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The Ultimate Two-Week Italy Travel Guide for First Timers

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Lake Como, Italy

I am sooo excited that YOU are here!! If it's your first time traveling to Italy, you've landed on the right page. Let me just start by saying that 2 weeks is NOT enough time for this incredible country, but we are going to do the best we can here. I've jammed as much information as possible about my first trip to 10 of the best cities in Italy, so you can make the most of yours this is ultimate 2 week Italy travel guide!


Things you should know before you go

Language - The main language spoken is Italian.

Currency - The currency in Italy is the Euro. For the older cities, you might want to carry some euros with you, instead of just relying on your credit card.

Plugs - The plugs in Italy are Type C, F, and L. The standard voltage is 230 V - frequency is 50Hz.

Safety - While Italy is a super safe solo travel destination, always keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpockets.

Transportation - For the most part Italy is extremely walkable. You can rent a car but you don't really need one to get around Italy, the train system makes it so easy to get to every city and destination. Besides the high-speed trains are very classy, comfortable, and efficient to work or rest while you travel.

Budget - $70-90 per day/pp - In my honest opinion, Italy is a little pricey for budget travelers. A decent meal can cost anywhere from $20-30 usd. Transportation like trains and ferries can cost anywhere from $30-90usd. Most sites and attractions with an entrance fee can cost about $8-25 usd.



Most people typically fly into Milan Malpensa Airport MXP, and spend a day in the fashion capital of Italy, Milan - which is more than enough time to see the main attractions in this bustling city! To avoid crowds, I highly suggest waking up bright and early and catching a train to the Duomo di Milano.

Duomo di Milano del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy - Open Monday to Sunday (9 am - 7 pm)

I made the mistake of not purchasing tickets online to avoid the super long lines, but you don't have to make that same mistake - which is why I linked the official site to buy tickets here, for you! Make sure you get access to the Terraces, for an impressive close-up view of the gothic arches and architecture of the cathedral.

Photo Inspiration of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy - Open Monday to Sunday (24 hours)

Right next to Duomo di Milano is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the oldest shopping mall in Italy widely- known for its famous glass dome and fine architectural detail. It's one of the most beautiful places to walk around and a great place to start your Italian experience.

After a little exploring and a nice lunch in the city center, it's time to catch the next train out of Milan to Lake Como! Take a 2-hour train ride into this fairytale destination.


Lake Como, also known as Lago di Como is one of Italy's largest lakes at the foot of the Alps. If you are traveling from Milan and catching a train into Lake Como, I suggest using the rest of the evening to check into your hotel, freshen up, and head out for a stroll into the city for a nice Italian dinner.

Start Day 2, bright and early by catching the ferry to each village. For more information about the public and private boat tours, click here. The tours are provided by Navigazione Laghi - you can either purchase the tickets online or stand in line at the ferry dock to purchase tickets.

Map of Navigazione Laghi Course in Lake Como

TRAVEL TIP: Consider the times that the ferries make each trip to each village and their last trip back to Como, if you are not on the ferry by the last stop, it will be very difficult to get back to Como! The bus services also stop running very early in the day and the Ubers are extremely expensive and very few are willing to make the drive back to Como from any of the villages.

1 day is not enough for the Traghetto Corse! I highly suggest booking 1-2 nights in one of the small villages and taking your time to enjoy and explore Lake Como, without rushing back.

We made the mistake of thinking we could do the whole route in a day and we completely missed our ferry back to Como.

Villa Carlotta

Via Regina, 2, 22016 Tremezzina CO, Italy

At the Tremezzo, make sure to visit Villa Carlotta to visit one of the most romanticized botanical gardens for about $16 usd. This is located right in front of the ferry dock about a block away. Make sure to check their site here, for open season and times, as it does vary!

Lake Como view from a ferry - Italy aesthetic photos


Once you've stopped at 2-3 of these destinations, you might start to feel like you've seen one, you've seen them all. However, Bellagio is one of the destinations you just can't miss! Just make sure you are ready for narrow staircases up and down these majestic hills, only to stumble upon some of the prettiest walkways and jaw-dropping views from the top.

Vernazza in Lake Como


I didn't get much time to explore Varenna, but as the ferry pulled up, it was truly nothing short of another fairytale location in Lake Como. Make sure to visit Villa Monasterio, Villa Cipressi, and take a stroll down Lover's Walk, a romantic pathway along the waterfront covered in greenery.


Venice, the "city of love" or the "floating city" as many people know it, is only a 5-hour train ride from Lake Como. If you get on the train really early in the morning, you can avoid tons of people traveling and you get more time to explore this city. I say you only need 1-2 days to make the most of your time here.

Travel Tip: Download Google Maps or grab a Venice Map from the train station, the streets are like a maze and it's very easy to get lost here.


Here are some of the best locations in Venice, Italy:

+ Rialto Bridge

+ Bridge of Sighs

+ Dodge's Palace at St. Marks Square

+ Ponte Degli Scalzi - Scalzi Bridge

+ Scala Contarini Del Bovolo

Yellow building with greenery in Venice, Italy

Venetian Lagoons

If you have an extra day to spare, I would dedicate a day trip to the Venetian Lagoons. You can catch a water bus right in front of the train station for a 40-minute ride to the lagoons where you can stop at these two destinations:

Glass horse made in Murano, Italy


Murano is well known for its glass factories, where you can get an up-close look at the glass-blowing craftsmanship for free! You can visit several glass factories and laboratories to learn more about the long history, quality, and process of this unique art.

Colorful houses in Burano, Italy


Burano is just a 30-minute ride from Murano. It's traditionally known for the art of lacemaking, but today we know it to be one of the most instagrammable spots in Venice, Italy. It's also referred to as "Rainbow Island", because of its many many colorful homes. Locals say that the misty fog is so heavy in the morning, fishermen have trouble finding their own homes, so they painted the exteriors bright colors to make them more recognizable.


Take a high-speed train from Venice to Florence and arrive in just 2 hours. My main goal, arriving to this city was to try the famous Florentine steak, and let me tell you - it did NOT disappoint!

I think 1 day to walk around Florence is more than enough time. In this Itinerary, I made it for 2 days, so that you can take a day trip to see the leaning tower of Pisa!

Duomo di Firenze in Florence, Italy

Duomo di Firenze

One of the most impressive UNESCO world heritage sites, making Florence one of those cities you just can't miss on your first trip! The building is so immense and unbelievable. I found myself spending a whole afternoon eating in small restaurants around it, reading and drinking coffee all around it and still didn't get tired of admiring every aspect of this incredible sight.

Merry go round in Florence Italy

Piazza della Repubblica

Captured in motion mode with my Google Pixel Pro. This famous merry-go-round can be found at the Piazza della Repubblica square close to a lot of great shops and places to eat. It's very artistic and unique place to put an attraction in the middle of the city, don't ya think?

Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Uffizi Gallery

If you love paintings, sculptures and all things art, stop by this 3 story gallery. You can also find a lot of artists all around the building. Creative inspiration is in the air in Florence with artist in every corner of the city.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio

You can't go to Florence without making it past the unique Ponte Vecchio Bridge near Palazzo Pitti. Constructed during medieval times (1345) and still standing strong with small jewelry stores and art shops built into it. It's a big tourist attraction on a small narrow bridge, so try to visit earlier in the day to avoid the large crowds.


Take a high-speed train from Florence to La Spezia and arrive in 2 hours. I highly recommend staying 1-2 nights here if you can make some room in your itinerary!! I completely regret not spending more time visiting these unbelievably beautiful five (cinque) seaside villages. To this day it's the most incredible destination I've ever been to.

Girl in red dress in front of Riomaggore in Cinque Terre, Italy


I'm sure you recognize this famous instagrammable location! This should be your first stop if you are trying to take beautiful photos or your last stop to catch the best sunset view you will ever experience on the coast of Italy!

Buildings on the coast of Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy


This is easily my favorite town! If you look closely, you can see everyone cliff-jumping and swimming. It's the most perfect way to spend the day. I'm coming back here for that European Summer! I can see it now - going for a cool swim, basking in the sun, swimming up for a little bruschetta and wine, and ending the day with a delicious gelato. If you choose to stay a night at Cinque Terre, make sure to stay in Manarola!

View of buildings on the coast of Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy


This town gets tons of visitors because of it's port and pretty houses. The hiking trails from one village to another were closed at the time that I visited, but according to locals, you can hike from one town to the next. If you have time to spare, try to hike to the top of the hills for a beautiful view of Vernazza.

Clear beachwater on Monterosso in Cinque Terre, Italy


This is a beach lover's paradise with the clearest blue waters you'll ever see. The beach is public, but if you're looking to get some beach chairs you may have to pay for them.


Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of Corniglia! 🥹 I regrettably thought Cinque Terre was a one-day trip type of adventure. But it certainly takes more than one day to be able to explore all 5 of these incredible towns. I guess you will have to send me photos from your trip! This is why I suggest 2 days to see all of Cinque Terre without running out of time to catch the trains.

DAY 10-11:ROME

Take a high-speed train from La Spezia to Rome and arrive in 4 hours to the "Eternal City." You can't go to Italy without visiting the capital and all that it has to offer. I only planned to stay in this city for 2 days, but I do recommend staying an additional day or two to really experience all of the ancient sites and vast museums.


This should be number one on your list! It's one thing to see the Colosseum in photos and it's a whole different story to experience this ancient site in person. It's essential to get your ticket online so that you don't have to get in the crazy long lines. I purchased mine with Get Your Guide and walked right in.

Photo spot in front of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy


It seems unreal that these ancient sites still exist today. The Pantheon was built in 25 B.C. and is still standing before us today. The line to get in starts extremely early, and goes around the block! But it's a quick-moving line and it doesn't take each person more than 20 minutes to get in and out. As of 2023, the entrance fee for visitors is 5 euros, and free for residents.

Photo infront of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain

This is the one place where you have to wake up at 5am or earlier just to take a good photo close enough to the fountain without anyone else in your photo. At any other given time, there's about 500+ people surrounding the fountain. Goodluck trying to throw a coin in there!


Welcome to the city of Lemons! 🍋 This quiet little city in Southern Italy is famous for it's lemons and limoncello. The ferrries here take you to Naples, Positano, and Capri.

Roads on the side of a mountain with a view of the ocean in Sorrento, Italy


You can easily visit all of the most beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast by taking the ferry from Sorrento. This can be done as a day trip, but it's much better to stay along the coast and then make your way back to Sorrento to catch the train back to your airport at the end of the trip.

Girl taking aesthetic photo in Positano, Italy

Coast of Positano, Italy


Positano is one of the most popular towns on the Amalfi Coast, because of it's colorful buildings, beautiful beaches, fun beach clubs, rooftop bars, winding roads up the coast, and luxury villas. The best way to get here is taking a 2-hour ferry from Sorrento. There is a lot to see and enjoy here, so I would suggest staying a night or even two if you have some flexibility with your trip. From here you can catch a ferry to the historic Amalfi town.

Italy Beach on the coast of Amalfi


This is the historic town of the Amalfi coast where most people visit the well-known St. Andrew's Cathedral or Duomo di Amalfi as most people call it now. If you love art, history and food, you'll be sure to get a great day out of Amalfi as you walk through the streets trying some of the best seafood, bruschettas, and limoncellos.

Sorrento, Italy Coastline

I've been to 25 countries so far and if I could pick a place to live in, it would be Italy. You just have to jump on a train or ferry to the next city, and it feels like you are in a completely different world. Every city has its own incredible destinations. Italy is unlike any other country and I can't wait to go back to share more amazing destinations from this country.

Let me know in the comments, which city was your favorite. Please add any feedback that you think would be useful for your trip to help me create better guides for future travelers.


All of the images in this blog post were captured by yours truly, please do not use them without my permission.

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