Who doesn’t love Italy? Famous for the best gelato in the world and brick oven pizza, the warm and welcoming mentality of the locals, little towns rich of history and artful architecture and not to forget – the beautiful beaches all around the coastline of the country with the probably most iconic shape on the world map.
These are just a few of many reasons that come to mind when thinking of one of the most charming mediterranean countries in Europe. No wonder Italy gets voted under the top three holiday destinations in the world over and over again.
Well, for Swiss people it’s definitely a nice privilege to have such a beautiful neighbor, especially as we don’t have a sea and beaches and it’s pretty close to get there. But even if you’re from somewhere a little further away, it’s a destination you definitely will enjoy with all your senses and I bet it will not be the last time your choice for holidays.
So here we go: Your itinerary for two picture perfect weeks of “la dolce vita” in bella Italia.
Where to start our travel journey better than in the capital of Italy? A city so rich of historical and architectural background that it makes every explorer heart beat faster. From the worldfamous Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon, the bucketlist could be overloaded by interesting sights to see in Rome. But no worries it’s definitely doable to see the most spectacular places and even build in some free time lingering around the nice bars and restaurants in the evening.
One of the advantages when traveling in Rome is that most main attractions are pretty close to each other. Personally I did everything by foot, which made me feel less bad eating pizza all day. But of course there’s a good bus system running if you don’t want to walk all the way. One of the disadvantages of visiting Rome is – well, it’s Rome, a tourist hot spot. So for this reason I’d recommend you to start your day early with the morning sun and when all the crowds are coming you can already make your way to a nice restaurant and enjoy the rest of the day with a good glas of wine.
Spending time in Florence is an utterly unique experience! The capital of Tuscany is still so well maintained that many buildings almost look like 500 years ago, during the age of Renaissance. You will feel drawn back in time to a place where people still used to write their letters with ink on handmade paper and art was sold by vendors on the street. Many stalls offer their handcrafted products or leather goods like books, bags, belts or famous regional delicacies. Generally if you like charming old towns with cobbled streets, architectural design, cute boutique shops and taverns around every corner this is your place! Although the main landmark, that makes Florence so picturesque, is of course the beautiful Duomo. With the elegant pink, white and green marbled facade it makes the heart of the city center, which is, by the way, entirely an Unesco World Heritage site. Getting there from Rome takes you about 3 hours by car or bus and 1.20 hours by direct train.
Even though it’s not a secret to tourists anymore Siena feels like something very special and you cannot help yourself but fall in love with the Gothic old town immediately as you make your first step into it. The big central piazza Il Campo is ideally to soak in the sunshine, watch people passing by, or eat at one of the many restaurants there. Take a closer look at the Duomo as it is very unique and worth seeing from inside. The church is in Gothic style with white and dark green stripes and showcases works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Pinturicchio and Duccio.
With just about an hour and a half by car or bus Siena makes the perfect day trip from Florence. It’s easy to see all attractions in one day, but if you want to indulge a little longer you won’t go wrong with two days either.
Pisa or Cinque Terre
These two cities are another nice option for your itinerary. Both are also easy accessible by bus or train departing from Florence. Pisa is perfect for a one day trip. Pisas leaning tower without a doubt is what makes this city so famous. If you are free from fear of heights it’s highly recommended to climb up the tower.
Cinque Terre therefore is something pretty different than what you have visited so far. It’s a place of five little colorful coastal towns which are embedded into dramatic cliffs directly next to the turquoise sea. Once being fishing communities the five villages were able to maintain their authentic beauty until today. There are many nice trails and hiking routes you can do with plenty of bars and restaurants along the way.
Bologna is famous for being a university and industrial town. What will catch your eyes immediately here are the red terracotta buildings and the many arcaded streets. It’s a nice little town to enjoy some of the best gastronomical experiences, dine in hipster restaurants or take a drink in a cool bar. The city is very compact, so one day should be enough time to enjoy all the good sights. If you decide to visit Cinque Terre then I would suggest to skip Bologna and better enjoy the coastal towns a little longer.
Venice is like out of a fairytale book or a movie. It somehow feels like a little universe of its own. There are very mixed opinions out there about Venice, some love it while some say it’s overrated, so I admit I was a little skeptical. But now having been there I can definitely say it’s true what they tell… make sure you have seen this place before there’s just a story remaining starting with “once upon a time…”. The city is really very picturesque and not as bad smelling as many might tell.
Venice easily can be seen in one day. There’s pretty much nothing to do wrong than just follow one of the little streets along the Canale Grande and in the end you will get to the St. Marks Basilica. Enjoy some nice view out on the blue sea and then take a ferry or the water taxi back to Venice Mestre. If you plan to stay two days in and around Venice, you will enjoy spending the second of it in Murano. The little neighbor island next to Venice is where the world known Murano glass is coming from.
Our last stop goes to Milan the city of fahion and trendsetters. From little stores to luxury brands, everything is here. But there’s more to do than just admiring the perfectly styled Italian people, the beautiful Duomo or the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. What many don’t know is that you also can take in a lot of history and art instead of fashion. Visit the Sforzesco Castle where you can see Michelangelo’s last masterpiece in one of many interesting exhibition halls. Or visit the Cimitero Monumentale. I know why going to a Cemetery. But this one is very impressive believe me. Many tombstones are real artworks, there are chapels, sculptures and greek temples and the underground graves all very fascinating.
Now we are at the end of our little adventure to Italy. If you now instantly want to start planning your own trip, I give you just some last tip regarding the best season:
April – June or September – October.
The temperature is a lot more moderate, places less crowded and you get lower prices. I hope you enjoyed this article and got excited to explore Italy on your own. 🇮🇹❤️