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Italy 1-Week Itinerary: Venice, Ligurian Coast, Florence, Rome

Here’s one popular option for a one-week itinerary in Italy – the “holy trinity” of Venice, Florence, and Rome plus a bit of time on the gorgeous Ligurian coast.

Itinerary Assumptions

There are a couple things that need to happen in order for you to make this itinerary work.

  1. It’s a work week’s worth of vacation time – five business days – but this itinerary is actually more like eight or nine days long. The assumption is that you’ll leave home on a Friday night or a Saturday, and not return home until the Sunday of the following week.
  2. You won’t be able to do all of this if you fly in and out of the same Italian city. A short itinerary means that if you’re trying to cover a lot of ground you need to make sure you’re not wasting your time back-tracking to get to an airport. For this trip, you’ll fly open-jaw – into one city and out of another.

Who Might Like This Trip

This Italy itinerary is a good option for first time visitors who want to see the major cities – Venice, Florence, and Rome – and also want to get a peek at some of the gorgeous coastline Italy’s so famous for. The Ligurian coast contains both the Cinque Terre villages as well as the picturesque town of Portofino (a popular stop on some Mediterranean cruises), and either one is an option here. There’s less time in Florence and Rome on this itinerary than in some others, so this itinerary may also appeal to those who aren’t as interested in visiting more than one or perhaps two museums/arty attractions in each city and are more into the idea of hanging out along the water.


You’ll fly into Venice (VCE) and out of Rome (FCO).
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You can do this whole trip using the Italian trains to get around, so you don’t need to rent a car.

1-Week Italy Itinerary


1-2 hotel nights*
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You’ll arrive at Venice Marco Polo Airport, likely in the morning. Get to your hotel, get situated, and go out to explore the city on foot. Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and any other churches or museums on your must-see list, but otherwise just enjoy wandering through the islands. If you’ve arrived in Venice on a Saturday morning, you’ll have enough time in the city that you could do a half-day trip to explore the islands of the lagoon (Murano, Burano, and Torcello); if you’ve arrived on a Sunday morning, you may want to concentrate on just the islands of central Venice. The following day, you’ll spend the morning in Venice and catch a late morning train to either Portofino (5.5-6 hours away, with 1-2 changes) or the Cinque Terre (5-6 hours away, with 1-2 changes).
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* If you’re able to take an overnight flight to Venice from home on Friday night, you’ll spend Saturday and Sunday nights in Venice. If you leave home on a Saturday morning, you’ll spend only Sunday night in Venice.

Liguria – Cinque Terre or Portofino

2 hotel nights
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You’ll arrive in either Portofino or Cinque Terre (or any other Ligurian coastal town you like) in the early evening from Venice, get settled into your hotel, and explore the town a bit. The next day can be spent in and around the water or (if you’re in the Cinque Terre especially) hiking, or a combination of the two. The scenery is the main “sight” here, so you don’t really have to worry about museums or galleries that you’d be missing by spending all your time outdoors. You have a bit of time the next morning to get in one last swim or a short hike before getting on a train bound for Florence. If you’ve got the time and are interested, you can even make a 1-2 hour stop in Pisa en route in order to get that “leaning tower photo.”
You might also like:
Where to Stay in the Cinque Terre
Cheap Hotels in Portofino
Hiking Guide to the Cinque Terre
Itinerary for 2 Days in the Cinque Terre
How to Get from the Cinque Terre to Florence


2 hotel nights
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You’ll spend your first full day in Florence ticking off as many of the big sights as you can (on short trips it’s an even better idea to book museum visits ahead whenever possible), including the Uffizi, Accademia, Duomo and Bargello. Walk or take the bus up to the Piazzale Michelangelo in the early evening to see the sun set over the city. The next day you’ll take a morning train to Rome to maximize your time in the Eternal City. Take the fast train and you’ll make the journey in less than two hours.
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2 hotel nights
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Your two days in Rome should include a half-day spent in Vatican City and a nearly-full day spent exploring the Ancient Rome sights (Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon, etc.). There are countless other things you could do to fill your remaining time in Rome, including several world-class museums or simply wandering through the pretty Trastevere or Monti neighborhoods. Enjoy a final gelato and a peek at some of the famous monuments before you go to bed on your second full day in Rome, and on your flight home the following day you can begin plotting your return trip.
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photo by leoplus