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10 day itinerary - Milan-Venice-Florence-Rome

So, my spouse had a biz trip to Milan, and we had to plan a very quick trip around it. Here's what I came up with, any comments or suggestions? Its pretty packed, I tried to roughly follow the Rick Steves itinerary from his tour (which was unfortunately sold out). Hopefully I didn't screw anything up. All hotels are central, plan is to use taxi's and high speed rail to get around. This trip is just a taste, hopefully we can come back in a few years to do it justice...

Day 1- arrive Milan, hotel
Day 2 - 6 hour "milan in one day" tour with Veditalia
Day 3 - Check out hotel early, fast train to Venice arriving at 10:40. Drop bags off at hotel and catch walks of italy 2pm tour of st marks, doges
Day 4 - Unscheduled day, Vaporetto tour, or perhaps secret venice walking tour? or just mosey around
Day 5- AM fast train to Florence, arrive 1:30. Drop bags in hotel, visit Duomo in afternoon. Climb dome at 4pm before sunset
Day 6 - full day Florence in a Day tour with David/Academia, Uffizi, walking tour
Day 7 late am fast train to Rome - Unscheduled chill, then Welcome to Rome twilight walking tour (free, from italiapass?)
Day 8 - Colosseum underground VIP tour (Through Eternity)
Day 9 - Borghese gallery AM, maybe Through Eternity Secret Rome tour in PM?
Day 10 - Pristine Sistine tour (Walks of Italy)
Day 11- FCO airport

Posted by
5019 posts

It's aggressive, but do-able. Given the time you have, and the obvious stops, it seems about right to me. Just do your best to arrive fairly well-rested (maybe hubby's biz trip gets you both business class and thus a reasonable chance of getting some sleep on the plane?).

Posted by
3980 posts

You can’t travel yourselves at the same pace as a tour.

Personally, I would drop Venice and save it for another trip, as it deserves more time than you are allowing. This would mean that the rest of the trip would then be at a fast, but more sensible pace.

Posted by
4 posts

I am an hotelier in Florence..your itinerary sounds definitely better than " it's Tuesday it must be Belgium ". For Florence, mind that on Monday the main museums eg. Uffizi and Accademia are closed. I suggest you to reserve online. To book online the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (“Duomo”), we recommend using the official website:

Instead, to book online Uffizi and Accademia:

Have a nice trip :)

Posted by
4129 posts

Too little time in any place. You have 1.5 days in Venice and 1.5 days in Florence. The Doumo is closed on one day, be sure to check that out.

Posted by
245 posts

I think your plan looks wonderful. You’ve obviously done a lot of careful planning, to choose the experiences you’ve listed. Don’t be intimidated by comments that it’s too fast paced, too much in too little time. My husband and I aren’t yet retired so we can’t take 3 week vacations. We travel to Europe about once a year and those trips tend to be 10 to 12 days long. Our first trips were group tours that were paced fast like this. We loved getting our first tastes of cities we knew we’d return to on our own some day. We’re mostly doing independent travel now. Sometimes we limit ourselves to a couple destinations for more of a cultural immersion. For other trips, we’ve opted for the diversity of seeing a lot of different places, e.g., two nights per city and then we move on. For some of our trips, we’ve done what you did . . . find a fully-guided group tour itinerary that looks enticing and replicate it on our own. Last year we had two and a half days in Rome. We arrived by train in the early afternoon and had time for lunch before a 4 to 7 p.m. tour of the Colosseum and Forum. The next morning, we did the Pristine Sistine tour. There was plenty of time in those 2-1/2 days to wander around and see things on our own. There was time to linger in cafes. The on-the-move pace of group travel is pretty stress-fee for the tour participants. You leave all the thinking to someone else. You’re not traveling around with a folder full of booking confirmations. You board the bus when they tell you, and you move to the next city, with drop off right in front of your hotel. There’s more effort to do it on your own, but if you invest the time in advance you can have a high quality experience. For me, the planning is half the fun. I hope you’ve had fun with it too! The trip looks fabulous – enjoy it!

Posted by
2449 posts

It's a very fast paced trip, and you'll barely scratch the surface of these cities, but you already know that. You seem to have opted for a lot of local tours rather than seeing the sights independently. Perhaps this was done from an efficiency standpoint? I personally prefer sightseeing independently with a good guidebook and/or audioguides so I can linger when I want to or skip what doesn't interest me (plus DIY is so much cheaper). It's a personal choice. But do double check opening hours and book all of your tour or attraction tickets well in advance of your trip

Posted by
9411 posts

Yes, it I fast, but at least you have not packed the days full. I like that you have left a day in Venice without much scheduled. In Florence, Day 6 does seem like a lot. If you love Renaissance art, great. If you can take it or leave it, skip the Uffizi (sacrilege to some) and give yourselves permission to relax and wander.

Using guided tours can be a great time saver so brava for that! But pray tell, on Day 7, what does the comment “free, from italiapass?” Mean?