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7 days in Northern Italy - Itinerary

We are going to Italy on our honeymoon this September and flying in to Milan. We want to go to as many of the big sites in Northern Italy as possible. We are thinking about 2 nights in Lake Como, 2 nights in Venice, 2 nights in Florence and 2 nights in Cinque Terre. This would all be by train. Is this possible or even suggested?

Posted by
3313 posts

Here's my suggestion. Choose either the CT or Lake Como, but not both. Two nights in each of your destinations means you'll be spending more time packing, training, and unpacking without really getting to savor life in the places you're visiting.

Posted by
12154 posts

I don't think it's a bad route.

Make sure you get advance reservations so you can see the Uffizi and Academia during your one full day in Florence. I was there in October. We got our reservations 48 hours in advance without any problems. There was a significant line to get into the Uffizi even in October so reservations were necessary.

I haven't done this by train so you will have to research your departure and arrival times to make sure they are reasonable.

Posted by
125 posts

We stayed in Lake Como a few years ago and it is an industrial town with a busy main street. If I had to do it over again, I would stay in one of the small towns around the lake and take your lake tour from there for the day. Bellegio was would be a good choice. Lake Maggori (Stressa) was beautiful and we liked it better than Lake Como area and probably just as easy to get to from Milan. We didn't take the train but drove from Salzburg, Dof Tirol area, Lake Como, Lake Maggorie and flew out of Torino. We did this in about 9 days and had a wonderful time...we traveled in mid-May. We also didn't have any jetlag as we had already been in Germany for 5 days before beginning our journey. Good luck with your planning. Sounds like a wonderful honeymoon.

Posted by
632 posts

There is no easy way to do all that you want, however I would suggest that if you do Lake Como, you should stay in Varenna ( 2 nights) since it is right on the train tracks 1 hour away from Milan, but only 30 minutes from Bellagio by ferry if you want to visit. Then backtracking through Milan, train to the CT, where you can stay 2 nights, then train to Venice where you can stay 2 nights, then train to Milan to stay overnight (so you will be close to the airport for your exit flight). If you get into Milan in the afternoon, you may have time to see the Last Supper (you will need reservations made in advance)...if not, just go to the Duomo and the surrounding area (including the very first mall, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuaele) ...great for walking and dinning. Leave Florence for your next trip (don't worry, you'll go back). Given a choice between Florence and Venice...Venice is by far the more romantic city.

Posted by
32056 posts


Could you clarify a few details. The title indicates you have seven days to travel, but the places you listed add up to eight days. There is no allowance for travel times, which will be a factor even though most of the locations are relatively close. Also, does the seven days include your travel day to Milan?

I don't think it would be a good idea to try and fit all the locations in, so you'll have to prioritize to perhaps three of the places you listed. If you're more interested in visiting Museums, Art Galleries and other sights, then Venice and Florence are good choices. On the other hand if you mostly want to just relax and enjoy the occasion, then the Cinque Terre or Lago di Como would be good choices.

My preference would be to include Lago di Como (Varenna) as one of your stops. As Rick says, the location is a great place for luna di miele. From there you can take day trips to Bellagio, Menaggio or other spots. Once there, you may not want to leave!

Given the occasion, I'd think a more "relaxed" Itinerary would be a good idea.

Congratulations and happy travels!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for your feedback, this has been really helpful. To clarify a few things here. Our proposed itinerary is the following:
Fly in to Milan, arrive at 6:00 am local time on Wed.
Spend a few hours in Milan, take early afternoon train to Lake Como area (will research your suggested locations)).

Wed and Thurs nights in Lake Como.
Take Friday morning train to Venice (via Milan).
Friday and Sat nights in Venice.

Sunday morning train to Florence.
Sunday and Monday night in Florence.
Take Tues morning train to Cinque Terre.
Tues and Wed night in CT.
Thurs afternoon train back to Milan.
Fly out Friday.

Thinking we may cut out Como or CT and spend one more night in Venice and Florence. Which do you think would be best to cut out?

Thanks for all the help, greatly appreciated!

Posted by
3520 posts

One of your two days in Florence is a Monday. I presume that you will want to visit museums there. I would check a reliable source, e.g., the museum's own website, to make sure the places you want to go will be open.

Posted by
1 posts

I agree with the suggestion to stay in Varenna instead of Como. We stayed for a few nights last year and we are going back for 2 weeks. There is more to do here than CT. Boat trips to all the different towns and a great place for photos. I also agree to cut out at least one of the towns so that you can really savor the ones you visit.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Posted by
10932 posts

This is a dinosaur post from 2009. I think Brett is back from his honeymoon by now.

Posted by
3 posts

Awesome! Yeah, we came back, unfortunately. Desperately want to go back, but now with our first child already here it might be a while. We ended up doing the following in order: Lake Como 2 nights, Venice 2 nights, Florence 2 nights, Cinque Terre 2 nights. Trained it around. Favorites in order were 1. CT 2. Venice 3. Como 4. Florence. We ended up packing a lot in, but I would recommend cutting out one of these places (for us it would have been Florence) and spend more time in the others like others suggested here. Cinque Terre would be the first place we would go back to if we had the choice. So chill, and so beautiful there! Venice and Bellagio (Lake Como) are a must though too. Thanks to every one for their helpful suggestions! - Brett

Posted by
20 posts

Hi Brett,
This is my 2 cents......I am going to Venice, lake Como, Cinque Terra, Siena, Perugia and back to Venice in May/June. I calculated both train and car. It is much better to rent a car as you don't loose time looking for train stations and the train within the station. I have traveled all over and unless you really have lots of time, or are traveling in big cities where train stations are within walking distances, you loose a lot of time. I just checked Hertz rentals and it is worth it to rent, especially if its your honeymoon! Good luck!