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July / August 2023 Itinerary Advice

We (my wife and I along with our 11 year old son) are planning an Italy trip and we would like some feedback on our proposed itinerary. We will have 15 nights...likely in the last week of July and first week of August. We will have a rental car. Rome and Venice work as bookends as they offer direct flights from Toronto.

Rome x 3 nights
Tuscany x 4 nights (base in villa...tour hill towns and Florence)
Cinque Terre x 2 nights
Dolomites x 4 nights (base in and hike the region)
Venice x 2 nights

Please let us know if this seems like a workable itinerary or if you would suggest some alterations.


Posted by
4762 posts

Hi Ryan, the Dolomites hiking will be beautiful during that time! You might want to reverse your trip and begin in Venice if your flight home leaves early morning. Usually the connecting flights within Europe cause us to place Venice, first, but you may not have that issue. Be sure to have lodging on the islands of Venice and not Venice Mestre.

Check out festivals that you might be able to attend. I haven’t been in Rome in August, but I see this one is the first week and could be interesting:

“ The Festa della Madonna Della Neve ("Madonna of the Snow") celebrates the legend of the miraculous August snow that fell in the 4th century, signaling the faithful to build the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. A re-enactment of the event is carried out with artificial snow and a special sound and light show.”

Posted by
8316 posts

Give Venice at least one more night. It would be easier to fly into Venice, out of Rome. Venice has mostly very early morning flights out and it is more difficult to get to airport in morning. One time we had a problem with low tides.
Ortisei is a wonderful place to stay. We loved family owned and run Hotel Grones. There are lifts on each side of Ortisei’s valley to take you up to beautiful hiking. Breathtaking!
Re: Tuscan villa. Most villas require a one week stay, Sat-Sat.

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks Jean and Suki.

We can reverse the schedule to better suit the flights if need be. We'll also check out your recommendations.

We considered dropping the Cinque Terre and using those 2 nights for Florence...but the Cinque Terre has been a bucket list area for us to visit. As of now we'd have to settle on a day trip for Florence.

Posted by
13260 posts

I'd reverse the course. Also be aware that a car is totally unnecessary while in Venice, while in Florence, while in Rome, as well as the Cinque Terre
Fly to VCE
Venice x 3 nights (2 nights are too few especially considering it would be your first stop and you will still be jet legged the first day).
Rent a car upon leaving Venice (rental car offices at Piazzale Roma)
Drive to Dolomites
Dolomites (Ortisei?) x 4 nights.
From here I would drive to Tuscany. Staying in a countryside villa or in a smaller town will certainly require having a car, staying in Florence would be best without a car.
So you could stay in a place out of town and visit Florence in a couple of day trips from there, or you may split your stay and do the small towns first then move to Florence, return the car, stay in Florence a couple of nights, then finally proceed to Rome by train (a car is also not recommended while in Rome.

If you want to add the Cinque Terre into the midst, be aware the place is ultra crowded at that time of the year. In that case I would go there between the Dolomites and Tuscany. The car is not really needed in that area, but you might as well keep it because you will need it before (Dolomites) and after (Tuscany). Obviously the car will stay parked the whole time at the Cinque Terre. There are a few parking lots at the Cinque Terre (Monterosso has the most spaces), however be aware that accommodations will be tight in July/Aug, so you might decide to stay in a nearby town and take a quick train to the Cinque Terre as needed. Levanto could be a good choice, but also Bonassola or even as far west as Moneglia, which is very quaint yet just minutes away from Cinque Terre. They'll be crowded too, but nothing like Vernazza and the other CT villages.

Number of nights minimum:
Venice: 3
Florence: needs at least a couple of days, so if you stay outside of it, know that two days will go to Florence alone.
Rome: needs 3 days to see the main sights, so 4 nights would be best.
Tuscany (besides Florence); Florence will take 2 days, so you need to add nights depending on how many other places you want to see. There are tons of places to visit. A lifetime in Tuscany would not be enough to see them all.
Cinque Terre area: that is up to you. A couple of nights is good.

Posted by
115 posts

Thanks for the great info Roberto.

We could save Cinque Terre for another trip and use those 2 nights to stay in Florence. Therefore it’ll still give us the 4 nights in a Tuscan villa or hill town…and we wouldn’t need to use any of those days to day trip into Florence.


Again, thanks everyone. It’s much appreciated.