1 week before my First Trip to Italy: Itinerary Critique

I saw the 27 comments in the other post I made and I am really grateful for all the help. Here is my final Italy itinerary. You will notice large sections of my trip to Rome are devoted to just being in the neighborhoods.

August 7th: Milan
Arrive at 10
10-12 Rest, Check-in, Eat.
12-3 Duomo and its museum
4-5 Sforza Castle
5-6 Brera Art Galllery
6-8 Hang out at the Galleria VE
Nightlife: Still don't know about Milan nighlife

August 8th: Florence
10-12 Get situated.
12-2 Wander Florence
2-3 Duomo, and its Museum
3-4 Bargello
4-5 Michaelangelo's House
5-7 Santa Croce
7-12 Walk around, look for a restaurant. Nightlife in Florence suggestions?

August 9th Florence
9-10 Accademia (Reservations made)
10-11 Medici Chapels
11-12 Museum of San Marco
12-2:30 Lunch, Wander, finish what I couldn't from Morning
2:30-4:30 Uffizi (Reservations made)
5-7 Science Museum, Pitti Palace
7-12, See previous day. Really need help with Florence nightlife.

August 10th Rome
12-7 Ancient Rome
7-9 Jewish Ghetto and Tiber Island
9-12 Nightlife: Night Walk Across Rome

August 11th Rome
8-10 Free
10-1 Trastevere
1-7 Vatican
7-8 Aventine Hill
8-10 Testaccio
Nightlife: Monte Testaccio

August 12th Rome
8-10 Free
10-12 Borghese
12-1 National Museum
1-3 Wander Campo de Fiori
3-7 Wander Navona, Castel St. Angelo, Pantheon
7-10 Tridente
10-12 TBD

Posted by SamSn
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
1127 posts

I can't imagine having my itinerary planned down to how much time I'm going to spend at each sight. Italy is all about slowing down and enjoying life. Have fun!

Posted by RD
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
79 posts

It seems like it is really controlled, but I am just trying to give a rough idea of time. Especially because I have reservations at some places and need to get to other places before they close.

I may opt to skip certain things when I am there.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
20940 posts


It looks like you have everything planned in great detail, but you may find that it's difficult to keep on a schedule that precise. I normally make a list on my Itinerary of all the sites I want to see in a particular city, with a note on open/closed days, etc. Each day I just "pick" something off the list (whatever looks most appealing to me that day). If I don't get to a particular site, it gets added to the list for next visit.

Florence night life suggestions - I usually enjoyed the local restaurants from about 17:00-20:00 and then went to Piazza della Reppublica (as I recall). There were always lots of street entertainers there, and some of them were really good! A few times I ended up at a local sidewalk cafe with people from the Hotel, just enjoying some local wine and the atmosphere. My suggestion - don't plan too much for night life, just "play it by ear". If you want night clubs or whatever, ask the Hotel staff - they'll know the best spots.

You might also enjoy the short Bus ride that goes up to Fiesole. It's a beautiful area. You didn't mention visiting the Ponte Vecchio - it's a great photo op at night.

Rome - regarding the Borghese Gallery, you didn't mention whether you had made reservations. These are compulsory, and you must show up at the assigned time. Note also that visitors must check all bags, daypacks, etc. and are limited to no more than two hours in the Museum.

Trastevere is a wonderful and vibrant area (as are most of the neighborhoods of Rome). Visiting in the evening is a great time to enjoy the sidewalk Cafes, etc.

Buon Viaggio!

Posted by Patrick, Arkansas
Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA
606 posts

My goodness, too much. Way too much. With only a week there, just enjoy being in Italy. Don't spend all your time trying to get from site to site. Kick back, put your feet up, sip a coffee or wine and watch the people. Look at the buildings. Talk to your traveling companions.

Save some of those sites for your next trip. And, don't worry, there WILL be a next trip.

-- A L T E R N A T E P O S I T I O N --

RD, what's with all this free time? With a little planning I know you can also work San Gimignano and Orvieto into your itinerary ;-)

Posted by George
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
205 posts

In Milan, through the big Piazza across from the Castle is a restaurant called La Braciole (see Rick's book). It was moderate in price, very good food with generous portions... we sat looking at a garden. It is a few doors down a side street. George Werner

Posted by Cait
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
104 posts

In Florence, nothing beats Piazza Michaelangelo around sunset. My friend and I hiked up there every night we were in Florence with a bottle of wine, and watched the city light up at night. The photo ops are great, the Piazza is filled with people, and walking the crumbling stairs at midnight after half a bottle of wine is always an experience! LOL

Seriously though, you get the same view of Florence from the Piazza as you would from the top of the Duomo, except that it is free, and you can actually see the Duomo!

Have fun!

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

RD, you're doing fine. We too had a spreadsheet that mapped out everything we were going to do. The primary purpose of the spreadsheet was to carefully document where we would be each evening and when we would be traveling. We carefully matched our tickets and reservations to be sure the dates were correct. The detail of what we would do was in the plan but that part was flexible. As it turned out, we did everything on the spreadsheet but it wasn't in the time and order that was on the plan. It was OK. The spreadsheet was great and well worth the effort.

Posted by Lauren
Seattle, WA
297 posts

RD, I agree with Larry, it's fine to put down everything you're interested in, but then you don't need to be a slave to it. I'd be prepared to highlight the things above that mean the most to you, and possibly do those early in the day to make sure you get them in. You may easily find that you want to linger. (For instance, you may find that the National Museum is worth more than an hour (personal taste) but then you could cut down one of the following "wander" times.)

Go for it and adjust en route! Enjoy --

Posted by Lexma
567 posts

You will probably end up dropping things out of your Milan schedule. Which items are the most important to you?

I think you have 10-12 to rest, check-in and eat. Many restaurants won't open until noon. In the area of the Duomo, there are many lovely outdoor cafes. Nearby via Dante is a good location for cafes, and no so overpriced as the places closer to the Duomo. Hmmm. What's in the Duomo museum? We didn't visit it. Leave less than 3 hours for Duomo & museum, but that's about right if you're also having lunch then.

Sforza Castle is a collection of several different museums. Are you intended to visit the museums, or just wander around the outside? The outside is nice; there's a pleaseant little park behind the castle. If you enjoy sculpture, then definitely take the time to visit the sculpture museum - there's an unfinished Michelangelo there.

By Brera Art Gallery, if you mean the Pinacoteca di Brera, you need to leave more time for it. It will take a while to get to it, it's a little out of the way - though in a really cute neighborhood; you should leave some time to wander around, or have a drink at a cafe in the area. Most people, I think, would spend more than 1 hour at the actual gallery.

In Florence, I don't think you'll get to everything you have listed. Make a "short-list" of the places you REALLY want to see (IMO, Accademia, Uffizi, Bargello, and Medici Chapels only if you really like Michelangelo. I enjoyed Michelangelo's house very much; the square outside is a good place to sit and have a drink. There are always tons of younger people hanging out in the piazza of the Duomo in the evening.

Posted by Mary
Dayton, OH, US
8 posts

Flexibility is definitely the key to a lovely time in Italy ~ buon viaggio e buona fortuna!

Posted by David
Rochester, Minnesota, USA
250 posts

August 10th Rome 12-7 Ancient Rome 7-9 Jewish Ghetto (unless your going to eat and go into every shop in the ghetto 2 hours is more than OK) and Tiber Island 9-12 Nightlife: Night Walk Across Rome
August 11th Rome 8-10 Free 10-1 Trastevere (trastevere was a n ice place to live, but not all that much to see) 1-7 Vatican 7-8 Aventine Hill 8-10 Testaccio Nightlife: Monte Testaccio
August 12th Rome 8-10 Free 10-12 Borghese (will you teleport to the Museum in 1 sec.?) 12-1 National Museum 1-3 Wander Campo de Fiori (the market is closed after 12 noon, I’d go early)3-7 Wander Navona,( 4 hours in Navona??? Only if your eating in a restaurant for 3 of them) Castel St. Angelo, Pantheon 7-10 (Pantheon is a 1 hour tops for me, with travel time) Tridente 10-12 TBD Getting from one place to the next may take some time, unless you plan on a driver for the 3 days in Rome. This is all JMO.

Posted by Daniela
Fair Oaks, California
51 posts

Um, hi. Just spent 10 days there, and all but one were in Roma. Did Ostia Antica for a whole day of relaxing on the beach. Do you realize how much walking you're going to be doing? We did the ruins area the first two days, and our feet and legs were exhausted! I suggest a leisurely day at the beach, and a swim in the super warm Mediterranian. It was fabulous!!! Better get a foot massage in between.