The ultimate guide to 10 days in Italy is a good teaser to a country and gives you just enough time to visit a few cities. Make sure to reserve 10 days because you’ll probably need 2 days of travel (arrival and departure) and 8 days to enjoy the sights.
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The ultimate guide to 10 days in Italy covers seeing some top sights in the cities of Naples, Rome, and Venice.
Ultimate Guide to 10 Days in Italy: Getting There
|Major Train Station
|Major International Airport
|Naples International Airport
|Venezzia Santa Lucia (on the lagoon)
Venezzia Mestre (on the mainland)
|Marco Polo International Airport
|Rome Termini Station
|Rome Fiumicino International Airport
Ultimate Guide to 10 Days in Italy: Where to Stay
|Maison Dante de Charme
Maison Dante de Charme is in a prime location almost directly across from a subway station (Dante’s Square) for easy access to transport.
|Ostello Santa Fosca
Located in Cannareggio district. Quieter and just slightly farther out from Rialto and St.Marks square. Keep in mind Venice is very walkable no matter where you stay.
|Hotel Palazzo Abadessa
Downtown Venice about 10 minutes to the Rialto bridge and about 20 minutes to St. Mark’s Square.
|Alessandro Palace & Bar
A dormitory-style accommodation where you can book a bed in a room shared with other travellers.
|Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo
This hotel is in an unbeatable location. It’s almost right next to the Colosseum. It’s clean and functional.
Ultimate Guide to 10 Days in Italy: Sample Itinerary
Day 1 – 3: Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Take a stroll through the city and stop by the Gallerie d’Italia to admire their permanent collection of Attic and Magna Graecia pottery, and a Caravaggio: The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula. Then take a walk to the mall of Galleria Umberto I to admire its vaulted, glass ceilings and decorative floor. You can also treat yourself to some genuine, hand-made Italian leather goods here.
Then visit the Royal Palace of Naples to see if there are any exhibitions on and also to admire the architecture. Right across the street is the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, a church built in the style of the Pantheon in Rome.
Then make sure to re-energize at happy hour (usually starts around 5PM) at Attori e Spettatori. For dinner, head over to Gino Sorbillo for some local pizza and don’t forget to pair your pizza with one of the local red wines such as Lacryma Christi.
Head over to the Amalfi coast the next day. I recommend buying a day tour with Viator instead if you only have a day to visit the Amalfi coast. There are full day tour packages (about 8 hours) of the Amalfi coast, Sorrento, Positano, and Pompeii, which could save you time, money, and the hassle of transport.
Once you’re back in the city of Naples it’ll probably be dinner time. Take a break from pizza and try seafood at L’ostricaio. Sit on the terrace if the weather allows it and enjoy fried cod for appetizers and a mixed seafood pasta for your main. Order the tiramisu for dessert (no exceptions!) as the restaurant makes one of the best versions of it.
Touring the Amalfi coast should’ve been exhilarating, yet probably exhausting. Take it easy on your last day by exploring the rest of Naples. The Napoli Sotterranea (Naples underground aqueducts) is a fun way to explore the city’s ancient aqueducts built by the Greeks, which was then used as a bomb shelter during WWII.
The tour lasts a good 3 hours or so. Once you’re out, the statue of Pulcinella isn’t that far off so you’re welcome to rub his nose for good luck, if you’re so inclined. Assuming you like pizza and would like to have some more on your last day, pay a visit to Pizzeria da Attilio.
Then treat yourself to some gelato to finish off your 3 days in Naples on a high and sweet note.
Day 4 – 5: Venice
Of course you must see St. Mark’s Square during the day and at night as each window in the palace is lit up. Then visit the Doge’s Palace which is intricately decorated with Byzantine mosaics depicting the life of Christ and the Apostles.
There are several restaurants with live music in the Square but the last time I was there in 2014 it was 15 EURO for a cappuccino, so be prepared with that credit card if you truly want to dine in the Square.
A short walk from there is the Bridge of Sighs where (according to Wikipedia) prisoners saw their last glimpse of Venice as they’re being transported to their prison cells.
And then there’s the bridge of all bridges in the world to see: the Rialto Bridge. There’ll be a bajillion tourists taking selfies there so don’t be afraid to squeeze yourself in for a picture too when you see an opportunity.
For another view of the Rialto Bridge, take a Gondola ride and enjoy the views of Venice from the waterways. Your gondolier will briefly narrate the history of Venice and point out any significant buildings you might not get to see on foot.
Take a trip to Murano island. Our hotel had a partnership with one of the glass factories on Murano island, and they arranged a water taxi for us for a round trip to Murano island with a tour of the factory — entirely free. So definitely ask your hotel if they have a partnership with any of the glass factories and if they’ll arrange a free tour for you.
Head to Osteria Antico Giardinetto for dinner. It’s a lovely seafood restaurant with a charming patio and a small space for indoor dining. Reservations are a must.
Day 6 – 8: Rome
Rome is a very walkable city and a lot of the major sites are within walking distances of each other. First, see the Pantheon, which isan imposing structure with a round dome and a portico in the center. It’s currently a Catholic church and masses are held daily. Unless you’re attending mass, you’ll have to buy entry tickets online to get in.
Then visit Trevi Fountain which is the fountain of all fountains. Trevi fountain brings water to the city by collecting it from the aqueducts. Its sheer size and height is impressive (just like all other massive, imposing structures in Rome) but the size of the statues and the elegance of the horses in their wild poses make the fountain a work of functional art.
And don’t forget to toss a coin in over your left shoulder! This supposedly guarantees you’ll be back in Rome someday.
After the fountain, head for the Spanish Steps. Located in the Piazza di Spagna, the steps lead from the Trinità dei Monti church to the main square below.It’s a lovely sight, and besides, it’s easy to get to and admire if you only have a short time in the city.
Lastly, take a break in the Domus Aurea, which is the hill next to the Colosseum. It’s a big park and the site of one of Emperor Nero’s palaces as well (buy tickets in advance if you want to visit the museum). It’s a relaxing place to take a break from all the sightseeing.
Take a tour of the Vatican Museums the next day and be prepared for your senses to be overwhelmed. There’s the famed Creation painting by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel and his even more famous sculpture, La Pietà, in St. Peter’s Basilica. There’ll be a lot to take in and you must book a tour to gain entry; don’t bother waiting in line.
And dress discreetly. Cover yourself head to toe. No bare shoulders allowed or you won’t be let in.
After the tour, exit Vatican City by walking straight through and out between the colossal pillars. The next big sight is Castel Sant’Angelo, originally built as Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum. Right in front of the fortress is the Ponte Sant’Angelo where each pillar is adorned with a statue of an angel. It’s impressive and quite lovely.
Keep walking down the bridge and head towards Hotel Navona and Bar for a pre-dinner snack and drinks. Then close out your day by dining at Felice A Testaccio. Try the veal and braised lamb along with the eggplant parmesan. They also serve a beautiful mixed seafood platter with artichoke hearts and a mixed salad. Their Spaghetti à la Felice is also lovely and light. And definitely order their tiramisu. The zabaione tiramisu was a clever take on a traditional tiramisu; decadent, satisfying, and extremely smooth.
One the last day, visit the Colosseum. It’s a glorious structure and even more so when you view it from the inside. Also, try catching a view of the Colosseum at night when all the arches are lit up. It’s quite romantic. The Palatine Hill gives an amazing view of the Roman Forum; it’s completely worth walking the several flights of stairs to see it from above.
A 3 hour tour of the Colosseum and its companion sites is exhausting. Head over to any local bar and grab a beer before heading to Hostaria Isidoro for a tasting menu of classic Roman pasta dishes. As of October 2023, they still had assorted pasta tasting options starting at 2 plates and going up to 9.
If you’ve read most of my posts, then you know I generally advise everyone to end their day on a sweet note. Try Gelateria Da Constanza (Via di S. Giovanni in Laterano, 40, 00184 Roma RM, Italy) They serve the. Best. Gelato. Ever. I had a zabaione gelato and it was the smoothest gelato I’ve tasted to date. Enjoy your gelato while sitting on a bench with a view of the Colosseum in front of you. It’s pure luxury and a wonderful way to end your trip in Italy.