ITALY ROAD TRIP: Two Weeks Itinerary By a Local!
Contents – Open To Read
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
- Day 1 – 2 |Rome Itinerary and Vatican City
- Day 3 | Lazio -Roman Castles
- Day 4 | Tuscany – Montepulciano
- Day 5 | Tuscany – San Gimignano
- Day 6 |Tuscany – Pisa
- Day 7 |Tuscany – San Miniato
SECOND WEEK + BONUS TIP TO SAVE MONEY!
- Day 8 – 9 | Tuscany trip – Florence
- Day 10 | Emilia Romagna – Bologna
- Day 11 – 12| Liguria-Tour Cinque Terre
- Day 13 | Piemonte – Turin
- Day 14 – 15 | Milan and Lake Como
- How to save money when booking your hotels!
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
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 ? 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:
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:
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!
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ITALY ITINERARY DAY 3 | ROMAN CASTLES
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:
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? ? Click to Check the Hotel out!
ITALY 2 WEEKS ITINERARY DAY 4 | MONTEPULCIANO
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 ?
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 ? 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
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
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! ?
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 ? Click to Check the Hotel out!
ITALY ITINERARY FOR 2 WEEKS DAY 7 | SAN MINIATO
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 ?
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 ? Pisa and Florence are only 45 min away by car! Click to Check the Hotel out!
14 DAYS ITALY TINERARY DAY 8 | FLORENCE
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.”
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.
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14 DAYS ITALIAN ITINERARY DAY 10 | BOLOGNA
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!
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!
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 ?
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2 WEEKS ITALY TINERARY DAY 11 – 12 | CINQUE TERRE
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
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!
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!
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:
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.
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ITALIAN 2 WEEKS ITINERARY DAY 13 | TURIN
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.
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!) ?
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.
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.
WHERE TO STAY IN TURIN – BEST HOTELS :
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
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:
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 ? 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
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!
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!
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!
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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)
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