Planning your dream trip to Italy but only have 10 days to spare? That’s plenty of time to experience some of the top sights and flavors this incredible country offers. With so many great cities and landmarks to see, figuring out the best route can be challenging.
That’s why we’ve put together these 5 unique 10 day Italy itineraries to help make your vacation planning a breeze. From the canals of Venice to the Colosseum in Rome, we’ll cover ideal routes, hitting the highlights of each destination along the way. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or an Italy aficionado, you’re sure to find inspiration for crafting your own perfect Italy Itinerary 10 Days here.
Stop 1: Rome (3 Days)
No trip to Italy would be complete without a stop in the ancient capital of Rome! With over 2,500 years of history, there is more than enough to see and do in the Eternal City to keep you occupied for 3 days on your Italy Itinerary 10 Days.
Kickstart your sightseeing at the iconic Colosseum, where gladiators once battled. Be sure to prepurchase skip-the-line tickets to maximize your time exploring the arena floor and passageways underneath. Next, wander past vestiges of temples, markets, and government buildings from Ancient Rome’s heyday to the neighboring Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
After getting your fill of history, dedicate the afternoon to exploring Rome’s Baroque side. The mammoth Trevi Fountain and picture-perfect Piazza di Spagna should top your list. Cap off the night by tossing a coin over your shoulder into the fountain to ensure your return to the city.
On your second day in Rome, rise early to beat the crowds at the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoes before heading into St. Peter’s to glimpse sculptures like a Pieta by Michelangelo inside the vast church.
Spend the afternoon wandering Rome’s bohemian Trastevere neighborhood. Cross the Tiber River and meander quiet cobblestone lanes, taking a break at an authentic trattoria to refuel on house-made pasta and tiramisu. Make time to visit Campo de’ Fiori to browse spice-filled stalls.
Explore Rome’s famous markets in grand imperial plazas for your last morning in the capital. Campo de Fiori hosts a bustling food market, while Piazza Navona comes alive with local artists. Wrap up your Roman holiday by walking or driving up the Pincio in Villa Borghese Park for golden hour panoramas overlooking the city’s rooftops before heading to your next Italian destination.
Top Attractions in Rome
- Colosseum & Roman Forum
- Vatican City
- Trevi Fountain
- Piazza Navona
- Campo de’ Fiori Market
Where to Stay
Rome offers spectacular luxury hotels housed in historic palazzos and convents. For amazing views, book a balcony room at Aleph Rome Hotel by Sofitel, set atop Rome’s most fashionable shopping street near the Spanish Steps. Or check into the swanky Hotel Eden next to Villa Borghese, with romantic rooftop dining.
On a budget? Snag dorm beds at Gardener Rome for bargain rates right by Rome’s central Termini Station. You can’t beat soaking in Rome’s ambiance while passing some of the city’s iconic landmarks just steps outside the hostel doors.
Stop 2: Tuscany Road Trip (2 Days)
No 10 day Italy itinerary is complete without appreciating la dolce vita amid the rolling hills of Tuscany. Renting a car makes getting out into wine country and smaller hilltop villages easy. Consider spending 2 days road-tripping to see iconic landscapes and top highlights southwest of Rome.
Begin your morning under the suspended towers of Pisa, angling for quirky photos pretending to “hold up” the Leaning Tower. Afterward, drive through charming medieval villages punctuated by winery stops to sample fruity Chianti reds and crisp white Vernaccia.
Must-see towns include San Gimignano, Italy’s “Medieval Manhattan” for its many stone towers. Wander Pienza’s picture-perfect central plaza and try pecorino cheese from local producers. Tour the ramparts of Monteriggioni’s 14th-century fortress for heavenly views over olive groves before capping off the day with an unforgettable sunset in Siena.
Stay overnight at countryside villas and agriturismos. Wake up to rolling Chianti hills outside your window before heading out for more stunning drives and delectable food pairings with exceptional regional wines.
Top Attractions in Tuscany
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Tuscan Wineries
- Hilltop medieval villages
- Local markets
- Olive groves and vineyards
- Cypress-lined country roads
Where to Stay
Tuscany overflows with charming converted farmhouses (called agriturismos) and villas nestled amid world-famous wine regions. Snag a room at family-owned Agriturismo Ciavilca outside Chianti’s epicenter Greve in Chianti, or check into Borgo Casale with a pool overlooking Pienza.
In Pisa proper, tick off bucket list views from your balcony at the base of the Leaning Tower at Hotel Bologna. And for under $100 a night, stay steps from Siena’s shell-shaped central plaza at boutique Albergo Tre Donzelle.
Stop 3: Cinque Terre (1.5 Days)
After rolling Tuscan hills, make way for colorful cliffside villages on the Italian Riviera—better known as Cinque Terre. This rugged stretch of coast with pastel-hued houses tumbling down to cobalt waters looks straight off a postcard. And with hiking trails threading steep vineyards and lemon groves above azure bays, it’s also a nature lover’s paradise.
Base yourself in medieval Vernazza for its picture-perfect harbor framed by rupestrian houses in shades of pink, yellow, and terracotta. Then, take the trails to link to seaside Corniglia and the aromatic herbs of its terraces. End by catching golden hour sea views in Riomaggiore as the setting sun sets the harbor’s tall houses aglow.
Be sure to indulge in Cinque Terre’s gifts from the sea before departing. Feast on seafood plates featuring local anchovies and mussels paired with crisp Ligurian whites made from indigenous grapes like Bosco and albarola. Complete your visit by trying Cinque Terre’s limoncello liquor—the sweet-tart lemon liqueur tastes incredible sipped along the coast!
Top Attractions in Cinque Terre
- Hiking between villages
- Swimming below town beaches
- Waterfront seafood feasts
- Sunset along Riomaggiore harbor
- Regional white wines
Where to Stay
Since cars can’t access Cinque Terre villages, parking is limited. Instead, stay right in town—we love sea view balconies at La Mala in Vernazza or cliffside splurges at the seaside sanctuary Belmond Hotel Splendido in Portofino nearby.
Bargain hunters can bed at hostels like Ostello Tramonti in Riomaggiore, set in a converted monastery with private patios overlooking the sea far below.
Stop 4: Venice (2 Days)
Continuing north towards Milan, no 10 day Italy itinerary is complete without visiting the floating city of Venice. Arrive by high-speed train from Rome to make the most of your 48 hours getting lost amid countless canals and marble-clad Gothic architecture.
Begin with the Trip of Islands, a loop by public boat (called Vaporetto) around the lagoon with stops at Murano Island to watch master glassblowers and pastel-hued Burano. Then, delve into Venice’s maze of narrow streets (called calli), crisscrossing its 118 islands to explore top landmarks like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Bridge of Sighs.
Cap off with a lazy gondola ride down the Grand Canal—don’t miss riding under the iconic Rialto Bridge. And make time to simply sit canal-side at a quiet osteria to watch gondolas drift by over heaping plates of seafood pasta and Cicchetti (small bites) like bacalà mantecato or sarde in saor.
Top Attractions in Venice
- Grand Canal & gondola rides
- St Mark’s Square
- Doge’s Palace
- Rialto Bridge
- Murano glassblowing
- Burano island
- Local seafood & wine
Where to Stay
With limited lodging directly in central Venice, be strategic when choosing where to stay to balance affordability with convenience on the islands.
We love stylishly converted palazzos like Hotel Londra Palace on the banks of the Grand Canal near St Mark’s Square. Or, for a splurge, book one of the iconic Danieli’s Bridge connecting rooms with marble tubs overlooking Venice’s iconic harbor.
Budget travelers can bed down a quick water bus ride away on the Lido for hostel dorms from under $30 a night at Generator Venice, right near the beach!
Stop 5: Lake Como (1.5 Days)
Cap off your picture-perfect Italy Itinerary for 10 days with a final hurrah in the lake district north of Milan. Here, Alpine peaks frame the jewel-toned waters of Lakes Como and Garda that have inspired artists for centuries. Spend a day tripping between charming villages down the rugged western shore of Lake Como to relax into your trip’s final days.
Make your base sweet Bellagio, called the “Pearl of the Lake,” for its pretty waterfront promenade. Then, the ferry hops to Menaggio, Lenno, and Villa Balbianello to soak up a parade of magnificent villas and gardens on hillsides rising steeply from the lakeshore.
Be sure to weave in shopping stops for silk ties in Como town and lunch lingering on the lakefront at a rustic osteria over plates of local perch and Mussolini-dried fish from the lake. Catch a funicular up to Brunate to watch the sunset behind the snow-capped Rhaetian Alps while sipping an aperitivo high above glittering lake views.
Toast to the end of your exceptional Italy Itinerary 10 days with a final dinner of risotto al pesce persico (perch risotto), a regional specialty paired perfectly with sparkling Franciacorta brut wines from Lombardy.
Top Attractions in the Lake Como Region
- Bellagio village
- Ferrying between lakeside villages
- Gardens of Villa Balbianello
- Brunate hilltop views
- Regional dishes like perch and risotto
- Local Franciacorta sparkling wines
Where to Stay
Soak up your last moments amid Italy’s iconic vistas right on Lake Como’s shores. Check into lake view rooms steps from Bellagio’s harbor at Hotel Florence (book far in advance!). OR splurge on waterfront rooms and gardens at the historic Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, which is beloved by royalty and celebrities.
Milan Malpensa airport is under 2 hours away—easily accessible for early morning departures home after your exceptional Italy Itinerary 10 Days!
Wrapping Up Your Italy Itinerary 10 Days
We hope this roundup of exceptional Italy itineraries 10 days have you daydreaming about the countless iconic bucket list experiences this incredible country offers. This route truly has everything from ancient ruins in Rome and living a luxe villa life in Tuscany wine country to hiking seaside villages in Cinque Terre and soaking up golden hour Alpine sunsets in Lake Como.
With these self-guided Italy Itinerary 10 Days suggestions, start crafting your adventure through lo dolce vita landscapes. Get ready to return home with countless lifelong memories (and photos of the gram) from your exceptional taste of Italian paradise!