10 day Italy itinerary flying in/out of Rome

My husband and I are heading to Italy the end of June for 10 days-any suggested itineraries would be greatly appreciated-we fly into Rome and were thinking Rome-2 nights Tuscany-find a week rental and day trips from there (florence,siena) Is Venice too much to fit in? Also, does it make more sense to stay a few nights actually in Florence? May want to rent a car too. We depart from Rome.
Thanks so much!

Posted by Lois
Sammamish, washington, USA
5 posts

Thank you so much to both of you for the suggestions!

Posted by Liz
Seattle, WA
1311 posts

Have you been to Rome before? If not, and you plan to see the city, 2 nights is not nearly enough, especially assuming that you a) will be jet-lagged upon arrival and b) lose one day flying from the U.S.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1391 posts

Is your 10 days including the day of arrival and day of departure?

Posted by Lois
Sammamish, washington, USA
5 posts

We have not been to Rome before-the 10 days does not include the day either end to travel. Thanks!

Posted by Liz
Seattle, WA
1311 posts

I would probably do one of two things. Option #1: Spend 3-5 nights in Rome and the rest of your time in Tuscany, with a car. Stay in a small town or an agriturismo and take day trips, including to Florence. Do NOT drive in Florence. I probably wouldn't bother going to Venice if you aren't going to overnight there, but someone else can probably give you a better idea if Venice is worthwhile. Option #2: Spend 3-4 nights in Rome, 2-3 nights in Florence, and 2-3 nights in Venice. Use trains, as you won't want a car for these cities. If you can change your trip to fly out of (or arrive in) Venice, even better. Essentially, your choice would be between seeing the "Big 3" or the Tuscany countryside. Which you choose will depend on your travel preferences. And of course, there are other configurations possible, but these are the two that make sense to me with your initial idea.

Posted by Carol
Martinez, CA, USA
523 posts

My suggestion is that ten days is enough time for two cities. Since you have not been to Rome before, two days is not enough time. On a previous trip we spent five days in Siena (day trip to San Gimignano), five days in Florence, and seven days in Rome. We're returning to Rome for five days this year and seem to have our days already filled with things we want to see and do. You could go directly to Florence or another town in Tuscany and spend five or six days there doing day trips as you mentioned. Florence itself has so much to see that you could spend a lot of time there. Then back to Rome for the remainder of days. That way you would really get to know the two areas you visited. Also keep in mind that on travel days between cities you will use at least a half day checking out of hotels, getting to the train station, finding and checking into hotels. We like to travel slower than some and to experience actually being in each town but this does not appeal to all travellers so you have to decide how you want to travel.

Posted by Skip
Atlanta, Ga
149 posts

agree with last 2 posters. do rome and florence. drive around some of tuscany for a day or 2 if time permits. save venice for the next trip.
you can do all three but will really be rushed.

Posted by Lois
Sammamish, washington, USA
5 posts

Thanks to all for the ideas. I am now deciding between options (using just trains) #1-Rome-3 days Florence-3 days Venice-3 days Rome-2 more days OR #2-Rome-2 days Florence-3 days(then renting a car) somewhere else in Tuscany 2 days in one place/2 days in another (Siena and ?)
Back to Rome-2 days Your thoughts please. Thanks!

Posted by Liz
Seattle, WA
1311 posts

Splitting up your time is rarely efficient. Unless you need to position yourself for a flight home, put all of your Rome days together. If you do need to position yourself for a flight home do 4 days upfront, then the last night back in Rome. Or head directly to Florence upon arrival and put all of your days in Rome at the end (depending on flight times). As for which itinerary to do, I think it will really boil down to whether you want to see Venice (which I haven't yet been to) or the small hill towns of Tuscany. Perhaps one thing you might think about is how you feel about renting a car and the inherent expense and stress that can be involved. You'll need the car, insurance, an International Drivers' Permit, maps and/or GPS, and have to deal with parking, Italian drivers, and restricted driving zones. At the same time, you'll have a lot of freedom to make your own schedule, and go places that many tourists never venture. For me personally, NOT driving is part of what makes the vacation special, but there are many others who feel differently.

Posted by Denise
Lake Forest, CA, USA
1391 posts

Lois, here's an itinerary you could follow if you want to drive in Tuscany. Day 1, 2 & 3 Rome; Day 4 Train to Orvieto, spend night; Day 5 pick up car in Orvieto, drive to outside of Siena; Day 6 Siena; Day 7 Tuscany; Day 8 drive to Florence airport, return car; rest of day in Florence; Day 9 Florence; Day 10 train to Rome As others have said, if you want to see Venice, eliminate Tuscany. I would stay 4 nights in Rome, 1 night in Orvieto, 2 nights in Florence and 2 nights in Venice. Day 10 would be to travel back to Rome.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2612 posts

What is your dream when you think of seeing Italy? Is it the cities, the canals of Venice, or the hill towns and vineyards of Tuscany. I tend to spend much less time in the cities, and more time driving the beautiful hill country of Tuscany and finding the little towns and vineyards and out of the way locations. I have been many times to all the locations and two days is enough for me in Rome, Florence and Venice... (I did spend a week in Venice during Carnivale, but that was a whole different experience) You could take the train from Rome to Florence and get a car at the airport, then return it there and take the train back down to Rome to fly home. Stay outside of Florence with your car and take the bus in to the city. The drive from Florence to Venice is not terribly exciting, but it is an easy drive. Or you could just take the train to Venice and then driectly back to Rome to fly out.