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Tips preparing for a backpacking trip through Italy?


I am planning a backpacking trip with my wife to Italy. this trip is very focused on the mainstream places in Italy and some unexplored but very scenic in nature. This trip is for 10 -12 days sometime in October 2015.

Would love to understand what places to visit and how to prepare.



6 Answers

answered by
Cassandra from Long Island (New York)

Hi Shahanawz,

I think everyone did a great job of explaining some wonderful places to visit!

I would also consider  the Amalfi Coast for hiking. There are some wonderful trails along the coast such as the Path of Gods and even some off the beaten path.

While October is a wonderful season here would be my recommendations as to what the weather could be like to better prepare: 

Early-End of October Tuscany and above. Nice average,sunny temperatures. The last week until and through November could be rainy so be prepared for that. 

Amalfi Coast, less crowed and still nice temperatures. Just be sure to visit before mid October, as much of the region will close for the season.

Rome, probably the best time to visit but still purchase tickets in advance for any sights you plan on seeing.

I hope that helps! I often post tips and such on my website/social media so feel free to check that out as well: Travel Italian Style.

Buon Viaggio!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Amalfi Coast (attraction)
  2. Tuscany (state)
  3. Rome (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Gaia from Chicago

Hi Shahnawaz!

There two major paths worth the trip: the Via Francigena ( and Cammino of Francesco in Umbria ( Both pass through major beautiful cities like Florence or Assisi, but they also take you through the beaten path in the countryside of Tuscany and through the Appennines. They aren't crowded and they offer lodging in places like monasteries or private homes.

Safe travels! :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Via Francigena (hotel)
  2. Umbria (attraction)
  3. Florence (city)
  4. Assisi (city)
  5. Tuscany (state)
  6. Appennines (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi Shahnawaz,

I recently visited Italy for the first time and while I didn't go backpacking, I can share insight as to what we saw and how we laid out our trip. You will of course have to account for train time etc. 

Started in the South: 

We made Positano our base, from there we saw the Amalfi CoastNaplesCapriPompei and Mount Vesuvius.

From there we went to Rome - saw the touristy stuff like ColosseoVatican CityRoman Forum and then made sure to make time to visit areas like Roma Trastevere for some great food and more local neighborhood.

From there we headed to Tuscany, stayed in the country side for a more authentic and relaxed experience. I would highly recommend it! From there we saw SienaFlorence, and a few other cities in Tuscany. On our way to Monterosso al Mare we stopped at Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. From Monterosso al Mare we saw and hiked all of Cinque Terre. 

We then headed to Venice for 2 days and our last destination was Comer See. From there we did day trips to Bellagio and Milan as well as a side trip to Lugano.

This took us three weeks, you can always cut off the south park and simply start in Rome, we spent 1 week in the southern part. My favorites were Amalfi Coast, Milan, Lake Como, Cinque Terre and Venice. 



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Positano (city)
  2. Amalfi Coast (attraction)
  3. Naples (attraction)
  4. Capri (city)
  5. Pompei (attraction)
  6. Mount Vesuvius (region)
  7. Rome (city)
  8. Colosseo (attraction)
  9. Vatican City (attraction)
  10. Roman Forum (attraction)
  11. Roma Trastevere (attraction)
  12. Tuscany (state)
  13. Siena (city)
  14. Florence (city)
  15. Monterosso al Mare (city)
  16. Pisa (city)
  17. Leaning Tower of Pisa (attraction)
  18. Monterosso al Mare (city)
  19. Venice (city)
  20. Comer See (attraction)
  21. Bellagio (city)
  22. Milan (city)
  23. Lugano (attraction)
1 thankscomments (3)

answered first by
Roni from Dallas

October is an excellent time to go to Italy. I would recommend 3 days in Rome - that will be sufficient to see the city, main points of interest, etc. - Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Colosseum, Roman ForumVatican City, St. Peter's Basilica, and to explore other neighborhoods, such as Trastevere.  

After, I would choose a home base in Tuscany and then explore from there on day trips. You could stay in Siena and then visit Florence for the day, San Gimignano, Montalcino, Pienza. Amazing natural beauty, great food and wine tasting. 

Another great Tuscan city is Lucca. It's near Pisa and often ignored, but is a great city. You will likely want to visit Venice - I would not spend more than 2 days there- it is beautiful but does not demand more. Lastly, I'd consider Bologna. Great city, lots if history, great food!  

Those are just some thoughts. Would be best to rent a car for Tuscany. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)
  2. Trevi Fountain (attraction)
  3. Piazza Navona (attraction)
  4. Pantheon (attraction)
  5. Colosseum (attraction)
  6. Roman Forum (attraction)
  7. Vatican City (attraction)
  8. St. Peter's Basilica (attraction)
  9. Trastevere (neighborhood)
  10. Tuscany (state)
  11. Siena (city)
  12. Florence (city)
  13. San Gimignano (city)
  14. Montalcino (city)
  15. Pienza (city)
  16. Lucca (city)
  17. Venice (city)
  18. Bologna (city)
1 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Maria from Dublin

There is no better place, imo, for a backpacking trip than Italy. Trains are plentiful, efficient and relatively cheap to use. I backpacked last year for 2 weeks, solo. I flew into Bologna and based there for 3 nights. From there I travelled to Modena and Parma by train. I then moved on to Florence and Sienaand finally took the train to Milan Comer See and Bergamo and flew home from there. Because I kept the areas tight which minimised travel and allowed enough time to really get to see each place, it felt unrushed and relaxing. I travelled in mid-October and the weather was wonderful for the whole trip. Previously I visited Génova and Cinque Terre with Milan, Venice and Verona - all highly recommended. For beautiful scenery the south coast is really lovely too. I recommend that you allow a day to just wander by train and stop in few small towns to experience the Italian way of life and hospitality. Have a great trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bologna (city)
  2. Modena (city)
  3. Parma (city)
  4. Florence (city)
  5. Siena (city)
  6. Milan (city)
  7. Comer See (attraction)
  8. Bergamo (city)
  9. Génova (city)
  10. Cinque Terre (region)
  11. Venice (city)
  12. Verona (city)

answered by
Tina from Livorno, Italy

Hello Shahnawaz, I recommend 4 days in Montecatini Val di Cecina too, it is in the heart of Etruscan Tuscany, in the middle of Tuscany, all arts centers are reachable in less than 2 hours. we have a farm house there


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montecatini Val di Cecina (city)
  2. Tuscany (state)

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