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Italy, Venice, Florence, Rome

Italy in a week, is it possible?!

A friend and I are planning a week long trip in May for Italy. We want to go to Naples, Florence, Milan, Rome, Venice, Verona but we have to go to Celico (way south) to visit my friend's family. We obviously cannot go to all these cities but we Rome and Venice are on the definite list. Student budget so the cheapest possible. 

Where is the best city to fly into? Which cities do we HAVE to see and how long do we need to stay there. We are very overwhelmed and need some guidance to start off.

Afterwards we have to make our way to Germany for a conference. 

13 Answers

answered by
Crystal from Anchorage

Hello Caitlin,

Trying to figure out the best way to spend your week in Italy is probably very challenging! With so many great cities, cultural sites, beaches, mountains, and of course wine and food, I can see where you are getting overwhelmed!

The first thing I recommend is to realize you will enjoy almost anywhere you go in Italy! So don't worry about not picking the "perfect" spots. You will see a lot of great things and have a good time no matter where you are in the country! Try to pick a couple of key places that are calling to you and make the most out of your time there, instead of spending all of your time in trains or buses. 

With that being said, do you include the visit to your friend's family in Celico in that week amount of time? If so, don't cut your time short with them! Visiting with them could be the highlight of your trip, a chance to sample authentic regional home cooking and a look into the local culture. So many travelers would love to have that experience and it's not something just any tourist can get. Plus if that's something you must do, it's a good idea to plan your trip with that in mind.

Naples might be the most logical choice to fly into, but keep in mind that it will still take you around 5 hours on buses/trains to get to Celico from there. Palermo on Sicily is another flight option, but it will take you 8 hours or so to get to Celico from there. From Celico it would also take you 8 hours to travel to Rome as well. I just point these out to impress on you that it does take some time to get from place to place.

For the sake of argument let's say you fly into Venice and spend two nights there. Next you could take a train to Rome, about 4 hours away, and spend two nights there. Then take a train to Naples and stay one night. Continue by train and bus to Celico for a couple nights before returning to Naples to fly out.

This in my opinion would be way too rushed, and not that enjoyable. It is possible, but just not my recommendation.

If I were you I would fly in and out of Naples and just spend time there and Celico. If I had the chance to have a true Italian experience with a local family I would definitely do it! Another thing I would do is have your friend contact her family and ask what they recommend doing in the area. There are so many awesome things in the area that are completely under the tourist radar. I would save my tourist time for Naples.

I hope I didn't squish your dreams of seeing all of Italy in a week! You will just have to go back again sometime in the future. Until then feel free to ask me more questions in the comment box below or email me.

Happy travels!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)
  2. Naples (city)
  3. Celico (attraction)
  4. Palermo (city)
  5. Rome (city)
  6. Venice (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Beatrice from Venice

Hi Caitlin,

you can see Venice in one day (if you don't want to see any museum or the Doge's Palace at all and only have a walk around the city) or even stay 3/4 nights or more. It depends on what and how much you'd like to see.

In case you wanna visit the islands (Burano, Murano, Torcello, Sant'Erasmo), you have to consider that it will take you at least one day to see them (depending on whether you wanna visit the churches or other museums on those islands too or not).

Venice is not a very big city, means you can also visit without taking the waterbus at all (you only need it for the islands). 

A 1day- tourist travel card including the bus, the tram and the waterbus (in Venice, Lido and Mestre mailand - attention: the bus from the airport to Mestre or Venice is not included and has to be bought apart) costs €20. You probably have the possibility, though, to buy the Rolling Venice Card (here: - just choose "tourist travel card" in the menu): it costs 26€ for 3 days (including bus, tram and waterbus; NOT the bus from Venice Marco Polo Airport though).

It's definitely easier to stay in a hotel or B&B in Venice, but as you are on a budget you could also consider to stay in Mestre (try to stay near the city center of Mestre near Piazza Erminio Ferretto as all buses and the tram to Venice pass there) - restaurants/supermarkets are also cheaper in Mestre than in Venice.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Doge's Palace (attraction)
  2. Venice Marco Polo Airport (attraction)
  3. Piazza Erminio Ferretto (attraction)

answered by
Giorgia from Padua, Italy

Hello Caitlin!!

I come from near Venice, Padua, and I can say that if you're flying to Italy you can't miss Venice!! It's an amazing city, it seems to be unreal :) there you can try the "gondola", the typical boat, to go around the "canali" rivers.. If you like fish there are also lots of delicious restaurant!

Then I would suggest you Province of Florence!! It's different from Venice, but it's very interesting too. There's a lot to do and to see, especially there's a lot of art everywhere!! :)

When I went to Florence last year I used a very useful website, it helped me to book a very nice B&B but also experiences!! I tried the cooking class and the vineyards tour! It was an amazing week end!! 

Have a nice holiday and enjoy Italy :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice (city)
  2. Province of Florence (metro area)

answered by
Peter from Bloomington (Indiana)

I did an 8-day Italy trip with my son a few years ago. I can share my itinerary, but I will say we left with the feeling of having crammed too many sites into too short a timespan.

  1. Flew into Venice, spent two days.
  2. Train to Florence, two days.
  3. Drove from Florence, with stops in San GimignanoSiena and Orvieto, ending up in Rome, all in one day. This was nuts. Biggest regret: Siena is worth several days by itself. I will one day take my wife there and use Siena as a base for trips to various Tuscan hill towns.
  4. Two days in Rome, second night, train to Naples.
  5. One day Naples to Pompei.
  6. Flew back from Naples.

Every stop was worth it (although San Gimignano is annoyingly tourist-infested, and you wouldn't regret limiting your time there to a few hours). 

You'll love Venice, would not be ridiculous if you decided to skip it this trip and save it for another visit with someone with whom you are romantically involved. Venice is that kind of place. (Oh lord, is it.)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Venice (city)
  2. Florence (city)
  3. San Gimignano (attraction)
  4. Siena (attraction)
  5. Orvieto (attraction)
  6. Rome (city)
  7. Naples (attraction)
  8. Pompei (attraction)

answered by
Brenda from Canada

If I were taking this trip I would fly into an airport closest to Cilicio Arduino, Fios e Cabos Celicio (Lamezia) and then make my way to Rome and then Venice. That's probably all you would have time for if you just have a week. Then you can fly out of Marco Polo airport near Venice to get a short flight to Germany. Tip there is a bus that goes right from Venice to the airport. We took it just this past October it was very convient. Hope this was helpful.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cilicio Arduino, Fios e Cabos (attraction)
  2. Rome (city)
  3. Venice (city)

answered by
Polly from Washington, DC

I'm going to say no, especially if there's family to visit. Even my high school euro-trip, the sort infamous for spending only a few days in each place, took seven days to do *just* Venice, Florence, and Rome.You've got a city a day listed above and travel time would eat up at least half of every day. Even cutting that list in half still wouldn't give you enough time to enjoy each city. I'd suggest skipping Venice this time and focusing on southern Italy since it's a non-negotiable. If you can get a ticket flying into Naples and out of Rome for a reasonable price, I'd do that. Otherwise, in and out of Rome would be simplest.

I'd spend one day in Rome - maybe Vatican City, if that appeals to you - before heading south. I'd start in Celico (which looks beautiful, by the way) and let your friend's family feed you, take care of you, and show you around. Then I'd head up to Naples, but I'd focus on the Amalfi Coast and Pompei and Herculaneum rather than the city itself. Finally, I'd return to Rome and spend my last two days sightseeing there.

Italy north of Rome is amazing too, but it deserves more time than you've got this trip. It would also be cheaper to save those cities for their own trip. Still, if your heart is set on Venice, I's split the trip between Celico, Rome, and Venice and resist the urge to go anywhere else. If you do go to Venice, stay in the city overnight to get the full effect. More expensive, but worthwhile.

Have an amazing time! Italy is wonderful.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Naples (city)
  2. Rome (city)
  3. Vatican City (attraction)
  4. Celico (attraction)
  5. Amalfi Coast (attraction)
  6. Pompei (attraction)
  7. Herculaneum (attraction)

answered by
Scott from San Francisco

It's possible.  Won't be that enjoyable though because you'll be spending a lot of time traveling in between destinations.  Even though train rides are not that long, getting to and from the train stations, with luggage etc. eats up time.  So if you want a whirlwind where you see the major sites and don't experience the "feel" of Italy, then it can be done.  That said, there are some ways to cut down your time.  I'll be honest, Rome is a must because the historic sites are lifetime bucket list items, BUT, but I am not a big fan of Rome (and I know many people share that opinion) so spend as little time as possible - this will buy you some extra time other places.  You can see almost every major monument in a day (or two if you want to do longer form as some places) - ColosseumPantheonSpanish StepsVatican Museums.  Rome is close enough to Naples and Florence via express trains but they're opposite directions to one another.  Florence is a must visit, and worth a couple days.  Naples, is worth a day - go see Mount Vesuvius for 2/3 of a day, then eat some famous pizza and go back to Rome, or spend the night and leave the following morning.  Venice is worth two days if not three.  The travel aspect of getting there on the other hand is what makes the journey a bit tricky as it'll eat up a lot of time in transit.  As for Milan, it's far when time is of the essence. It's a short flight, but getting to and from the airport eats up your time, so a 3 hour train ride is probably more efficient.  Again, make sure you take the high speed trains.  The rail system is good, but navigating your bookings is very tricky.  Good luck.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rome (city)
  2. Colosseum (attraction)
  3. Pantheon (attraction)
  4. Spanish Steps (attraction)
  5. Vatican Museums (attraction)
  6. Naples (city)
  7. Florence (city)
  8. Mount Vesuvius (region)
  9. Venice (city)

answered by
Sara from Florence

Possible, of course. Suggested? I don't know, there are so many things to see! :D

Anyway if you don't have more time I would choose one, two or all three main art towns (Florence, Rome, Venice), as other suggested, and, depending on the season, a small town just to have a feeling of real Italy and not just a touristic showcase.

For winter I would head to the north, Veneto, Trentino that offer the best view on the Alps and you can eat delicious mountain food, and can also be a good starting point to go to Germany afterwards. In Summertime I would choose Puglia or Tuscany for the marvellous sea they have.

Have a good trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florence (city)
  2. Rome (city)
  3. Venice (city)
  4. Veneto (attraction)
  5. Trentino (attraction)
  6. Puglia (attraction)
  7. Tuscany (state)

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

I would fly into Naples. With one week and a family visit near Calabria that is at least 2 and 1/2 days including train. I would visit Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii or Capri and that will still be rushed.  


You are young and can save your coins for another trip on the cheap. Since you will have seen the south, you can do Rome, Florence and Venice on another trip....or two.

answered by
Jaclyn from Angelika Film Center & Cafe

Milan is typically the cheapest city to fly into. While the city is having a moment, I wouldn't spend much time here if budget is a concern. Fly in, and depending on when you arrive, you can take the train to Venice right away (or you may need an overnight in Milan). Spend two nights in Venice (make sure to go to Murano island to get authentic glass since much elsewhere is knocked off). Then take the train to Florence. Spend two nights in Florence. It's a bummer to not have more time here so you can also see the Tuscan countryside, but alas, you are on a budget. This is my favorite part of the whole country.

Next, take the train down to Rome. Stay in young Trastevere neighborhood. Lots of cool Airbnbs and boutique hotels. Spend 2 nights here. You need to allow a half day to cover the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Try to arrange a tour in the morning. 

You're at six nights now so I'm not sure how much more you can do. I guess you can go straight to your family and then take a domestic flight back up to Milan. 

Naples is wonderful but there's a ton more to do in that region. Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, etc. I would save this region for another visit. 

Hope this helps! 

answered by
Sean from Hudson Valley

Hello Caitlin,

The itinerary you've laid out is ambitious, to say the least.  You can probably do it, but I'm not sure how much you actually see.  Oh, you may see the highlights, but I can't help but feel that you probably won't really get a feel for the places you wish to visit.

Since you "have to go to Celico", you might want to consider concentrating you time in the southern section of the peninsula.  Rome, Naples, Celico and Florence would be far more reasonable, both in terms of time and finances. 

Milan is a beautiful city, but a pricey one.  Depending on when you're traveling, Venice can get crowded very quickly, and the "student" accommodations are the first to fill up. 

The sad truth is, you rarely have time to see everything you want.  You need to travel with the attitude, "I'll be back."  So you might want to save Venice, Verona and Milan for another day.

Rome is probably the most logical pace to fly into just due to the volume.  When time and money are tight (and often when they're not) I do my traveling on overnight trains.  You save the cost of a room, and wake up in a new location, ready to roll.

You mentioned at the end of your question that you need to head to Germany at the end of your week in Italy.  Consider on of the discount airlines that fly out of Rome, and into Germany.  Ryanair, Air Berlin, EZ Jet and Germanwings all service Rome.  You may find an airfare for less money than traveling by train, and it will unquestionably be quicker.

answered by
Roberta from Reggio di Calabria

Hi Caitlin! 

I can say that is hard to visit so many italian cities in an only week, so I suggest you to keep your week to visit the South or the North of Italy (you should make a choice..).

You can fly to Fiumicino Airport, visit Rome (that you definitely have to see one time in your life...!) and then go by train to the North. I can reccommend you the city of Florence which deserves a visit because is the "cradle of Renaissance", with so many important masterpieces and the most known museums all over the world.

I'm from the South of Italy, but I haven't suggest you this area because for me is better to see this when you've more time, to enjoy the special air of relax, lemons and oranges, and the amazing beaches we have!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fiumicino Airport (attraction)
  2. Florence (city)

answered by
Maria from Dublin

Hi Caitlin,

One thing's for sure, when you visit Italy you will want to return! I would suggest it's best to fly into Rome or Naples, spend a few days in either city, visit your friends in Celico and spend the rest of your week in the south. Italy is quite a big country and the places you want to see are, for the most part, a long way from Celico and Calabria. A second option would be to fly into Bologna and spend a couple of days in Florence and Siena before taking the train from there to Celico maybe stopping off for a night in Naples on the way. It's going to be rushed if you try to take on too much travel, so concentrate on one or two places and enjoy them. Italy has a way of drawing you back! Spend longer next time.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Florence (city)
  2. Siena (attraction)
  3. Celico (attraction)
  4. Naples (city)

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