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10 Day Italy Itinerary to ambitious?

My family and I (2 adults, 2 teens) are traveling to Italy in late November. I'm wondering if this itinerary is too ambitious given the shorter days during that time. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Fri. evening - arrive Rome
Sat. - Rome
Sun. - Rome
Mon - Day trip to Pompeii (accommodations still in Rome that evening)
Tues. am - High speed train to Florence
Weds. - Florence
Thurs. am - High speed train to Venice
Fri. - Venice until mid-afternoon (High speed train to Rome)
Sat. - Rome
Sun. - Return to America

I look forward to your thoughts!

Posted by
120 posts

Unless you have reasons for returning to Rome, why not fly out of Venice?

Posted by
15573 posts

Can't you get a flight home from Venice? That would save you a long train trip and free up more time elsewhere.

Posted by
57 posts

My wife and I sort of did your trip back in June. We took the RS tour (Venice, Florence, Rome) and had extra days in front and after the tour. (We flew into Milan...went immediately to Venice...ended in Rome....then a 1/2 day trip to Pompeii...flew from Naples to Milan and spent a day in Lake Como...flying back out of Milan)

I would suggest cutting out Pompeii. Save it for another Italy trip. We took the high speed train to Naples from Rome and took the regional train to Pompeii....spending about 3-4 hours in the ruins and then back to Naples to go to the airport. BTW, my wife got her iPad pickpocketed outside the Naples train station. (long story....bad, dirty place...outside the train station in Naples)

Add the day to your Venice or Florence stay...because you're not in Venice very long and there is so, so much to do in Venice, plus it's absolutely beautiful. There are a million things to do in Florence or Venice and I would think you would be happier with another day there.



Posted by
3536 posts

If u cannot depart from venice i recommend u see venice on some other trip. Venice is too fabulous to rush. U are spending alot of time in train travel imo.

Posted by
945 posts

We have spent 10 days in both Rome and Florence. In Italy they have a saying: Roma, non basta una vita - For Rome, one lifetime is not enough. Keep in mind that your really only have eight days, one of which will be spent getting over jet lag. I would eliminate Venice from this trip.

Posted by
5 posts

Hello All,

Thank you so much for your advice. Unfortunately we're already booked to fly in and out of Rome. Venice was an afterthought really. I had thought it would be too difficult to see as well, but my husband really wants to see it. However, I will check to see if flying out of Venice is a possibility.


Posted by
2513 posts

Since you've already had a few days in Rome, consider leaving Venice Saturday afternoon and spending the night at a hotel near the airport? Though your husband wants to see Venice, it's difficult to do justice to Rome, Florence and Venice in the time you have and as noted above, you'll spend a lot of time (and euros) on trains. You'll love Italy so much that you will want to return and on that trip, start in La Serenissima. If I were doing the trip you're contemplating, I think I'd head to Florence first and then spend the last days in Rome instead of jockeying back and forth.

Make sure you read Rick's guide to book museum tix in advance. Don't waste time waiting on lines.

Posted by
189 posts

You can do it all! I would add another night to Venice, and leave on Saturday to return to Rome.

Posted by
9411 posts

Since you are flying in-and-out of Roma, do you arrive early enough that you can go right to Firenze on Friday evening? It takes about 2 1/2 hours from FCO by train through Roma to Firenze. You can then rearrange your trip so you start in Firenze, go to Venezia, then consolidate your Roma days at teh end of the trip. If not, I would stay the second Friday night in Venezia so you have a full day there and return to Roma for Saturday night. If you are going to Venezia, you might as well have some time to enjoy her.

Posted by
11613 posts

I agree with Laurel. If you arrive at Fiumicino, there is a train to Firenze from the airport train station (I think just once a day). If that is a seasonal schedule, you just need to go to from FCO to Roma Termini to catch the fast train to Firenze.

Posted by
3696 posts

Agree with Laurel and Zoe. Never know when or if you will make it back.
I would work to make it happen. Don't think you'll be sorry if you really want to see Venice

Posted by
29 posts

My husband and I took our first trip to Italy in Nov 2014 for 8 days on the ground, which is the same amount of time you have. We only visited Rome and Florence and felt completely rushed, especially in Rome. I would leave Venice for another trip. Just to give you an idea, we landed in Rome on the 13th in the a.m., did a little sight seeing and were completely exhausted by 2pm when we checked into our hotel. We saw as much as we could the 14th- the morning of the 17th and caught the train to Florence and departed Florence on the 22nd, giving us four entire days in Florence. Because Florence is small, four days were enough to see the big things and enjoy the city but I could have used a few more days in Rome at least. Two full days in Rome and 1 full day in Florence are not enough. Give yourself time to enjoy both cities. You will go back. I was already thinking about trip #2 on the plane home. We are going to Venice on trip 2 which I am in the beginning stages of planning. On the positive side we really enjoyed being there in Nov. Great temps, no crowds and no waiting anywhere, a little rain but nothing unmanageable. Don't overdo it and you will have a great time.


Posted by
300 posts

I have traveled to Italy three times and all 3 I have been to Rome. Still haven't seen everything on my list. How about Rome 4 nights Florence 4 nights with a day trip to Pisa, which is closer. Venice shouldn't be rushed. Try to fly out of Florence. Or spend 3 nights in Florence and your last night in Pisa and fly home from Pisa. Your current plan wastes too mucht time traveling and not enjoying.

Posted by
150 posts

On my first trip to Italy, in 2011, we (two 60-ish couples) spent four nights in Rome, two each in Venice and Florence, and returned to Rome for a Saturday night before our flight home. Although we had other stops intermingled between these cities (total trip length was 24 nights), we included your exact trip, and it is completely doable. Sure, it would have been great to spend more time in each place (I have already been back), but we all felt that it was worthwhile to make the relatively easy train treks, even for short stays. I agree with Laurel's suggestion to get to Florence on the first night, if you arrive early enough, and to spend two nights in Venice however your trip plays out. Also, a day trip to Pompeii will really cut out a full day of quality time in Rome; if anything is expendable, it would be that.

Of course, to make the best use of your short time, you need to run on a "guided tour" type of schedule. Buy your entry tickets and train tickets online, arrange any tour guides before you leave, and book hotels in the core of the cities. As the saying goes, "failing to plan is like planning to fail".

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you all so much. I think I may be able to switch a couple things around. The difficulty is the limited availability of the Pompeii tour (a #1 for my kids), and sadly changing the AirBnB reservation for the last portion in Rome would be costly (only 50% refund). Regardless, it's Italy, so no matter what it will be fantastic!

Posted by
9411 posts

Sometimes giving up that deposit is a small prioce to pay for a better trip! FYI, that is why I usually use because the cancellation policies are often quite generous. AirBnB tends to be pretty strict.

Posted by
30932 posts


A few thoughts on your plans.....

Based on what you've posted, it appears that the basic choice is between a "blitz holiday" to satisfy places that different members of your group want to see, vs. spending time in fewer places and having a more relaxed pace.

While it would be possible to see all the places you have listed in a ten day time frame, you'll have to consider how enjoyable that will be, especially since you may be jet lagged for the first few days and not operating at full "touring speed" (I find that worse travelling from the west coast). While getting between locations is relatively easy, each trip will take time and the trip to Pompeii will take the better part of a full day as you'll be travelling on two different rail systems.

One thought that occurs to me is that you may want to keep your plans the same for Rome and Florence, but keep your schedule open for Pompeii and Venice depending on the weather (which in late November could be wet). If rain is forecast, I'd be tempted to skip the Pompeii trip and change the focus to Venice. Between Rome, Florence and Venice, there are lots of indoor activities you can do if it's pouring rain but you may have to "play it by ear".

Good luck!

Posted by
1713 posts

Sage advice above from some of the RS Travel Forum vets...

If you are not already locked in on the air, first order of business is to book an open jaw flight, into Milan or Venice, out of Rome. And late November you want to travel north to south, in theory you would be heading to warmer weather in Rome. I say fly into Milan because I've found there are many more flights from the States to Milan than Venice. If set on Venice as a destination, it's a 2.5 hour train ride from Milano Centrale to Venezia Santa Lucia station. On the same subject, although overnight flights are the bane of my existence, to Europe it's actually not a bad thing because by arriving in the morning, you have the whole day to get your bearings straight & then by the next morning you're OK jet-lag-wise--at least that's the way it worked for me. Flying home from Rome, you would leave around noon & arrive early evening on the same day.

9 nights--either 2 Venice, 3 Florence, 4 Rome, or skip Venice, still fly into Milan, 90-minute Frescia train ride to Florence, 4 nights there, 90-minute Frescia train, 5 nights Rome. Yes, Pompei from Rome will take an entire day. We toured it from (much-closer) Salerno in March--1 hour each way by train, 4 hours at the ruins, on a nice day. Find a nice day--those stones must be treacherous in the rain! However, Pompei should not be missed if at all possible--it is absolutely fabulous, especially using the RS Pompei podcast because almost nothing is marked. But weather will undoubtedly play a big part in your enjoyment of the ruins.

Enjoy your planning!

Posted by
3456 posts

Maybe think about this:

Fri. Arrive Rome

Sat. Rome.

Sun. Rome.

Mon. Afternoon Train...Rome>Florence.

Tues. Florence.

Wed. Train...Florence>Venice.

Thur. Venice.

Fri. Fly... Venice (VCE)>Naples (NAP) 1H20m. Bus to Pompeii.
Evening train Napoli>Roma. 1H20m.

Sat. Rome.

Sun. Fly Home

Posted by
7124 posts

I also like the idea of flying Venice to Naples with easyjet - book ahead for good fares.
Fri - Rome - 3 nts
Sat - Rome
Sun - Rome
Mon - (Train to) Florence - 2 nts
Tue - Florence
Wed - (Train to) Venice - 2 nts
Thu - Venice
Fri - (Flying easyjet to) Naples - 1 nt
Sat - (Pompeii then on to) Rome - 1 nt
Sun - Depart Rome