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Where to go in Italy for 10 days? The ultimate 10 day Italy itinerary.

Where to go in Italy for 10 days? The ultimate 10 day Italy itinerary.


Are you dreaming of gelato, pizza, and pasta while gazing at photos of the Colosseum and the canals of Venice? If you're itching to explore Italy but have a limited budget, don't worry - I've got you covered.

As a broke college student, I managed to spend 10 days traveling through Italy without breaking the bank. Here are my tips on how to make the most of your trip, including the best ways to travel between cities, how many cities to visit, how long to stay in each city, and how much it will cost.

What is the best way to travel between cities in Italy?

First things first: Italy has an excellent train system, and it's the best way to get around the country. You can also use busses and in some cases cheap flights to move between cities, that is why I tend to use to plan my trip. I add all of the cities I want to visit and let its AI find me the best deals so I do not have to worry about anything else but showing up. I don’t like having to travel back to the original city to do the return and it saves me a lot of time in research, but you can do it yourself if you want.

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How many cities can you visit in Italy in 10 days?

While it's tempting to try and visit as many cities as possible, keep in mind that Italy is a vast country with a rich cultural heritage, so it's better to take your time and fully immerse yourself in the cities you choose to visit.

In 10 days, I recommend visiting three to four cities, depending on how much time you want to spend in each place. This will give you enough time to see the major attractions, experience the local culture, and enjoy some downtime which is the main purpose of any vacation.

How many days should I spend in each Italian city?

The number of days you should spend in each city depends on your personal preferences and the activities you want to do. That said, here's a rough guide based on my experience on how would I distribute my time while in Italy:

  • Rome: 3-4 days
  • Florence: 2-3 days
  • Venice: 1-2 days
  • Milan: 1-2 days

You can of course choose to go to the southern part of Italy instead and visit Napoli and Sicilia which are also fantastic sites if you are looking for a more seaside experience.

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How much does a nice trip to Italy cost?

Ah, the million-dollar question. The cost of your trip to Italy depends on several factors, including your travel style, accommodation, food, and activities.

Here's a breakdown of the costs I incurred during my trip, to give you an idea:

  • Flights: $600 (roundtrip from the US) way less than $100 if you are traveling from Europe already.
  • Accommodation: $25-$40 per night (hostels or budget hotels)
  • Transportation: $150 (remember that you can also use and have it all included in the flight price)
  • Food: $15-$30 per day (moderate cost restaurants and cafes)
  • Activities: $10-$20 per day (museums and attractions)

Overall, I spent around $1,500 to $1,000 on my 10-day trip to Italy with everything included, which I consider to be a reasonable cost for a nice trip.

Mini guide to the cities

Now, let's get to the fun part: exploring Italy's most charming cities and indulging in delicious food!

Rome (3-4 days)

Rome is a city that has been around for over 2,000 years, and it's a place where you can feel the history in every corner. From the mighty Colosseum to the grand Vatican City, there's no shortage of things to see and do in Rome.

Must-see attractions:

  1. Colosseum: The Colosseum is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Rome. This ancient amphitheater was used for gladiator battles, animal hunts, and other public spectacles, and it's a testament to the power and influence of the ancient Roman Empire.
  2. Roman Forum: The Roman Forum is a sprawling complex of ruins that was once the center of political and social life in ancient Rome. Here, you can see the remains of temples, basilicas, and other important structures that were integral to the functioning of the city.
  3. Vatican City: Although Vatican City is a separate sovereign state, it's located within the city of Rome and is home to some of the world's most important religious and cultural treasures. From the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica, a visit to Vatican City is a must for anyone interested in history and art.
  4. Pantheon: The Pantheon is a stunning example of ancient Roman engineering, and it's one of the best-preserved buildings from ancient times. The dome of the Pantheon is a marvel of engineering, and it's still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
  5. Trevi Fountain: The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, and it's a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Rome. Legend has it that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain, you'll ensure your return to Rome.
  6. Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps are a beautiful and historic stairway that connects the Piazza di Spagna with the Trinità dei Monti church. The steps are a popular place to sit and people-watch, and they're especially beautiful when they're decorated with flowers in the spring and summer.
  7. Villa Borghese: Villa Borghese is a beautiful park that's located in the heart of Rome, and it's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is home to several museums and galleries, as well as beautiful gardens and fountains.

Restaurants to try:

  1. Trattoria da Enzo al 29 This cozy trattoria is located in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome, and it's a great place to enjoy authentic Roman cuisine at a reasonable price. Some must-try dishes include the carbonara, the cacio e pepe, and the amatriciana.
  2. Roscioli: This gourmet deli and restaurant is a foodie's paradise, and it's a great place to sample some of the best cheese, cured meats, and wine that Italy has to offer. It's a bit pricier than some of the other options on this list, but it's worth it for the quality of the food.
  3. Pizzeria Montecarlo: No trip to Italy is complete without trying some pizza, and Pizzeria Montecarlo is one of the best places in Rome to do just that. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven and are topped with fresh ingredients, and they're large enough to share. It's a great spot for a casual dinner with friends.

Italian cafes worth visiting:

  • Caffè Greco: Caffè Greco is the oldest café in Rome, and it's been serving customers since 1760. The café is located near the Spanish Steps, and it's a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a pastry while taking in the historic surroundings.
  • Ciampini: Ciampini is a stylish café that's located in the Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina, and it's known for its excellent coffee and delicious gelato. It's a great place to sit and people-watch, and the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food and drink.
  • Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè: Sant'Eustachio Il Caffè is a coffee shop that's been around since 1938, and it's one of the best places in Rome to enjoy a traditional espresso. The coffee is made with a special blend of beans, and the aroma alone is enough to make your mouth water.

Florence (2-3 days)

Florence is a city that's known for its art, architecture, and vibrant culture. If you only have a few days to explore this stunning city, here are some of the must-see sights:

Places to visit:

  1. Uffizi Gallery: The Uffizi Gallery is one of the most famous art museums in the world, and it's a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art and culture. The gallery houses works by some of the greatest artists of all time, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli.
  2. Accademia Gallery: The Accademia Gallery is home to Michelangelo's famous sculpture, David. It's a popular attraction for visitors to Florence, and it's a must-see for anyone interested in art and history.
  3. Ponte Vecchio: The Ponte Vecchio is a historic bridge that spans the Arno River in Florence. It's lined with shops selling jewelry, art, and other unique souvenirs, and it's a great place to take a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere of the city.
  4. Palazzo Vecchio: The Palazzo Vecchio is a stunning palace that dates back to the 14th century. It's now a museum and a popular attraction for visitors to Florence.
  5. Boboli Gardens: The Boboli Gardens are a beautiful park that's located behind the Pitti Palace. The gardens are filled with fountains, sculptures, and other works of art, and they offer stunning views of the city.
  6. Piazzale Michelangelo: The Piazzale Michelangelo is a large square that's located on a hill overlooking Florence. It's a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, and it offers breathtaking views of the city.

Restaurants to try:

  • Trattoria Mario: Trattoria Mario is a cozy, family-run restaurant that's located near the Mercato Centrale. The menu features traditional Tuscan dishes like ribollita, bistecca alla fiorentina, and pappa al pomodoro. The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous.
  • All'Antico Vinaio: All'Antico Vinaio is a sandwich shop that's located near the Ponte Vecchio. The sandwiches are made with fresh bread and high-quality ingredients, and they're big enough to share. It's a great spot for a quick lunch or a snack on the go.
  • Trattoria ZaZa: Trattoria ZaZa is a popular restaurant that's located near the San Lorenzo Market. The menu features classic Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, and seafood, and the prices are reasonable for the quality of the food.

Italian cafes worth visiting:

  • Rivoire: Rivoire is a historic café that's been serving customers in Florence since 1872. The café is located in the Piazza della Signoria, and it's known for its delicious pastries, chocolates, and hot chocolate.
  • Caffè Gilli: Caffè Gilli is another historic café that's been around since 1733. The café is located near the Duomo, and it's a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a light lunch while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
  • La Menagere: La Menagere is a trendy café that's located in a former housewares store. The café features an industrial-chic decor and a menu that's filled with healthy, organic dishes. It's a great place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Venice (1-2 days)

Venice, known as the "City of Canals," is a unique destination that is perfect for a short stay.

Here are some of the top places to visit:

  1. St. Mark's Basilica: A stunning cathedral with intricate mosaics and beautiful architecture.
  2. Doge's Palace: This palace was once the residence of the Doge of Venice and is now a museum showcasing the history of Venice.
  3. Rialto Bridge: A popular bridge that offers beautiful views of the Grand Canal and the city.
  4. Grand Canal: One of the most famous canals in Venice, the Grand Canal is lined with beautiful buildings and is best seen by water taxis or gondolas.
  5. Peggy Guggenheim Collection: A must-visit museum for art lovers, showcasing modern and contemporary art.
  6. Lido di Venezia: A long, sandy beach with a wide range of restaurants and bars.

For moderate-cost restaurants in Venice, check out:

  • Osteria alla Frasca: A cozy, family-owned restaurant that serves traditional Venetian dishes at reasonable prices.
  • Trattoria Al Gazzettino: A popular spot among locals, serving delicious seafood and pasta.
  • Pizzeria Ristorante Da Nico: Known for its delicious pizza and casual atmosphere, this restaurant is a great option for a quick bite.

If you're looking for high-rated cafes, here are a few to check out:

  • Caffè del Doge: A coffee shop that roasts its own beans, it’s known for its high-quality coffee and tasty snacks.
  • Torrefazione Marchi: A small coffee shop that serves some of the best coffee in Venice, with a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff.

Milan (1-2 days)

Milan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world, but it has much more to offer.

Here are some of the top places to visit:

  1. Duomo di Milano: One of the most famous landmarks in Milan, this stunning cathedral is a must-see attraction.
  2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: A beautiful shopping arcade that is home to high-end shops and cafes.
  3. Castello Sforzesco: A grand castle that now serves as a museum featuring art and historical artifacts.
  4. Brera Art Gallery: A popular museum that showcases some of Italy's most famous works of art.
  5. Navigli Canals: A picturesque canal district with plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes.

For moderate-cost restaurants in Milan, check out:

  • Luini Panzerotti: A small bakery that serves delicious, fried panzerotti, a traditional Milanese snack.
  • La Tradizionale: Known for its delicious pizza and casual atmosphere, this restaurant is a great option for a quick bite.
  • Ratanà: A cozy restaurant that offers modern Italian cuisine, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.

If you're looking for high-rated cafes, here are a few to check out:

  • Caffè Cova: One of Milan's oldest cafes, serving coffee and pastries since 1817.
  • Pasticceria Marchesi: A chic and trendy pastry shop that offers a range of sweet treats and coffee drinks.
  • Caffè Camparino: A historic cafe is known for its classic Milanese cocktails and chic atmosphere.

Of course, these are just some of the many fantastic places to visit and dine in these cities. Feel free to do your own research and find hidden gems that suit your interests and budget!

In conclusion, Italy is a wonderful country to explore, even on a limited budget. By taking advantage of affordable transportation options, staying in budget-friendly accommodations, and choosing moderate-cost restaurants and cafes, you can have an unforgettable trip to this beautiful country.

So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! Buon viaggio!

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