Perfect itineraries for Italy's cities

How to spend the perfect 1, 2, or 3 days in Rome, Florence, or Venice

Of course, you could easily spend a full two-week vacation just in one of Italy's major destinations and not even come close to seeing it all. (I've spent about four years of my life in Rome and feel like have barely scratched the surface.) And maybe that's just what you have in mind, which is why I've compiled lists of top sights and such to help you craft your own week or two in Rome, Florence, or Venice.

However, if you're trying to cram the best of each city into just a day or three, I can help. Here's how to spend one, two, or three days in each of Italy's major cities.

Tips & links

Consider guided day tours

One of the easiest ways to pack as much sightseeing in as possible to to take guided day tours—perhaps a walking tour of Ancient Rome with an archaeologist, or a guided visit to the Uffizi in Florence, or a gondola tour of Venice:

Don't overplan

I will freely admit to being as guilty as anyone of this, but: Please try not to overplan your trip to Italy. That's a two-fold plea:

  1. Plan everything, but don't feel compelled to stick to the plan. I think it's a fine idea to work out all the details of what you plan to do—if nor no other reason than it will help you get a handle of what you are able to get done, and start making the hard choices of what you have time for and what you should leave for the next trip to Italy. (Always assume you will retrun!)

    But then do not book absolutely every second in advance (that leaves no room to adjust things as you go to accommodate changing interests, sudden festivals, or unexpected invitations), and please do not attempt to stick to the schedule if it turns out to be overly ambitious and startrs making you miserable.

    Rememeber Clark W. Griswold, the Chevy Chase dad in the Vacation movies, always bound and detemrined to get to WallyWorld come hell or dead aunties? Yeah, don't be that guy. No one in that family was having any fun.

  2. Don't try to pack too much in. A vacation is not meant to be all about checking sights off a list or dashing from place to place to fit in as much as humanly possible. It's about enjoying yourself.

    So do that. Enjoy yourself. Take a hint from the Italian concept of la bel far' niente—the beauty of doing nothing—and take a break from the sightseeing every once in a while.

    Leave some time to stop and sip the cappuccino.
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