As an experienced travel enthusiast, I have just got back from Italy and would love to share this travel experience with friends planning to visit this beautiful country. In this post, I will share about how to plan an Italian vacation and share my personal Italy travel map created on exping-route planner, wish it could help you understand the distribution of attractions and travel routes across Italy.
I planned my Italy trip on exping and made this travel map, Click to view it.
We spent about 11 days in Italy, starting from the Dolomites mountain area in northern Italy and making my way southwards, finally arriving at the seaside city of Naples in southern Italy, passing through Florence and Rome along the way.
We landed in Rome by plane, then transferred to trains and high-speed rail to reach the small town of Bolzano in the Dolomites. The entire journey took about 6 hours. If the Dolomites are part of your travel plan, I'd recommend starting from Milan instead, it will save you a lot of time. I spent the night in Bolzano, and suggest staying near the train station there.
We went to the beautiful small town of Ortisei early in the morning. It's close to cable car stations for accessing several attractions in the Dolomites. In the afternoon, went to Funes Valley, walked to the Church of St. John first, then visited some scenic viewpoints along the valley.
We walked from Ortisei to the c station for Seiser Alm. Spent the morning hiking one of the many trails on Seiser Alm. In the afternoon, I took the cable car up to Seceda. The magnificent scenery there is truly breathtaking.
We spent 3 days in Florence. On arrival in the late afternoon of the first day, we went straight to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the sunset. It was lively and relaxing.
Over the next two days, we visited the iconic Galleria dell'Accademia and Uffizi Gallery, the magnificent Florence Cathedral, strolled across the Ponte Vecchio, enjoyed delicious Italian pasta and ravioli, and tasty steaks.
Make sure to book tickets for the museums online in advance to avoid long queues.
On the last day in Florence, we drove to Rome in the afternoon. With so many famous ancient sites in Rome, we chose to visit the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain that we most wanted to see, frequently amazed by the ancient wisdom and grand architecture.
We also spent a full day visiting the Vatican, the world's smallest country, toured the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica, with so many artistic treasures that it was overwhelming. The Basilica is definitely the most lavish and divine church I've ever seen.
In the last two days of the trip, we went to Naples, the birthplace of pizza and one of the oldest cities in Europe.
After tasting delicious centuries-old pizza, we drove along the cliff-hugging Amalfi Coast road towards the south, amazed by the expansive coastline and colorful houses on the cliffs. It's a must-see in Naples.
And so we spent a beautiful and comfortable holiday in Rome. I'd love to visit again as there are still so many places I only caught a glimpse of and didn't have time to fully appreciate.
As a country with a long cultural history, Italy has many world-famous tourist destinations. On the Italy map, the capital Rome stands out first and foremost. It not only has historic ruins of the Roman Empire, such as the Colosseum and Trajan's Forum, but also showcases artistic treasures from Renaissance to Baroque, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes and Castel Sant'Angelo. Northwards is Florence, known as the art capital, where the Renaissance originated and left behind a legacy of artworks by masters like Dante and Da Vinci. Eastwards along the coast is the romantic Cinque Terre. Down south is the ancient city of Naples.
High-speed trains directly connect major cities, offering the fastest transportation between them. Tickets can be purchased online in advance to plan your trip.
Routes should be tailored to trip duration. Here are some of my recommendations, which you can use as a reference when creating your own Italy route map on exping:
Recommended cities: Rome, Florence, Venice
Route: Rome (3 days) → Florence (2 days) → Venice (2 days)
Key attractions: Roman ruins, Florence museums, Venice canals
Recommended cities: Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Siena, Pisa, etc.
Route: Rome (4 days) → Florence (3 days) → Venice (2 days) → Milan (2 days) → Siena, Pisa (3 days)
Key attractions: Ancient sites, art capitals, nature, UNESCO sites, etc.
Can also include Dolomites, Amalfi Coast, Capri, Campania, Tuscan towns to experience coastlines, nature, and local life.
Along the Amalfi Coast are charming small towns like Positano and Amalfi to admire the fusion of mountain and sea views. Sunsets here in summer are glorious.
The famed Capri has many undiscovered beaches and trails beyond the Blue Grotto. I recommend bringing a map to explore the natural beauty.
The medieval hilltop town of San Vito, a Habsburg legacy with medieval architecture and distant sea views. Perfect for escaping the crowds and finding tranquility.
Ancient villages in Tuscany like Pienza and Montalcino that retain original character to experience local life.
Agrigento on Sicily's east coast has ancient Greek ruins to discover exotic culture.
Italians care about dining etiquette e.g. no drinking while eating pasta, eating quietly. Learning some Italian phrases can help.
Remain quiet and dress modestly in churches or solemn settings. Shoulders and knees should be covered in religious sites.
Avoid loud noises on public transport. Let the driver know when you're getting off.
Be polite and a little patient with service staff to get better service.
Interact with locals in an open and friendly way. Respect different views, don't get too fiery.
Experiencing local food and festivities is highly recommended. Italians value family and social gatherings.
I hope through this post, you have better understand the Italy and better plan your future trip to Italy. You can try using exping to map out your itinerary by marking the places you want to visit and generating a route map, making travel arrangements much smoother. I wish you a wonderful time in Italy!
Cover Photo Credit by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash