy Gary, I understand that people want to squeeze as much as possible from their Italian Itinerary but going slowly is much more rewarding…

  15. Hi Clelia, My husband and I have just decided to take a trip to Italy in May this year. We were not sure how we were going to travel thru the country but I found your blog and am convinced a road trip is the answer. I have read thru the itinerary and only wanted to know if in addition to the sites you highlight, are there any places that have recently become a no miss which you have not mentioned. We are travelling for 15 days.
    Thanks

    1. Author

      Hi Lori! I’m so glad to hear that you’re taking a road trip to Italy because you read my article! (it took me forever to put it together so at least I know it’s useful) πŸ™‚ As for your question…

      oh my! I left out so much from this itinerary already because of the limited time but recently I visited a place where I left a piece of my heart: The “Val D’Orcia” and in particular the village of Castiglione D’Orcia where I stayed in a lovely house in the center behind the small piazza for one week. It’s out of this world. Not only the village but also the surrounding areas.

      There are so many of the typical “Casali” with the famous Tuscan landscape and trees, I even spotted the gates of the house where the movie “The Gladiator” was shot and saw one of the best sunsets of my life. I usually never do this, but to give you an idea you can check this picture I took and put on Instagram and this other one which has a truly lovely story behind it. I even made a few Instagram stories of that place. I think I’m going to add this to the itinerary because I’m obsessed πŸ˜€

      So yes, please Go to Castiglione D’Orcia! If you want some advice about the accommodation, the place I obviously recommend is where I stayed LA CANTINA DI PI, cheap and lovely, everything was at walking distance and you can park the car for free in the parking lot at 5 min walk.

      I hope you can make it and if you have time also visit Montalcino and, nearby Castiglione, also go to the (completely free) Terme called “Bagni di San Filippo” at just 10 min by car and super easy to reach. You’ll love it! If you need more info about it, given that I still have to write an article about my stay, feel free to ask in here!

      Cheers!
      Clelia

  16. Hi Clelia – thank you for the excellent information! I’m returning to Italy in May with friends and family for a 10 year anniversary trip and was hoping you might be able to help me. We are renting cars in Rome FCO and will be driving directly to a villa near San Miniato in the late afternoon 5/6pm. What would you suggest is the easiest route to take? We will not be making many stops or are concerned about scenery at this point – mainly just about getting there quickly and easily. Any suggestions?

    1. Author

      Hi Aimee, glad that you liked my Italian guide! And what a lovely choice going nearby San Miniato, you’ll going to love it! As for your question, the easiest route is without a doubt to go towards Viterbo (the signs pointing to the E35/a1 towards Florence). before finding that road you’ll need to get into the Grande Raccordo anulare first and find the right exit. But If you have even google maps, you can put your point of departure and destination and let it guide you. But if it gives you more than one choice, you go with the E35.

      It might be a bit tricky on the Raccordo Anulare, there are so many lanes and exits but if you drive carefully and study the indications on Google maps, you should be fine. Once you’re on the E35 you will go straight for at least 1+ hour, then you’ll have to stay alert again for the right exit (which depends on where you are heading exactly). The total time spent to get to San Miniato city is about 2:30 min with no stops, I’d say 3 hours with one stop and counting the traffic in the Raccordo Anulare.

      Recently I took that road to get to a village in Tuscany but from Civitavecchia ferries port and it was a very pleasant ride even if you’re not looking for particular scenery. You still will find it quite nice!

      I hope it helps and if you never drove in the Raccordo anulare, be careful because there are some crazy drivers in there so go at your own pace and everything will be fine! (I lived in Rome for years so I know the raccordo and the nearby roads quite well)

      Cheers
      Clelia

  17. Italy is a fantastic country – I don’t think any other country can offer so much variety (natural, historical and cultural) in such a small area. But I must say that my favorite area in Italy is the south. I personally think that it is the most beautiful part of Italy, and as of now it is quite undiscovered, unspoiled and authentic. I also love people of that region – who have a “I don’t really care” attitude for most aspects of life, and seem to enjoy their lives in their secret paradise without having any ambition for the future.
    Apart from having been to the mainstream cities (such as Florence and Venice), I’ve enjoyed road trips from Naples to Reggio Calabria and Salento and it was fantastic to travel across the hilly countryside, beaches and old, magnificent towns.

    1. Author

      Hey Oliver thanks for stopping by and saying so many beautiful things about my country! I agree the south is more relaxed (but hey we have ambitions, we are just not obsessed by them) πŸ˜‰ You’ve been to awesome paces but you’re missing one…. my fabulous island Sardinia! I know I know, it might seem biased but trust me, not only we are also Italians but our culture and beaches are incredible!
      Cheers from Paradise!

      1. Apart from so many great things, it needs to be said that Italy can surely improve infrastructures, customer service and cleanliness of public places (it isn’t bad, but not “top notch”). That prevents many potential northern European visitors who prefer Spain and France instead.
        But despite its flaws, I love Italy. It isn’t a place with a giant hotel in front of beaches, gentrified or renovated historic centers, fake friendliness just to please the visitor. In other words, it seems like a place which hasn’t sold it’s soul just to become richer.
        I’ll consider Sardinia in near future, for sure.

        1. Author

          Oh you’re totally right. We are not that great when it comes to Infrastructures in Italy, in a way it’s bad, I reckon, but you know what? If it’s just a bit messy sometimes it’s because we are simply … ITALIANS πŸ˜€ We are chaotic, messy, chill out and we should clean up a bit more yes! Italy doesn’t even need to sell its sowl, there are so many beautiful places that we don’t need to overdo it! And if you complain about infrastructures in Italy, wait till you come to Sardinia… being an Island we are a bit behind and the public transports also are less than ideal, but when you see the beauty you tend to forget everything about it!

          1. I totally get your point. And I won’t say it is as bad as some people say (Italians complain all the time).
            The worst, however are the large cities (Rome and Naples). I remember my first experience in Rome and it was a shock for me coming from Geneva. I learnt a few lessons : expect at least half an hour delay of any mode of transport, you DON’T really need to buy a ticket for getting into a bus, the concept of personal space doesn’t exist, don’t expect vehicles to stop for crossing the road, no one will mind you if you throw trash on roadside and that you may take three hours to reach your destination (but you’ll still be there before your Italian friends).
            I do get that the culture of Italy is different and organisation isn’t something to expect there. And as far beauty is concerned, no one can deny it.

          2. Author

            How couldn’t agree with you? We are like this, some places like you mentioned more than others are affected by this. And you forgot to mention that for us there are no rules in the escalators. I discovered that in Europe is different the very first day I moved to London, innocently stayed on my left only to be hit by the rage of the English people saying that I was an animal basically πŸ˜€ I was in shock and didn’t understand why they were so mad at me. Then I realized that it’s just in Italy that we stay wherever we want πŸ˜€ The beauty and the irony of it is that after 6 years living in the UK, when I went back to Italy and used an elevator I felt our behavior was outrageous ahahahah, I’ve been civilized I think πŸ™‚ Thanks for all these inputs, I should write a post about it!

  18. Many good reviews here, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Meeting up at the coach ‘station’ was a little disorganised but it worked and we had a great day out. Siena was beautiful, although we didnt read the small print – Cathedral guide not included. San Gimignano very pretty, the wine tasting was fun too, although with wine at 30 or 60 euros a bottle we didnt buy any. A good day out.

    1. Author

      Glad that despite little not so perfect details, you had a good time in Italy! Cheers

  19. Hi Clelia, your blog on road trip to Italy is just vividly marvelous. Further, I appreciate the pride you take in your country and I feel like visiting your fascinating nation very soon. Thanks a ton for your itinerary.

    1. Author

      Thanks Albert! Indeed I am very proud of being Italian! Our country has so much beauty to be discovered, from north to South. A southern Italian Itinerary is coming soon (I couldn’t include that because of lack of time to visit everything of course). Italy is pretty big and even if people would love to have a taste of the north and the south on the same trip, if they use a car and don’t have at least one month or more, it is impossible.

  20. Loved your blog, but what you have touched is barely the tip of an iceberg, and if Venice is added to the list, they are the places that are frequented the most by foreigners.
    Italy is SO MUCH more. Must visit places in the north include Alto Adige, Valle d’aosta and Trieste, all of which have a unique culture, even for a country as diverse as Italy.
    As you have not covered any part of Southern Italy (which, by any means, is NOT a region that can be left out), I must add that it is a region that is as worthy of visiting as the the places mentioned in this blog. As a Calabrese, I’ll say that it is arguably more beautiful, because the weather is better, cuisine is better and more diversified, beaches are much better than the north, the number of historical sites is higher (because of rich historical background) and people in general are very hospitable.
    Must visit places in South include Naples (a city that has probably no equivalent in Europe or World) and its surroundings (Sorrento, Costiera Amalfitana, Pompei, Caserta), Palermo, Catania, Siracusa, Reggio Calabria, Tropea, Pizzo Calabro, Matera, Ostuni, Alberobello, Brindisi and Lecce.

    1. Author

      Hey Antonio, Thanks for your comment and of course I only touched the tip of the Iceberg! This was a specific Itinerary (and even a very crammed one to be honest) to include most of the popular sights, but I have another post or two coming for the rest of Italy, including the south (with all the places you have mentioned) and also another one for the mountain lovers. There is so much to see and do in Italy! By the way, I’m Sardinian and I visited Calabria more than once and loved it! We are very lucky indeed πŸ™‚

  21. Hi. I found your Blog by chance cause I’m searching for help with a road trip I’m taking with my husband and 10year old twins from Calabria to Puglia (excluding the heel) up to the whole east coast of Italy. Then cross quickly to Genoa to get the ferry down back to sicily. We have in total 28 days to discover and enjoy the East Coast. Whenever I search for tips, this area of Italy is hardly ever mentioned by travellers.
    Our trip starts soon, on the 1st August 2019, this is a short notice, but such an opportunity came up and we’re grabbing it. Do you have some recommendations of the NOT To MISS places and fun activities with kids?

    THANK YOU
    Lorraine

    1. Author

      Hi Lorraine, Thanks for stopping by! There are not much info about the east coast because the sea is not exactly nice for our Italian standards. I personally prefer the west coast with the exception of some places in Calabria and Puglia (not sure what u mean by not covering the hill as Puglia is definitely on it ). If you can, don’t miss Rossano Calabro, and in Puglia, the Gargano (and the national park of course), the “Trulli” and I also suggest to also take a day or two were you don’t plan and take the car exploring the little coastal villages along the way. I remember in Rossano Calabro there is a massive aqua park your kid would love, it’s called Odissea 2000, that could be a great place for you to relax and the kids have some fun! Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I last visited Calabria and if it weren’t last minute, most of my friends are from Calabria and Puglia so they could give you the real local insights, if you reply to this, tell me so I might try to contact them and ask for more precise info!
      Cheers
      Clelia

  22. Your article was really helpful, 16 Day Itinerary Italy looks different and so amazing in this article. It was such a good read. Thank you.

  23. Very nice, thanks for sharing! A very good overview of how to explore the north/northwestern part of Italy!

    1. Author

      Good question! Italy has so much to offer that if I had made an Itinerary covering from north to south I would have needed to write a book πŸ™‚ A second article with an Itinerary from Rome to Campania Puglia and Basilicata (including the Amalfi coast) is coming up soon! As for Venice, believe it or not, I’ve never been there and I am not planning on going because I see it as a trap for tourists. My friends who used to live close to the city can confirm that. Venice is like Disneyland to me, nothing truly authentic has remained. It’s certainly beautiful judging from the pictures but as an Italian giving advice to tourists, first I wouldn’t recommend a place I’ve never visited myself in Italy and second, I’d rather say what I think and then leave the last decision to you guys! Which means that if you don’t mind Venice being not the real Italy, by any means, go on and visit it! πŸ™‚

      Cheers
      Clelia

      1. Great info, Clelia, Gracie! Your country is my favourite country in the World (and I have been to a lot of places).. I am of Indian origin but have lived in the UK for 25 years. I agree. I have been to most places in Italy including Sardinia and Sicily. My favourite so far is Puglia- we cycled for 8 days around Puglia last year, ! Sardinia (again cycling !) is my next favourite!.
        We are planning to drive to Tuscany in our new camper van from the UK (with our bikes), in August 2019. This information will really help us.

        We don’t want to rush it.. We want to spend two weeks in the region covering Florence, Pisa, Siena, Cinque Terre and maybe Genoa or Turin on the way in or back from the UK..

        The villages of Italy,the country side, the food, the beaches would take up most of our time. We’ll spend hardly any time in tourist traps – though there are unfortunately must -do’s on most itineraries – Pisa, Siena, Florence ! Most Italian cities like Venice are now groaning under the pressure of mass-tourism.which is sad.
        Head away from the crowds, experience the lovely people of Italy and cover once region at a time -come back often, . – for a life time… that’s our plan !

  24. Hello Clelia, these itineraries are just amazing for a traveler. Is it budget friendly for a solo traveler or its better to be with a group tour?

    1. Author

      Hi Lydia, Thanks for your comment! To be honest with you, it really depends! As a general rule (and solo traveler myself) it is always slightly convenient to travel with friends or as a couple, if only just to share the hotel room bill, car rental etc. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t go on the cheap by yourself. I have done both and the freedom of just deciding where and when to go is so amazing!

      Italy can be super expensive but also very cheap, you just need to research a bit beforehand for the best hotels or hostels if you are flexible, train or buses instead of cars and you are in business! I was able to have a great holiday in Sardinia (which is well known for being quite expensive) when I was a penniless student!

      As for the tours, I recently came back from an amazing trip to Australia and generally I prefer to go by myself because I like the freedom of decision but due to Australia being soooo expensive and other practical reasons, in the end, I decided to go by tour for a few things I wanted to see and it was AMAZING. If you travel solo you also have the opportunity to meet new fun friends and exchange life experiences along the way. So if you think a tour around Italy is better for you, by all means, book that if it’s your cheapest option!

      If you need some advice about tours, let me know! Being Italian I can guide you to the ones I think are the best value for money!
      Cheers
      Clelia

  25. Lovely Post. Italy such a wonderful place to visit. All the photos are very good. This is an informative post. Thank you so much for sharing the list. I would like to share with my friends.

    1. Author

      Thanks Gary, feel free to share the beauty of Italy and try it for yourself of course! πŸ™‚

  26. I have been reading your posts regularly.I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job by posting information regarding Italian beautiful and tour places.I will bookmark your site Please keep up the great work.

    1. Author

      Thank you!

      Please note that as per my comments guidelines I had to remove the name of your business and the link. Thanks for your understanding.
      Kind Regards
      Clelia

    1. Author

      Ahahaha I know, right! I was drooling over MY OWN COUNTRY while writing this post! Italy is just so beautiful πŸ™‚

  27. Never thought about a road trip round Europe but this looks amazing. I would want to take in San Marino for sure.

    1. Author

      Hey Craig! Thanks for stopping by! Just for the records… San Marino is truly beautiful and it’s not on this list just because even being in Italian territory it is a state of his own, not politically part of Italy, just like the Vatican is. I mentioned the Vatican just because it’s basically inglobated in the city of Rome, but I should point out that it’s also a state of its own πŸ™‚

  28. Went to Italy in 2016, was one of our favorite countries to visit, need to get back ASAP!

  29. Sounds a great way of giving a treat to myself and my wife for our anniversary! thanks for sharing this post, Italy is really very amazing and awesome, I can’t wait to visit one day!!

  30. Love this article! Going to Europe for a 2 month road trip this summer. This Italy road trip will fit in perfectly with my plan. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it and I hope you’ll have a fantastic trip to Italy! πŸ˜‰

  31. Thank you for the article. We are going to visit this country with my wife. Hotels and cars have already booked. It remains only to have a good time

    1. Author

      Hey Dylan, if you have everything sorted out, I’m pretty sure you’ll have a wonderful time! I have a friend now on a trip to Italy and he is having the time of his life apparently πŸ™‚

  32. I’ve mostly been a UK and France traveler, but the more I see and read about Italy, especially the ancient cities … ! Thanks for a great post. Your photos are amazing! I’m off to see what airfare looks like for next season!

    1. Author

      Hey Phill, being Italian myself I might be biased but a friend of mine is currently traveling around Italy and he is sending me pictures of everything he sees in absolute wonder, you have to put it on your bucket list!! πŸ™‚

  33. Thanks for an informative post, Clelia! It is very well-written, as well. I love how you included a video to teach your readers on how they can make use of Pruvo. Italy has always been a place to visit and explore for me but have not gotten the chance to fulfill at this time. It’s also nice that lots of airlines these days are getting better with air travel services and amenities. Kudos!

    1. Author

      Thanks Elizabeth! I hope you will be able to take an epic road trip to italy very soon, you will not be disappointed! πŸ™‚

  34. This was a really interesting post, thanks for sharing your travel experience.

  35. Italy is the perfect place to visit and I would love to explore it more. You captured awesome pictures on your travel trip. Thank you so much for sharing this post..
    Loved this!!

    1. Author

      Thanks Samy! Italy is indeed a beautiful country and I’m a very lucky girl!

  36. Wow! This post sounds amazing.. Italy looks awesome to explore. There are so many things to do. Love your post. I will be definitely adding to my bucket list. Keep posting!

    1. Author

      Thanks Sammy! Italy should be in everyone’s bucket list and a road trip to Italy even more! πŸ™‚

  37. I think everyone would like Venice in Italy. Venice was my favorite place where I would like to hang out with friends.

    1. Author

      I can’t talk about Venice as it is one of the few places in Italy I haven’t visited. Mostly on purpose as I see it as a place that has no real locals but just tourists. The pictures are surely nice and the atmosphere and views too, but somehow it never was on top of my list of places to see in Italy! Maybe one day I will. Just to see if I was right or wrong about my feelings towards Venice.

    1. Author

      Thanks! A lot of work went into it! Now on with the second part… the beautiful southern Italy, soon to be published (soon can mean 1 week to a month!) lol

      1. It’s obvious by the quality that much effort was exerted to produce the article. I look forward to what part two offers..

        1. Author

          The second part will also be a hell of a job but so worth it as it will cover some of the best parts of southern Italy like the Amalfi coast, Puglia, and other lovely places!

  38. Italy sounds different and so appealing in this post. Loved the detailing! It was such a good read. Thank you.

  39. I appreciate your blog post, Thanks for sharing. Air travel gets easier with airline sophistication. Its invention has revolutionized the entire travel arena.

    1. Author

      Not sure how talking about airlines is relevant on a road trip article… but thanks for stopping by anyway!

  40. Italy is a perfect place to travel as every city is to beatiful and historical. My favorite was Florence from the very well known ones but as I prefer less touristic destinations I enjoyed Bologna too for the students vibe.

    1. Author

      Yes, Italy is beautiful no matter where you go you will always find something special! I also loved Florence and Bologna, they are less overwhelming than Rome and Milan for sure (even if my heart will forever stay with the eternal city!). Not sure if you have visited San Gimignano and Lake Como but they are seriously jaw-dropping locations! Now I’m preparing the southern road trip from Rome to the Amalfi coast, super excited as I love that part too πŸ™‚

      1. You did a lot of work to make this post. Italy is very beautiful, especially if you travell alone, without any excursion groups.

        1. Author

          Thanks Jenny, Italy is beautiful no matter how you decide to visit it. Some people like you love to discover it without any guide but in certain circumstances, I recommend the tours (or at least using the services to skip the lines) as if you don’t have much time they can truly save a lot of time and some guided tours are also worth it because being the guide Italian you will have a fun experience and you will not miss the best parts or waste time to find them πŸ™‚ to each its own! The most important thing is to just pack up and come to Italy no matter how you decide to discover it, it’s just too beautiful πŸ™‚

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