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How To Spend 7 Days In Italy – Six 7-Day Italy Itineraries Written By An Italian

Let’s start with the premise that seven days in Italy aren’t enough to see everything my beautiful country has to offer. I’m Italian, I lived in Italy for 18 years and have travelled extensively around it, yet there are still places I haven’t been to.

But don’t let that deter you from visiting the “Bel Paese”. If you only have one week in Italy, you can still have an amazing trip and see many gorgeous sights that will leave you speechless.

In this Italy travel guide I have included everything you need to know to have an awesome weeklong trip.

Chilling by the Colosseum in Rome

Chilling by the Colosseum in Rome

Here you will find information on how to get around Italy, where to stay in each city and sample itineraries designed to make the most of your seven days in Italy.

These Italy 7-day itineraries are designed around specific interests or regions. Whether you’re looking for an active outdoor holiday, for a relaxing city break or a peaceful beach holiday, here you’ll find an itinerary for you.

These Italy itineraries are a guidance, which you can pick and choose based on your personal interests. So without further ado, let’s dive in and start planning the best week in Italy!

Sunset over the perched colourful houses of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy

Sunset over the perched colourful houses of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy

How to get around Italy

There are many different ways to travel around Italy, and the best way to do so ultimately depends on your budget and destination. I’m a fan of train travel, and always recommend it even for travelling around Europe.

While the Italian train system might not be the most efficient or punctual, it allows you to relax and enjoy the views, without stressing about driving.

Also, train stations in Italy are usually in the city centre, so that you can hit the road running without having to waste time finding parking.

However if you’re planning to head a bit more remote, renting a car is the best option as it will give you the most flexibility. It can also be considerably cheaper than train travel, especially if you’re travelling with friends and splitting the cost.

Sunset over Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo, Italy

Sunset over Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo, Italy

Italy 7-day itinerary for culture & city lovers

This 7-day Italy itinerary focuses on the main highlights and must-sees of Italy.

While it’s a city-heavy itinerary, especially well suited for those who have an interest in culture and history, it goes to all the main sights in Italy, and is therefore well suited also for any first time visitors.

It’s perfect for those who want to see all the famous spots in Italy in one go, and who don’t mind having an action packed and busy travel schedule.

Watching the sunset over the Vatican and Ponte Sant'Angelo from Ponte Umberto in Rome

Watching the sunset over the Vatican and Ponte Sant’Angelo from Ponte Umberto in Rome

If you love cities and want to tick off all the famous Italian attractions in one trip, here is my suggested Italy 7-day itinerary.

Day 1: Rome

Day 2: Rome

Day 3: Florence

Day 4: Florence

Day 5: Milano

Day 6: Venice

Day 7: Venice

Here is a breakdown of the best things to do in each city, and how to spend your days in this Italian itinerary.

Exploring the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy

Exploring the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy

Days 1 & 2: Rome

Every Italy bucket list features a visit to Rome, so it only seemed fair to kick off this Italy itinerary the same way. The Eternal City is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, and you’ll soon find out why.

Rome is a basically an open-air museum, where you will find relics of ancient times dotted all over the city. From the Roman Forums to the Colosseum, or from the Trevi Fountain to the Vatican, there is beauty in every corner of Rome.

I had a Roman boyfriend and spent many months living in Rome, and can highly recommend spending at least two days in Italy’s capital. While it’s not enough to discover it all, it will give you plenty of time to see all the main sights.

Exploring the Pantheon in Rome

Exploring the Pantheon in Rome

I suggest spending one day exploring the eastern side of Trastevere River, seeing all the main tourist sights like Piazza di Spagna, the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. You’ll also see some iconic views over the Roman skyline.

You can then spend the second day on the western side of Trastevere, discovering this gorgeous neighbourhood and all its delicious restaurants. Here you’ll also find many Roman picture perfect spots.

If you want to go inside main attractions like the Vatican Museums to see the Sixtin Chapel or the Colosseum I highly recommend buying skip-the-queue tickets online.

These places get very busy, and if you only have two days in Rome you don’t want to spend them waiting in line!

Wandering up the famous Spanish Steps towards Trinità dei Monti in Rome

Wandering up the famous Spanish Steps towards Trinità dei Monti in Rome

Best tours to do in Rome

Here are some tours with great reviews worth checking out in Rome.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Ticket-Line Entry – Like I already said, if you only have two days in Rome you don’t want to waste part of that time queuing up for things! 

Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill Priority Tickets – Same goes for the Colosseum, don’t waste time and don’t miss out on this awesome Italian attraction!

Rome: Street Food Tour with Local Guide – Italians take food very seriously, the best way to discover true Roman cuisine is with a local!

The Basilica di San Pietro and main square of the Vatican in Rome

The Basilica di San Pietro and main square of the Vatican in Rome

The famous Altare della Patria in Rome

The famous Altare della Patria in Rome

Where to stay in Rome

Here are some cool accommodation options in Rome for every budget.

Budget: Palladini HostelThis hostel is super central, close to the train station and all the action of Rome, with spacious dorms and a lively atmosphere

Mid-range: Tridente Rooms – The rooms of this bnb are simple but spacious, and it’s right next to Villa Borghese, in the heart of all the Rome attractions

Luxury: Hotel Eden – Dorchester Collection – Perfect if you want to treat yourself, this hotel is beautifully decorated and very conveniently located in the centre of Rome

Exploring Piazza Navona in Rome

Exploring Piazza Navona in Rome

Days 3 & 4: Florence

After exploring Rome, jump on a train and head to Florence, Italy’s art capital! This iconic city is home to many breath taking museums, churches, art galleries and streets.

In Florence you will also find many awesome restaurants, where you can taste delicious Italian food. My personal favourite place to eat in Florence was the Mercato Centrale, as it has a more casual street food vibe.

During your two days in Florence you have to visit the gorgeous Duomo of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and of course, watch the sunset over the roofs of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo.

Sunset over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Sunset over Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo

Best Florence tours

Here are some tours with awesome reviews to check out for your time in Florence.

Florence: Uffizi Gallery Timed Entrance Ticket – Skip the queue for your visit to the Uffizi!

Florence: City Walking Tours with entry to Accademia – Discover Florence on foot with a local guide, and then explore the Accademia with them!

Florence: Small-Group Tour on E-Bike – Try something a little different and discover Florence by bike!

Getting up close to the majestic Duomo of Florence

Getting up close to the majestic Duomo of Florence

Where to stay in Florence

Here are some accommodation options in Florence for every budget.

Budget: Plus Florence – This hostel has spacious dorms, a sociable atmosphere and a spectacular rooftop with views over the Florence skyline.

Mid-range: Palazzo Riblet – I stayed here when I visited Florence with my mum and can highly recommend it. This family run hotel is situated in a historical building, with affrescos on the ceiling and in a great location.

Luxury: Firenze Rentals Corso 12 – This lovely apartment has a balcony directly overlooking the Duomo of Florence. It doesn’t really get any better than this!

Light reflections at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Light reflections at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence

Day 5: Milan

Milan doesn’t always feature on key Italian must-see bucket lists, but it’s my hometown and I wanted to include it. Milan is considered the city of fashion and the economic capital of Italy.

It’s also one of the most international and cosmopolitan cities in Italy, offering a vibrant nightlife and diverse dining scene. The perfect visit to Milan combines a bit of sightseeing with Italian fine dining and, of course, the aperitivo experience.

Milan is an easy city to explore in one day, since all the main attractions are close to the city centre. You can head out to explore it on foot and visit the Duomo Cathedral, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Castello Sforzesco and Arco della Pace.

For your traditional Milanese aperitivo you can then grab a spritz at one of the many bars by Arco della Pace, or head to the hipster Navigli neighbourhood.

Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Italy

Piazza del Duomo in Milan, Italy

Best tours in Milan

Here are some of the best tours you can’t miss during your time in Milan.

Milan: Fast-Track Milan Cathedral and Terraces Guided Tour – Discover the beautiful Duomo and its stunning rooftop, without having to waste time queuing!

Best of Milan Tour with Skip-the-Line to Duomo & Last Supper – For the art lovers, no visit to Milan would be complete without seeing the Last Supper!

Milan: Grand City Highlights E-Bike TourDiscover all the highlights of Milan on bike!

Admiring the perfect symmetry of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy

Admiring the perfect symmetry of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy

Where to stay in Milan

Even if you’re only spending one day in Milan, you’ll likely still have to sleep here in between train journeys. There are lots of cool places to stay in Milan.

Budget: Ostello Bello – There are two hostels of this chain around Milan and both are good budget options, with a lively atmosphere, spacious dorms and convenient central locations

Mid-range: Ibis Milano Centro – Part of the Ibis chain, this is a good mid-range hotel, with a guaranteed standard of room set up and a great central location

Luxury: Galleria Vik Milano – If you’re looking to splurge a bit, this is the place to do so. Located in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, it couldn’t get any more central than this, with stunning views over the galleria just outside your window

Castello Sforzesco in Milan, Italy

Castello Sforzesco in Milan, Italy

Days 6 & 7: Venice

Read any Europe bucket list and you will very likely find going for a gondola ride on there. One brief look at the picturesque canals of Venice, its romantic gondolas and picture perfect corners and you will understand why.

With its canals and gondolas, Venice is completely different from any other city in the world, and is a must-see on any Italy itinerary. I’ve been to Venice multiple times and every time it surprises me.

I recommend spending at least one day here, seeing all the main sights like Piazza San Marco and Rialto Bridge, but also simply to walk around the city and get lost in its picturesque side streets.

Exploring the side streets, canals and bridges of Venice, Italy

Exploring the side streets, canals and bridges of Venice, Italy

Best Venice tours

Book one of these highly rated tours for your time in Venice!

Venice: Private Gondola Ride to Rialto Bridge – Go for a private gondola ride amongst the most beautiful canals of Venice!

Venice: Doge’s Palace Priority Admission Ticket – Skip the queue and visit this iconic site in Venice!

Venice: Small Group Wine Tasting and Food Tour with a Local – Go for a guided tour of all the best places to eat and drink in Venice with a local guide!

Enjoying my gondola cruise around Venice

Enjoying my gondola cruise around Venice

Our gondola ride in Venice took us close to Rialto Bridge

Our gondola ride took us close to Rialto Bridge

Where to stay in Venice

Here are some great accommodation options in Venice for every budget.

Budget: Combo Venezia – This hostel has a combination of modern dorms and a traditional courtyard. It’s also in a great location and has a very sociable atmosphere.

Mid-range: Hotel alle Guglie – I stayed here with my mum and found it a perfect compromise for those looking for a comfortable room, great location and affordable price.

Luxury: Ai Patrizi di Venezia – These luxury apartments are the perfect place to treat yourself during your Venice stay.

Sunset in Venice, Italy, a popular Mediterranean cruise destination

Sunset in Venice, Italy, at the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Sunset on the grand canal in Venice

Sunset on the grand canal in Venice from Ponte di Rialto

7 days in Italy for nature lovers

If you don’t really care for cities, I have a different Italy 7-day itinerary for you. This itinerary goes to spots that are equally famous and recognisably Italian, but with a bigger outdoors focus.

This itinerary is perfect for people who want to spend large amounts of time outside, preferably hiking, exploring or also doing adventurous activities.

While it doesn’t go to any of the most famous Italian cities, the places in this itinerary are still recognisably Italian, so that you can enjoy your outdoors and adventure holiday while still being able to say you were in Italy.

The colourful houses of Manarola in Cinque Terre

The colourful houses of Manarola in Cinque Terre

If you’ve already seen the main cities in Italy, or aren’t interested in seeing them, and prefer spending time in nature, this is the perfect 7-day itinerary for you.

Day 1: Cinque Terre

Day 2: Cinque Terre

Day 3: Tuscany

Day 4: Tuscany

Day 5: Lake Como

Day 6: Trentino

Day 7: Trentino

Beautiful reflections at Lake Welsperg in Trentino, Italy

Beautiful reflections at Lake Welsperg in Trentino, Italy

Days 1 & 2: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is one of my favourite places in Italy. With its colourful houses, green hills and turquoise sea, it’s one of the most picturesque places in Italy. It’s also a great destination for hiking lovers.

Cinque Terre (or Five Lands in English) is the name given to the five towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These are the most iconic towns in the area, which give the name to the national park.

There is a beautiful 12.5km hiking trail called Il Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path) that connects all five towns. It has gorgeous views over the towns, the cliffs and sea, which make it one of the most beautiful hikes in the world.

Admiring the colourful houses of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy

Admiring the colourful houses of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy

Although you might see many photos on Instagram of girls twirling in colourful dresses here, don’t let that fool you. The Sentiero Azzurro can be a tough hike, and you will need all your usual hiking essentials. 

I recommend spending a whole day hiking the Sentiero Azzurro and exploring the cute town centres of the Cinque Terre towns.

You can then spend the second day enjoying the beaches, hiking lesser known trails in the national park or discovering the nearby town of Porto Venere, often referred to as the Sixth Land but rarely present in Italy itineraries.

Admiring the colourful houses of Manarola, one of the five towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre, Italy

Admiring the colourful houses of Manarola, one of the five towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre, Italy

Admiring the colourful houses of Vernazza, one of the five towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre, Italy

Admiring the colourful houses of Vernazza, one of the five towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre, Italy

Best tours in Cinque Terre

You can explore Cinque Terre on foot by hiking the Sentiero Azzurro, but these highly rated tours can add a special something to your holiday!

Cinque Terre Sunset Boat Tour – Admire the coloured houses of Cinque Terre as the sun goes down and the sky turns golden!

From Monterosso: Cinque Terre Kayak Tour – Combine a workout with a unique experience, and see Cinque Terre from a completely different angle!

From La Spezia: Cinque Terre Full-Day Boat Tour – Spend a whole day sailing along the beautiful Ligurian coastline.

The coastline of Cinque Terre in Italy

The coastline of Cinque Terre – can you spot Vernazza in the distance?

Just outside Monterosso, the first town in Cinque Terre, about to set off along the Sentiero Azzurro

Just outside Monterosso, the first town in Cinque Terre, about to set off along the Sentiero Azzurro

Where to stay in Cinque Terre

While Cinque Terre is absolutely gorgeous, it’s also a fairly expensive destination. I always say the best place to stay in Cinque Terre is actually in La Spezia, a city 15 minutes train away. Here are some accommodation options for every budget.

Budget: Grand Hostel Manin – This hostel has spacious dorms, a friendly atmosphere and is located in the heart of La Spezia. It’s the perfect place to use as base to explore Cinque Terre on a budget!

Mid-range: ALTIDO Villa Monterosso Apartment Bellavista – This modern villa is tastefully decorated, with gorgeous views of the Ligurian coastline and sea. It’s also in an excellent position in Monterosso.

Luxury: La Vista di Marina by The First – This apartment combines modern furnishing with exposed bricks for a rustic vibe, plus spacious rooms and white décor for an airy feel. It also has a spectacular terrace with view over the sea and iconic perched houses of Riomaggiore.

Manarola, one of the main towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre

Manarola, one of the main towns along the Sentiero Azzurro in Cinque Terre

Days 3 & 4: Tuscany

While Tuscany is mostly famous for its gorgeous cities like Pisa, Florence and Siena, the Tuscan countryside is amongst the most beautiful nature spots in Italy.

Imagine rolling green hills, yellow wheat fields and country roads lined by picturesque trees. Walking around the Tuscany countryside will feel like stepping into an old movie.

In Tuscany you will also find many unique places to stay, like renovated barn houses or medieval towns turned to hotels.

You can spend a few days in one of these unique hotels, walking in the nearby fields and then cooling down on poolside as the sun sets over the Tuscan hills.

View over the Tuscan countryside

View over the Tuscan countryside

Best Tuscany tours

Discover some of the highlights of Tuscany with these highly rated tours.

Pienza and Montepulciano Wine Tour from Siena – See some of the most beautiful spots in Tuscany and taste delicious local wine, it’s a two-in-one tour!

San Gimignano, Siena, Chianti Guided Tour from Florence – Are you ready to discover one of the most beautiful parts of Tuscany and Italy?

Chianti Wineries Tour with Food & Wine Tasting – No trip to Tuscany would be complete without a bit of Chianti wine tasting and, obviously, local Italian food!
Piazza del Campo in Siena

Piazza del Campo in Siena

Where to stay in Tuscany

Below listed a variety of hotels for every budget located in the best regions of Tuscany.

Budget: Hotel Cecile – A good budget option, with finely decorated rooms and conveniently located in Pisa.

Mid-range: Hotel Athena – This is where I stayed when I visited Siena. With spacious rooms and a rooftop terrace with awesome countryside views, it’s a great place to base yourself during your Tuscany adventures.

Luxury: COMO Castello Del Nero – As the name suggests, this place is an actual castle. Here you can enjoy a magical stay to relax during your Italy adventures.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day 5: Lake Como

If you love hiking, you have to pay Lake Como a visit. Many travellers visit this iconic location due to the fame of stars who have villas on the lakeshore. However, what they’re missing out on are the epic views from the surrounding mountains.

Lake Como is surrounded by hills and mountains, which give it incredible 360 views over the neighbouring countryside, all the way to the Swiss Alps.

If you’re up for a challenge you can hike up Monte San Primo, then head to Bellagio for a refreshing aperitivo.

For those who don’t want a challenging hike you can still enjoy the beauties of the lake, maybe going for a relaxing sail on the lake or a peaceful stroll along the lakeshore.

Sunset over Lake Como as seen from Bellagio

Sunset over Lake Como as seen from Bellagio

Best tours in Lake Como

Live incredible experiences with these highly rated tours in Lake Como.

Lake Como: Sailing Boat Experience – Sail along this beautiful lake, admire the shore and enjoy Lake Como from a different perspective.

Lake Como: Winery Tour with Wine Tasting – Because we haven’t had quite enough wine tasting tours yet in this Italy itinerary.

Lake Como: Easy Mountain Trek with Funicular & Boat Ride – All the sight seeing and best activities in one tour!

Enjoying the view from the peak of Monte San Primo in Lake Como, Italy

Enjoying the view from the peak of Monte San Primo in Lake Como, Italy

Where to stay in Lake Como

Here are some accommodation options for every budget in different locations along Lake Como.

Budget: Hotel Tre Rose – With spacious rooms and lovely views, it’s the perfect place to stay for those who don’t want to break the bank.

Mid-range: Hotel Argegno – Perfect for those who want a treat and great view at affordable prices.

Luxury: Borgo Le Terrazze – With its balconies, panoramic pool and incredible views, it’s the place to be if you want to treat yourself.

The views over Lake Como from Monte Barro, Italy

The views over Lake Como from Monte Barro, Italy

Days 6 & 7: Trentino

Regardless of whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, the Italian Alps and Trentino deserve a visit. They’re perfect in winter for skiers and snow sports fans, whilst in summer they’re ideal for hikers, cyclers and mountain lovers.

Trentino is home to many of the best ski resorts in Italy. You can easily spend two days enjoying the beautiful nature and activities Trentino has to offer, while also tasting the delicious local cuisine.

Hiking at Rolle Pass in Trentino

Hiking at Rolle Pass in Trentino

Best tours in Trentino

Make the most of your time in Trentino with this awesome tours.

Rafting Down Noce River in Val di Sole – Hope you’re ready for a bit of adrenaline!

Dolomites Full Day Excursion from Bolzano – This tour is the easiest way to see it all!

Trento: Cooking Class at a Local’s Home – While the focus of this itinerary is nature, no Italy itinerary would be complete without some delicious local food!

Kayaking in Lake Caldonazzo, Trentino

Kayaking in Lake Caldonazzo, Trentino

Where to stay in Trentino

Here are some awesome places to stay in Trentino for every budget, both in the cities and beyond.

Budget: Hi Hotels – Located in the centre of Trento, this lovely hotel offers city views, spacious rooms and modern furnishing at an affordable price.

Mid-range: Miravalle – Combine an infinity pool with epic views and traditional Italian design and you have a winner!

Luxury: Hotel Chalet Al Foss – With its unique rooms and infinity pools, this is the perfect place to treat yourself.

Drone shot of a girl doing SUP in the middle of Lake Caldonazzo in Trentino, Italy, with the mountains in the background and shoreline reflected in the lake

Stand up paddling in Lake Caldonazzo, Trentino

A 7-day Italy itinerary for beach lovers

Italy is home to many gorgeous beaches. If you’re looking for a unique Italian beach holiday, this is the itinerary for you.

This itinerary is best suited for those who have already been to Italy and have already seen all (or most) of the main sights, since it doesn’t go to any of the famous spots in Italy.

My suggested Italy 1 week itinerary for beach lovers is focused on the gorgeous island of Sardinia. I always spend my summers in Sardinia, and I can confidently say it’s one of the best beach destinations in the world.

If you want to make the most of your Sardinian beach holiday, this is my suggested itinerary.

Days 1 & 2: Golfo di Orosei

Days 3 – 5: Palau

Days 6 & 7: Stintino

Cala Corsara on the island of Spargi in Sardinia, Italy

Cala Corsara on the island of Spargi in Sardinia in August (a bit too many boats!)

Days 1 & 2: Golfo di Orosei

Despite spending all my summers in Italy ever since I was a child, I only visited the Golfo di Orosei for the first time this year, and I can honestly say it’s one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever seen.

Imagine a gulf 20km wide, with dramatic tall cliffs, mysterious caves, white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise water. It’s an incredibly scenic place, and one that will leave you speechless.

This part of Sardinia is very wild, and you can only reach most beaches by boat (or hike for 1-3 hours).

If you’re feeling adventurous I recommend renting a kayak from Prima Sardegna for two days in Cala Gonone, and then spending a night camping in Cala Luna.

We did this and it was the highlight of our Sardinia trip. At 5:30PM all the day tours will leave, and you will be left to enjoy a magical beach alone.

Exploring the Golfo di Orosei and Cala Luna by kayak in Sardinia, Italy

Exploring the Golfo di Orosei and Cala Luna by kayak in Sardinia, Italy

Where to stay in the Golfo di Orosei

Obviously camping on a beach isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer to stay sleep in a bed and visit the beaches of the Golfo di Orosei on a boat trip, then I recommend staying in Cala Gonone.

Cala Gonone is where all the tours start. Here are some accommodation options in Cala Gonone for every budget.

Budget: B&B Cala Luna – This cozy bnb is very affordable and well located in Cala Gonone.

Mid-range: BUE MARINO Hotel – This hotel has an awesome rooftop terrace with epic views and spacious rooms at an affordable price.

Luxury: Hotel Villa Gustui Maris – With its incredible pool and view it’s without a doubt the best place to spoil yourself in Cala Gonone.

The famous caves of Cala Gonone in Sardinia, Italy

The famous caves of Cala Gonone in Sardinia, Italy

Cala Fuili in the Golfo di Orosei

Cala Fuili in the Golfo di Orosei

Best Golfo di Orosei tours

If you don’t fancy kayaking, this Dinghy Rental in the Gulf of Orosei with Lunch has excellent ratings, and will take you to see everything in the Golfo di Orosei in one day.

The beautiful water and coastline of the Golfo di Orosei seen from our kayak

The beautiful water and coastline of the Golfo di Orosei seen from our kayak

Days 3 – 5: Palau

This is the place where I have spent all my summers since I was 1 month old. I may be a little biased, but I believe it’s home to some truly gorgeous beaches and deserves at least three full days of your Italy itinerary.

You need to spend one day doing a boat tour of the Arcipelago della Maddalena, to the islands of Spargi, Budelli, Santa Maria and Razzoli. I say need because these islands are truly stunning.

Imagine picture perfect white sand beaches with crystal clear turquoise water, surrounded by pink granite rocks. The tours usually spend the whole day at the islands, beach hopping between different hidden coves.

After that you can spend one day exploring the islands of Maddalena and Caprera, preferably by scooter. These islands are both quite wild, and make for awesome scooter rides as well as being home to gorgeous beaches.

On your final day you can relax at one of the many beaches close to Palau, maybe go for a sunset hike to Capo d’Orso or go to Porto Pollo to enjoy a sunset drink while watching the windsurfers and kitesurfers zipping past.

Enjoying our catamaran tour in the Archipelago of Maddalena in Sardinia, Italy

Enjoying our catamaran tour in the Archipelago of Maddalena in Sardinia, Italy

The best Palau & Maddalena tour

For an incredible day in the Archipelago of Maddalena, choose this Full-Day Catamaran Tour. You get a spacious boat, a knowledgeable crew, gorgeous beaches and a delicious local lunch. What more could you need?

Swimming in Sardinia, Italy, shot on DJI Spark

Swimming in Sardinia, Italy, shot on DJI Spark

Admiring the crystal clear water of Spargi Island

Admiring the crystal clear water of Spargi Island

Where to stay in Palau

I might be biased, but I genuinely believe Tiffany Palau is the best place to stay in Palau. Located in the heart of Palau, this lovely apartment has everything you need; a friendly host, a beach within walking distance and a cozy vibe.

Jumping in the crystal clear water of the natural pools of Budelli

Jumping in the crystal clear water of the natural pools of Budelli

Days 6 & 7: Stintino

This is another part of Sardinia that I only recently explored. Less fancy than the Palau area, but not as wild as the Golfo di Orosei, the area around Stintino is home to some incredible beaches.

By far the most famous beach in the area is La Pelosa; a huge beach with a characteristic Sardinian “nuraghe” overlooking it, soft white sand and an incredibly clear turquoise water.

You’ll make the most of this beach if you’re visiting Sardinia in the low season, as it can get incredibly busy in summer. You can spend a day at La Pelosa beach and then head to the Capo Caccia cliffs for a DIY sunset aperitivo.

On your second day in Stintino another must-see is doing a boat tour to Asinara Island. Here you will spend an awesome day exploring hidden coves, swimming in turquoise water and exploring the now abandoned jail of Asinara Island.

Floating away at the famous La Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Italy

Floating away at the famous La Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Italy

Where to stay in Stintino

Here are some awesome accommodation suggestions for every budget in and around Stintino.

Budget: Lina Hotel – This cosy hotel is located in a prime spot by the Stintino town centre.

Mid-range: Club Esse Roccaruja – Located in a prime spot by La Pelosa Beach, this affordable hotel is popular amongst couples and families.

Luxury: Park Hotel Asinara – Treat yourself with a relaxing stay at this wonderful hotel with pool and view.

Chilling at the famous La Pelosa Beach in Stintino

Chilling at the famous La Pelosa Beach in Stintino

Best tours in Stintino

The only must-do tour in this part of Sardinia is this epic Asinara Island Tour.

Chilling with my friends during a dinghy tour of Asinara Island in Sardinia, Italy

Chilling with my friends during a dinghy tour of Asinara Island in Sardinia, Italy

7 days in Northern Italy

This Italy 7-day itinerary focuses on the north of Italy. It’s perfect for those who are looking to see many iconic Italian sights, but who don’t fancy spending hours on a train crossing the country.

It’s a perfect blend of both cities and nature, and it will allow you to experience a bit of both during your week in Italy. It’s also well suited for those who have already been to Rome, and want to explore more of Italy.

Here is my suggestion for a northern Italy 7-day itinerary.

Day 1: Venice

Day 2: Venice

Day 3: Milano

Day 4: Lake Como

Day 5: Florence

Day 6: Cinque Terre

Day 7: Cinque Terre

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy

Days 1 & 2: Venice

Start your trip in Venice, spending two days exploring the beautiful canals and streets of this city. Some must-see sights include: Ponte di Rialto, Ponte dei Sospiri, Piazza San Marco and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.

When it comes to must-do activities, you’ll want to go for a gondola ride! While it may be considered a touristy activity, there’s a reason it’s so popular. Seeing Venice from the canals gives you a completely different and unique view.

In Venice I stayed at Hotel alle Guglie and I can highly recommend it.

The best sunset spot in Venice, Italy, just across from the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The best sunset spot in Venice, Italy, just across from the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

The view from the rooftop of the mall next to Ponte di Rialto

The view from the rooftop of the mall next to Ponte di Rialto

Day 3: Milano

One day in my hometown will give you plenty of time to see all the main sights, and to get a feel for the vibe in the City of Fashion. You have to visit Piazza del Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Castello Sforzesco and Arco della Pace.

You could also hit some of the shopping streets like Via Monte Napoleone (if you have a big budget) or Corso Buenos Aires (if you’re a normal person like me). Whatever you do, make sure to end your day with a Milanese aperitivo.

The trendy areas for aperitivo are Navigli and Moscova. Here you can drink a traditional Aperol Spritz, while tasting delicious focaccia, pizza and other nibbles.

One of the most gorgeous hotels in Milan is Galleria Vik Milano.

Exploring the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy

Exploring the rooftop of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy

Day 4: Lake Como

From Milan you can easily go on a day trip to Lake Como. Here you can spend the day wandering around the beautiful towns like Bellagio, or exploring some of the more exciting hikes.

There are loads of hiking trails in Lake Como, which will allow you to enjoy gorgeous sights over the lake, pianura padana and the surrounding mountains. You can even see as far as Switzerland!

You can visit Lake Como on a day trip and return to sleep in Milan, or you can treat yourself for a unique stay at Borgo Le Terrazze.

The view from the peak of Monte San Primo in Lake Como, Italy

The view from the peak of Monte San Primo in Lake Como, Italy

Day 5: Florence

A quick visit to Tuscany’s capital is a must on any northern Italy itinerary. While one day isn’t enough to experience it all, it’s enough to give you a taste of this beautiful city.

You can spend the day wandering around the beautiful streets, exploring the main sights like the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and the Galleria degli Uffizi.

You can taste traditional Italian food at the Mercato Centrale, and end the day by enjoying the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo.

In Florence I stayed at Palazzo Riblet, a family run historical residence and can highly recommend it.

Aerial view of Florence - Photo by Garrit Wes Anderson on Scopio

Aerial view of Florence – Photo by Garrit Wes Anderson on Scopio

Days 6 & 7: Cinque Terre

We’re at the end of your northern Italy itinerary, and have arrived at one of my personal favourites parts of Italy! My dad is from this region, and I was lucky enough to visit Cinque Terre regularly growing up.

Two days are enough to thoroughly explore the five towns, hike along the Sentiero Azzurro and soak in the Ligurian atmosphere. You can also venture to Porto Venere, the Sixth Land many tourists don’t know about.

One of the most spectacular places to stay in Cinque Terre is without a doubt La Vista di Marina by The First .

The harbour and colourful houses of Porto Venere

The harbour and colourful houses of Porto Venere

7 days in Southern Italy

After a 7 days in nothern Italy itinerary, I couldn’t help but include also a 7 days in southern Italy one! This itinerary is perfect for those who want to see some iconic Italian sights, without travelling across the whole country.

It’s best suited to those who have already seen Milan, Venice and other northern parts of Italy, and who want to combine a visit to Rome with other beauties of the Italian south.

With the Amalfi Coast and Matera, this Italy 7-day itinerary combines beautiful coastal views with unique historical sights. It’s perfect for Italy lovers who want to see more beyond the classics.

Here is my suggested southern Italy 7-day itinerary.

Day 1: Rome

Day 2: Rome

Day 3: Naples & Amalfi Coast

Day 4: Naples & Amalfi Coast

Day 5: Naples & Amalfi Coast

Day 6: Matera

Day 7: Matera

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Days 1 & 2: Rome

Start your southern Italy itinerary in the gorgeous Italian capital. Two days are just enough to see all the main sights and enjoy the Roman vibe.

You can visit all the main spots like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, Trinità dei Monti and the Basilica di San Pietro. For the history and art lovers you can also visit the Musei Vaticani and admire the Sixtin Chapel.

For a local Roman experience, make sure to taste spaghetti carbonara or with cacio e pepe. There are also many gorgeous neighbourhood and viewpoints you can explore like Trastevere and Giardino degli Aranci.

A bnb I stayed at in Rome and can highly recommend is Tridente Rooms.

Enjoying the beauty of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Enjoying the beauty of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Days 3 – 6: Naples & Amalfi Coast

I travelled many times to Naples when I was younger, first on school trip and other times to visit friends. It’s an incredibly beautiful part of Italy, where you can experience a very different vibe from the northern cities.

Naples itself has many gorgeous sights to offer, but the main attractions in the area are without a doubt beyond the city.

You can go on a boat trip to Capri, or explore the beautiful town of Positano. History lovers can pay a visit to the ruins of Pompei, and maybe even hike up Mount Vesuvius.

With so many gorgeous beaches in the area, you can spend three days alternating between sightseeing and relaxing on a beautiful white sand beach. And of course, you have to taste the real pizza napoletana!

The colourful houses of Positano in the Amalfi Coast, Italy - Photo by Guilherme Barata on Scopio

The colourful houses of Positano in the Amalfi Coast, Italy – Photo by Guilherme Barata on Scopio

Best tours in Naples

These awesome tours in and around Naples will allow you to discover this beautiful part of Italy.

Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Tour – Discover the ancient ruins of Pompeii and the rugged beauty of Mount Vesuvius in one go!

From Naples or Sorrento: Full-Day Amalfi Coast Day Trip – Explore everything the Amalfi Coast has to offer!

Capri Boat Tour From Naples – You can’t visit Naples and not pay a visit to the gorgeous island of Capri.

The famous Faraglioni of Capri - Photo by Evi Hellebaut on Scopio

The famous Faraglioni of Capri – Photo by Evi Hellebaut on Scopio

Where to stay in & around Naples

Here are some awesome accommodation suggestions for every budget.

Budget: Viaggio a Napoli B&B – This cozy and well located bnb is perfect for travellers on a budget.

Mid-range: The Foria House – Located just outside the Naples city centre, this beautiful apartment has a lovely garden where you can relax after sightseeing around Naples.

Luxury: Hotel Reginella – If you want to treat yourself, this is the place to do so. With its stunning views, balconies and beautifully decorated rooms, staying at Hotel Reginella is an experience in and of itself.

View of the bay of Naples from Castel dell'Ovo - photo by Italian Trip Abroad

View of the bay of Naples from Castel dell’Ovo – photo by Italian Trip Abroad

Days 6 & 7: Matera

I visited Matera for the first time in 2020, and it made me wonder why I waited so long to discover this gorgeous Italian town. From “Shame of Italy” to European Capital of Culture, Matera has come a long way.

The Sassi of Matera, the ancient cave network turned into traditional houses of the town, are the main attraction and a unique sight. Walking amongst the cobbled streets of the Sassi feels like stepping back in time.

Matera is a small town, but in my opinion you need two full days to appreciate it. You can spend some time wandering around the cobbled streets, admiring the many beautiful churches, tasting the cuisine and hiking in the surrounding hills.

The Sassi of Matera by night are an especially magical sight, with their soft golden light reflected on the white Italian marble.

The gorgeous view over Matera from the Convento di Sant’Agostino

The gorgeous view over Matera from the Convento di Sant’Agostino

The view over the Sassi of Matera from Belvedere Luigi Gurrigghio

The view over the Sassi of Matera from Belvedere Luigi Gurrigghio

Best Matera tours

Discover Matera with these awesome local tours!

Matera: 2-Hour Guided Tour of Sassi – Discover all the secret local spots amongst the Sassi, while learning the history of this incredible city.

Matera: Panoramic Tuk-Tuk Tour – If you don’t feel like walking, this traditional tuk-tuk tour is a great compromise!

Murgia Park: Rocky Churches Tour – Go beyond Matera and discover the historical rocky churches of Matera!

Enjoying the view over the Sassi of Matera in Italy

Enjoying the view over the Sassi of Matera in Italy

Where to stay in Matera

Here are some awesome places to stay in Matera for every budget.

Budget: Ostello dei Sassi Backpackers – This hostel gives you the opportunity of sleeping in a traditional “Sasso”, without breaking the bank!

Mid-range: The View Matera – I took my mum and grandma here and they loved it. You can enjoy an awesome view over Matera from both your bed and rooftop, without even having to leave the bnb!

Luxury: Palazzotto Residence & Winery – Experience sleeping in a traditional “Sasso”, with a little added luxury!

Relaxing at our hotel The View Matera

Relaxing at our hotel The View Matera

How to spend 7 days in Italy for beach & culture fans

While I absolutely adore Sardinia and the Sardinian sea, I’m conscious that others might prefer a more balanced holiday.

If you want to swim in the gorgeous Italian sea, but also discover Italian history and see some incredible sights, then Sicily is the place for you. Sicily is the perfect place to spend 7 days between beaches and culture.

In 2020 I spent 7 days in eastern Sicily, and I was reminded of just how beautiful my country is. The combination of natural beauty and historical magnificence left me speechless.

This Italy 7-day itinerary is best suited for people who have already been to Italy, as it doesn’t touch the main cities and sights. It’s perfect for those who want a taste of Italian history, but also want to relax by beautiful beaches.

Enjoying the views over Modica from the cathedral belltower

Enjoying the views over Modica from the cathedral belltower

Sicily is a huge island and seeing it all in seven days isn’t recommended. I would focus on eastern Sicily, and this is my recommended 7-day itinerary.

Day 1: Catania

Day 2: Etna & Taormina

Day 3: Gole di Alcantara & Siracusa

Day 4: Laghetti di Cavagrande, Marzamemi & Noto

Day 5: Modica, Scicli & Ragusa Ibla

Day 6: Ragusa Marina, Caltagirone & Catania

Day 7: Aci Castello & Acireale

Ragusa Ibla seen from the neighbouring hill

Ragusa Ibla seen from the neighbouring hill

Relaxing at the beautiful Isola Bella beach in Taormina

Relaxing at the beautiful Isola Bella beach in Taormina

Days 1 – 7: Eastern Sicily

I don’t want to include here my whole Sicily itinerary as it would take too long, and I’m conscious this Italy 7-day itinerary is already getting pretty long as it is!

Instead, I’m just going to list some highlights below and you can read my full Sicily 7-day itinerary here! Some of the most beautiful places in Sicily that you have to add to your itinerary are: Taormia, Ragusa Ibla, Noto and Modica.

Taormina has an adorable Baroque old town centre, and is also home to a spectacular ancient roman amphitheatre. Located on top of a hill, it has the most incredible sunset view over Taormina, the hills and sea.

Exploring the Greek amphitheatre of Taormina at sunset

Exploring the Greek amphitheatre of Taormina at sunset

Perched on top of a hill, Ragusa Ibla is one of the most unique towns you will ever see. The town itself is magical, with incredible Baroque architecture and cobbled streets.

However, the view over the surrounding hills and the view of Ragusa Ibla perched on top of a hill is what took my breath away.

Enjoying the view over Ragusa in Sicily

Enjoying the view over Ragusa in Sicily

Noto might not be as panoramic as Ragusa Ibla, but with its myriad of churches and distinctive architecture, it’s an incredibly interesting place to visit.

Simply wandering around the streets of Noto and discovering historically significant corners will excite and amaze you.

The main cathedral in Noto

The main cathedral in Noto

Besides being home to some gorgeous architecture, Modica is also home to a famous chocolate making industry! Taste the traditional Modica chocolate while wandering around the cute streets of Modica and enjoying the views.

Being located in the south of Italy, the weather in Sicily tends to be warm also in winter. It’s what makes it a popular European winter sun destination, especially for travellers visiting Europe in the fall and winter.

The staircase leading up to the cathedral of Modica

The staircase leading up to the cathedral of Modica

Final thoughts on how to spend one week in Italy

There you have it, the ultimate guide to spending one awesome week in Italy! Simply one itinerary wouldn’t have been enough, so I have you six Italy itineraries that you can choose based on your interests.

Whether you’re a first time or returning visitor, a nature or city lover, a beach bum or museum aficionado, I’m sure you will find something for you in these itineraries.

Have you been to Italy before? Are there other places in Italy you think should feature in these itineraries? Let me know in the comments below!

As an Italian, I always recommend spending longer than one week in Italy. While even two weeks in Italy wouldn’t be enough, it would give you more time to see more spots on your travel bucket list.

That said, with these Italy 7-day itineraries you can still have an incredible time in my country. I hope you find this guide useful in planning your week in Italy!

Enjoyed reading my sample itineraries for 7 days in Italy? Pin it!

Photo collage of the Sassi of Matera, sunset from Ponte Umberto in Rome, Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Ragusa in Sicily and a gondola boat in Venice with text overlay saying "How to spend 7 awesome days in Italy"

Photo collage of the sunset from the Duomo of Milan rooftop, Manarola in Cinque Terre and a gondola boat in front of Rialto Bridge in Venice with text overlay saying "The ultimate Italy 7-day itinerary"

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