7 days in Italy: How to see Venice, Florence and Rome in a week
With high-speed trains that whizz you between cities, a week is all you need to experience the best of Italy’s most-loved cities. It’ll only take you half a day to city-hop between Venice, Florence and Rome, giving you plenty of time to explore, with the help of tours and packages that’ll get you where you need to be.
Begin your adventure in the beautiful city of Venice, followed by a two-day stop in Florence that will eventually bring you to majestic Rome. Here’s everything you can do in seven days, from Venetian glass blowing demonstrations to Vespa tours of the hills of Tuscany.
Things to do in Venice
Day 1: Rialto Market and St. Mark’s Basilica
The Real Hidden Venice: 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Kick your first day off in this floating city with an intimate tour of Venice through the eyes of a native Venetian guide. Discover many hidden gems across Venice as you explore the small canals of Cannaregio, Rialto Market and San Polo, where you can find the oldest mascareri (mask makers). Be enraptured by the passionate tour guides and their stories and uncover under-the-radar food spots.
St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace: 2:00-5:00 p.m.
After lunch, make your way to the Correr Museum to begin your explorations of two of Venice’s star attractions, St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. Skip-the-line tickets grant you immediate access to the private first-floor terrace of St. Mark’s Basilica that’s not usually open to the public. The next stop is Doge’s Palace, where you can visit the opulent Hall of Great Council while learning about its less-than-becoming history and beginnings.
Day 2: Murano, Burano and Torcello and private food tastings
Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Tour: 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Start day two with a tour of Murano, Torcello and Burano, the three iconic islands scattered across the Venetian Lagoon. Venice is famous for its glass-blowing artisans, and there’s nowhere better to appreciate them than the island on which they’re crafted daily.
Murano boasts a host of glass factories, where you can watch glassblowers sculpt beautiful pieces in special furnaces, with age-old techniques that date back over 1,000 years. Cruise over to Torcello, a lesser-known island with ornate palaces and churches, including the excavated ruins of the Church of Santa Fosca baptistery. Finally, hop off at Burano, a bustling island that is known for traditional lace production and colorful fishermen’s houses. Snap a photo in front of the multi-colored houses along the walkways of Burano and the intricate lace pieces displayed in the Museo del Merletto.
The 10 Tastings of Venice with Locals: Private Food Tour: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Dinner is sorted with this extensive private food and wine tour that will give you a real taste of what Venetian food has to offer. Sample Italian fare like fresh mozzarella, small plates cicchetti, sparkling prosecco and gelato from authentic, little-known eateries.
Getting from Venice to Florence
Your trip will now take you to Florence, which is about 2 hours and 15 minutes away by train from Venice’s Santa Lucia Station (the last train departs at 7:25 p.m.) to Florence’s Santa Maria Novella Station. Depending on the train and what type of seat you choose, tickets usually cost between €20-35 (USD22.70-39.70). Cheaper trains typically have more stop-overs and will take longer.
The next best alternative is by bus. Itabus, Marinobus and Flixbus offer services from Mestre and Tronchetto in Venice to Florence’s Villa Costanza tram stop. After which, you can take the tram into central Florence. While the bus may take up to four and a half hours, tickets only cost between €8-12 (USD9-13.60) and the last bus leaves later at 9:50 p.m.
Things to do in Florence
Day 3: Uffizi and Accademia
Uffizi and Accademia Walking Tour: 10:30 a.m.-2.30 p.m.
Start your day off by joining this private walking tour that will bring you through the Accademia and the Uffizi, two of Florence’s Renaissance art troves. You’ll get skip-the-line access to lay your eyes on pieces like Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and Michelangelo’s iconic statues. The tour continues through Duomo Square and Piazza Della Signoria, where you’ll learn more about Florence’s flourishing history.
Day 4: Tuscany hills and handmade pasta
Florence Vespa Tour of Tuscan Hills: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Take in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany on the back of your own vintage Vespa on this half-day tour. You’ll start in the city at the Church of San Miniato al Monte before heading into the hills of Tuscany and its rolling fields. Admire the sprawling vineyards and poppy fields as your guide shares about Tuscany’s history and culture. You’ll also stop at the Piazzale Michelangelo, a neighborhood with breathtaking views of all of Florence, before having an authentic Tuscan meal on a private terrace back in the city.
Small-Group Pasta Class from Scratch: 5:00-8:00 p.m.
This pasta-making class gives you a true Italian experience, with hands-on demonstrations teaching you how to prepare ravioli, tagliatelle and spaghetti from scratch. Using fresh, seasonal ingredients, try your hand at handmade pasta and authentic Italian sauces. Savor the fruits of your labor at the end of the class, paired perfectly with a selection of Italian wine.
Getting from Florence to Rome
Like the previous leg of your trip, traveling by train is probably the most efficient. Italo and Trenitalia operate trains that depart from Santa Maria Novella Station (the last train departs at 10:45 p.m.) and arrive at Rome’s Roma Termini, which is close to many popular attractions. This 1 hour 40 minutes journey can cost anywhere between €20-80 (USD22-90), depending on how early you book your tickets. You could also take the bus, which costs around €20 (USD22) but takes up to four hours.
Things to do in Rome
Day 5: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Prati District
Guided Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Begin the Roman leg of your trip at The Colosseum—the largest standing amphitheater in the world—and access parts that are usually off-limits to the general public. Get the inside scoop on the history and beginnings of the Colosseum through an audio tour, as well as skip-the-line admission to the Arena and Roman Forum.
Sunset Food Tour around Prati District: 6:30-10:30 p.m.
Dive headfirst into Roman specialties with this food and walking tour around the Prati neighborhood and sample local delicacies while watching the sun set below the horizon. Look forward to buffalo mozzarella, delicious pizza from one of Rome’s most celebrated pizzerias, gourmet cured meats and artisanal gelato to end the day. You’ll be grateful for the walking part of the tour after all the delectable food you’ll be enjoying.
Day 6: Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, Roman Catacombs and crypts
Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica: 8:45-11:45 a.m.
Skip-the-line tickets grant you immediate access to the Vatican, the smallest country in the world and home to the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican also houses some of the world’s most iconic art and architecture, like Raphael’s Rooms in the Vatican Museums, Michelangelo’s ceiling at the Sistine Chapel and the gold-painted ceiling and altarpieces in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Walking Tour of Crypts and Roman Catacombs: 2:30-6:00 p.m.
Explore the less-traveled areas of the city and uncover the history of Rome’s underground crypts and catacombs with this walking tour. You’ll walk across the Appian Way, get skip-the-line access to Basilica of San Clemente, and head down to the eerie chapels of Capuchin Crypt. You’ll be telling stories of the Domitilla Catacomb for years to come.
Day 7: Tour of Rome by Vespa sidecar
Rome by Vespa Sidecar: 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
What better way to conclude this crazy 1-week adventure than with a tour through Rome on a Vespa sidecar? Live out your best “Roman Holiday” fantasy and scoot around the city with your very own guide, who’ll bring you to popular landmarks like Piazza della Repubblica, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Square and the Trastevere neighborhood. Finish your tour with a traditional Roman breakfast and some unforgettable memories.
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