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The Ultimate Italy Travel Plan

The Ultimate Italy Travel Plan

So you’re looking travel Italy but you’re unsure where to start or what experiences are available there, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog I will share with you my very own personal Italy travel plan that I used whilst travelling through this amazing country for two weeks. I will cover things such as getting around, activities, prices, hotels, places to eat/drink, and also tips and tricks that I learned through my experiences to help better your time there and stay safe. There will be six major locations covered in this blog so if your are only thinking about travelling to one of these locations then feel free to skip ahead to your chosen location, these location will be Venice, Lake Garda, Florence, Siena, Rome, and Sorrento. This post is intended to be a plan that gets straight to the point so I’m not going to go into too much detail about each location, but if you wish to learn more details of each location and more about my experiences there then please check out my other blog post ‘My Italian Adventure’ where I take you through my complete experience of Italy from start to finish.

Let’s get to it!

Venice

Flight from your home city to Venice airport

Obviously this will vary depending what country you’re visiting from so make sure to have a good look for the cheapest flights, my recommendation would be to use Skyscanner as this is what we used to find our best deals on flights.

www.skyscanner.com

Shared Water Taxi from Venice Airport to Hotel

Water taxis can’t exactly drop you off at the doorstep of your hotel so you will need to check which stop off point is closest to your hotel, you don’t worry too much about this as you will need to provide your hotel details when pre booking anyway, so they will inform you which stop of point you need, its still best if you know beforehand though just incase.

  • Water taxi duration to Venice - 25 to 45 minutes (dependent on hotel)

  • Price - 25 to 30 euros per person

www.venicelink.com

Hotel

Al Canal Regio (3 star Hotel)

Price - 45 euros per night

Location - ✰✰✰✰

Comfort - ✰✰✰✰

Cleanliness - ✰✰✰✰

Staff - ✰✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Right in the heart of Venice, short walk away from everything

  • Very clean

  • Friendly and helpful staff

Cons -

  • Quite difficult to find initially

  • The are no views of Venice from your room, just the back of another building.

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰

www.alcanregiohotel.com

Activities

Gondola Ride

Venice Secrets (Museum)

Make your own Masquerade mask

Things to see

Places to eat and drink

A Beccafico Venezia

  • Prices - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Wine Bar Teamo

  • Prices - Low / Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Top Tips

  • Watch out for people handing you roses in the street, they are not free and they will demand money from you which can lead to quite an annoying and embarrassing situation. Best way to avoid this situation is to simply ignore them and don’t take anything they hand out to you!

  • Food and drink shops are cheaper out of the main areas, take the time to wonder down some small streets for less expensive food and drink.

  • Do not eat/drink in a place with a live band playing, you will be charged for listening to the band whether you wanted to listen to them or not. Same goes for outdoor seating, check with the waiter that there are no extra charges for sitting outside.

  • Best time to see all landmarks is definitely sunset, people are normally leaving to go for dinner and the lighting and less crowded areas make for much better photos.

Venice Overall Verdict - ✰✰✰✰

Pros-

  • Visually stunning

  • Great food and drink

  • There is some really good entertainment to fill a few of days

Cons-

  • Very crowded, especially in peak season

  • Majority of places are expensive

  • Only good for a short stay, people who aren’t so much into shopping and fine dining may struggle to find things to do after 2 - 3 days

Lake Garda

Train from Venice (Venezia Santa Lucia) to Lake Garda (Rovereto)

Rovereto is the closest train station to Lake Garda.

  • Duration 2 hours 4 minutes

  • Changes - 1 (Verona Porta Nuova)

  • Price - 30 euros (Business Class)

www.thetrainline.com

Taxi from Rovereto to Lake Garda

Taxi stop directly outside the train station.

  • Duration - 20 minutes

  • Price - 20 euros

www.taxirovereto.com

Hotel

Casa Vilma Hotel (4 Star Apartment)

Price - 100 euros per night

Location - ✰✰✰✰✰

Comfort - ✰✰✰✰✰

Cleanliness - ✰✰✰✰✰

Staff - ✰✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Short walk from the lake and main attractions

  • Comfy Beds

  • Friendly and helpful staff

  • All amenities that a household has (washing machine, kitchen, garden, etc.)

  • Great views of the mountains from the garden

Cons -

  • Can be a bit tricky to find at first, you will have to contact the owner via phone and meet them at the gate.

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰✰

www.casavilmaapartment.com

Activities

Paragliding

Mountain Bike

SUP

Monte Baldo

Parco Grotta Cascata Verone

Things to see

Places to eat and drink

Aurora Lounge

  • Price - Low / Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Service -✰✰✰

La Sciabola

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Winds Bar

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Top Tips

  • Rent a bike to get around, they’re cheap and there are plenty of cycle paths to follow.

  • Don’t swim to far out in the lake, weather can change dramatically in the mountain regions, making the water much more rough and harder to swim in.

  • Take advantage of the buses around Lake Garda, they’re very cheap and run on a regular basis.

  • Make the most of the water sports available as Lake Garda is one of the best places in the world for it.

  • Experience the nightlife, Lake Garda has some great bars that get really lively at night.

Lake Garda Overall Verdict - ✰✰✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Some of the best scenery you will ever see

  • An unlimited amount of awesome things to see and do, this is somewhere where you could easily do a week a not get bored.

  • There is something for everyone here

  • Great food and drink

Cons-

  • Weather can be unpredictable at times

Florence

Taxi from Lake Garda to Rovereto train station

  • Price - 20 euros

  • Duration - 20 minutes

www.torboletaxi.com

Train from Lake Garda (Rovereto) to Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella)

  • Duration - 2 hours 17 minutes

  • Changes - 0

  • Price - 30 euros (first class)

www.thetrainline.com

Taxi ride from Firenze Santa Maria Novella to Hotel

Taxi stop outside of the train station

  • Duration - 10 - 30 minutes (depending on hotel)

  • Price - 5 - 30 euros (depending on duration)

www.florencetaxi.com

Hotel

B&B Hotel Firenze (3 star hotel)

Price - 50 euros per night

Location - ✰✰✰

Comfort - ✰✰✰

Cleanliness - ✰✰✰✰

Staff - ✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Easy to find

  • Quiet location

  • Friendly and helpful staff

Cons -

  • Quite far away from centre, requires a 20 minute walk to get to all the main attractions.

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰

www.b&bhotelfirenze.com

Activities

Santa Maria del Fiore Tour

Forte di Belvedere

Walk to the Piazza Michelangelo

Abbazia di san miniato al monte

Canyon Adventure Park

This will require a car to get to as it is 1 hour 30 minute away from Florence, but this is definitely worth doing, this was one of our best experiences on the entire trip.

  • Car Hire Price - 90 euros (1 day)

  • Car Hire Location - Florence Airport

  • www.hertzcarhire.com

  • Drive duration to Canyon Park - 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Canyon Adventure Park Price - 50 euros (day package, includes zipline adventure and Canyon adventure, other activities available such as SUP and Yoga)

  • www.canyonadventurepark.com

Things to see

Places to eat and drink

Duomo Cafe

  • Price - Moderate / High

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service -✰✰✰

Hard Rock Cafe

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Panin Toscani

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Top Tips

  • Keep you belongings secured either in a zipped pocket or in a locked bag as pick pockets operate in the crowded areas, especially in the train stations.

  • Make sure to walk on the out skirts of the city in places such as Piazza Michelangelo and Forte Belvedere as these places are a lot less busy and give you a nice break from the crowds.

  • Rent a car and visit the Canyon adventure park, you will not regret it!

  • Try the ice cream, Florence has possibly the best ice cream I have even tried, this does come at a pretty expensive price though.

  • Don’t spend any longer than a few days here unless you enjoy shopping and fine dining, the list of things to do grows short pretty quick.

  • If you are renting a car, make sure to check the small print for the security deposit because in some cases hire cars require a large security deposit that you will not get back for at least 5 - 7 days.

Florence Overall Verdict - ✰✰✰

Canyon Adventure Park (Bagni di Lucca) - ✰✰✰✰✰

I wanted to break the overall rating up into two as we spent one day in Florence and one day at the Canyon adventure park and I felt very different about both locations.

Florence Pros -

  • Stunning architecture

  • Nice food and drink

  • Nice walks on the outside of the city with views of surrounding countryside

Florence Cons -

  • Expensive

  • Very Crowded

  • There’s not really much to do in terms of activities

Canyon Adventure Park Pros -

  • Really fun experience from start to finish

  • Excellent staff

  • Stunning location

  • Worth the money

Canyon Adventure Park Cons -

  • Distance from Florence

Siena

Train from Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella) to Siena

  • Duration 1 hours 30 minutes

  • Changes - 0

  • Price - 8 euros

www.thetrainline.com

Taxi from Siena Train station to Hotel

Taxi stop directly outside the train station.

  • Duration - 10 to 20 minutes (Depending on hotel)

  • Price - 5 to 30 euros (Depending on duration)

www.taxisiena.com

Hotel

Aparthotel Anghel (3 Star Hotel)

Price - 60 euros per night 

Location - ✰✰

Comfort - ✰✰✰

Cleanliness - ✰✰✰

Staff - ✰✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Nearby to some good restaraunts

  • Friendly and helpful staff

  • All amenities that a household has (washing machine, kitchen, garden, etc.)

Cons - 

  • Quite a long distance from centre, roughly 30 minute walk (all uphill)

  • Faulty air conditioning

  • Right on a main road, cars can be heard constantly throughout the night

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰

www.aparthotelanghel.com

Activities

Palio di Siena (Only available either 2nd July or 16th August)

Tower of Mangia

Quad Biking

Saturnia Baths

This will require a car to get to as it is roughly a 1 hour 45 minute drive, this is well worth it though if you want a relaxing day soaking in some natural geothermal baths.

Things to see

Places to eat and drink

Roadhouse Restaurant Siena

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Ristorante Cinese La Rosa

  • Price - Low / Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰

  • Drinks - ✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰

Pizzeria Carla e Franca

  • Price - Low / Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Top Tips

  • If you enjoy festivities then I’d definitely recommend going for the Palio di Siena

  • Avoid the restaurants in the main areas, they are very expensive and you can get food just as good if not better for a much cheaper if you venture down some of the quieter streets.

  • See the surrounding countryside, the countryside around Siena is absolutely amazing, take the time to venture out of the centre and take a walking or Quad biking tour.

  • There is enough activities and things to see to fill a few days, but any longer and you may struggle to find things to without spending a load of cash, Siena can easily be done as a day trip from Florence and this would be enough.

  • Make sure you read the small print when booking a hire car as most places demand a hefty security deposit that you will not get back for at least 7 days.

Siena Overall Verdict - ✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Stunning architecture and surrounding countryside, very picturesque

  • Quieter than other main cities such as Florence and Rome

  • Great Food

Cons -

  • Expensive accommodation

  • Tiring walk to the centre.

  • Only enough activities to fill a couple of days, any more would be too much

Rome

Taxi ride from hotel to Siena train station

  • Duration - 10 to 20 minutes (Depending on hotel)

  • Price - 5 to 30 euros (Depending on duration)

www.taxisiena.com

Train from Siena to Rome (Roma Termini)

  • Duration - 3 hours 22 minutes

  • Changes - 1 (Firenze Santa Maria Novella)

  • Price - 40 euros (First Class)

www.trainline.com

Taxi ride from Roma Termini to Hotel

Taxi stop outside of the train station.

  • Duration - 5 - 30 minutes (Depending on hotel)

  • Price - 10 - 50 euros (Depending on duration)

www.rometaxis.com

Hotel

The Upper Suites Hotel (3 Star Hotel)

Price - 70 euros per night 

Location - ✰✰✰✰

Comfort - ✰✰✰

Cleanliness - ✰✰✰✰

Staff - ✰✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Good location, a short walk away from Vatican City and there is also Metro stop behind the hotel for easy access to locations around Rome.

  • Modern interior

  • Quiet area

Cons - 

  • Relatively hard to find at first, hotel is located is an apartment building and can only be found by looking and the names on the doorbell at the front door as there are no signs.

  • On the top floor of an apartment building which requires a lot of stairs if the lift is broke.

  • Not the nicest of areas where the hotel is situated.

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰

www.theuppersuiteshotel.com

Activities

Vatican Museums

Colosseum Tour

Rome Bar Crawl

Buy a Metro ticket and visit all the famous landmarks

Things to see

Places to eat and drink

Vatican Museum Cafe

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰

Ris Cafe Pub & Restaurant

  • Price - Moderate / High

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Non Solo Pizza

  • Price - Low / Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Tops Tips

  • Keep you belongings secured at all time either in zip pockets or in a padlocked bag as pickpocketing is very common in Rome especially in crowded places such as train stations and bars.

  • Watch out for people trying to scam you, its very common to be stopped by someone in Rome who will try to scam you out of some money by either trying to sell you something or offer you a service, it can be a very annoying and embarrassing situation to get into and the best way to avoid it is to completely ignore anyone who approaches you who looks like they may be trying to sell you something.

  • Make sure to buy a Metro ticket, they are very cheap and make getting around Rome so much easier.

  • Take advantage of the takeaway pizza shops, the pizzas are amazing and much cheaper than any you will get in a restaurant.

  • Visit St Peters square at night, there are no crowds and it is much more impressive when it is all lit up in the dark.

Rome Overall Verdict - ✰✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Incredible architecture

  • Easy and cheap to get around

  • Excellent nightlife

  • Plenty of things to see

Cons-

  • Expensive in most bars and restaurants

  • Pickpocketing is very common

  • A lot of people trying to scam/sell you something.

Sorrento

Taxi from hotel to train station (Rome termini)

  • Duration - 5 - 30 minutes (depending on hotel)

  • Price - 10 - 50 euros (depending on duration)

www.rometaxis.com

Train from Rome (Roma Termini) to Sorrento

  • Duration - 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Changes - 1 (Napoli Centrali)

  • Price - 36 euros

www.trainline.com

Taxi ride from train station to hotel

  • Duration - 5 - 20 minutes (depending on hotel)

  • Price - 5 - 30 euros (depending on duration)

www.sorrentotaxi.com

Hotel

La Playa Apartments (3 Star Apartment)

Price - 75 euros (per night)

Location - ✰✰✰✰

Comfort - ✰✰✰

Cleanliness - ✰✰✰

Staff - ✰✰

Value for money - ✰✰✰

Pros -

  • Not far away from centre, roughly 10 minute walk down one straight road.

  • Few household amenities (kitchen, washing machine).

  • Easy to get to

  • Cheaper than most places in Sorrento

  • Modern interior

Cons -

  • Staff are difficulty to contact if you have any problems

  • Shower was blocked (hopefully this has been fixed)

  • Train line directly at the back of the apartment, can be noisy sometimes

Overall Rating - ✰✰✰

www.laplayaapartments.com

Activities

Pompeii

Mt Vesuvius

Capri

Blue Water Grotto (Capri)

Beaches in Sorrento

Things to see

Places to eat

Ristorante 'O Canonico 1898

  • Price - Moderate / High

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Star Pub

  • Price - Low / Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰✰✰

  • Drink -✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰✰

Bar Kontatto

  • Price - Moderate

  • Food - ✰✰✰

  • Drink - ✰✰✰✰

  • Service - ✰✰✰✰

Top Tips

  • Definitely take a day to visit Capri and Blue Grotto, this I could not recommend enough!

  • Take the time to relax and unwind on one of the beaches.

  • Book a seat in advance for any restaurants, as they get very busy

  • Venture our of the centre for cheaper food

  • Take advantage of the cheap train tickets and take a day out to go see Pompeii or Naples.

  • Book tickets for ferries and Blue grotto in advance as they are very popular and get booked up quick

Sorrento Overall Verdict - ✰✰✰✰

Pros-

  • Plenty of things to see and do

  • Great place for relaxing on the beach

  • Good food and drink

  • Lively nightlife

Cons-

  • Touristy / very busy

  • Food and drink in majority of places is pretty expensive

  • Difficult to find a decent hotel for an affordable price

Home

Train to Naples (Naploi Centrali)

  • Duration - 1 hour 10 minutes

  • Price - 6 euros

www.trainline.com

Bus from Naples train station to Naples International Airport

  • Duration - 20 minutes

  • Price - 5 euros

www.airporttransfernaples.com

Flight Home

Obviously flight times and prices will be dependent on which country you are flying to, for best prices try Skyscanner, as this is what we used to find our cheapest flight.

www.skyscanner.com

Italy Overall Rating - ✰✰✰✰

I hope you have enjoyed this post and found the information useful for you own Italy travel plans, if you wish to find out more details of our Italy trip then make sure you check out ‘My Italian Adventure’ post, where I talk about our full experience from start to finish. Be sure to follow our instagram page @theredbackpacktraveller, for all our latest travel announcements and photos. Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know if you enjoyed this blog and found it useful, or even let us know if there is anything we can do better next time as we are always trying to improve our posts for our readers. If you are unsure of anything then please feel free to contact me and I will try my best to answer. Happy Travels!

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