8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Moyan Brenn, Flickr

When you think of Italy, three things probably come to mind: pizza, pasta, and photogenic ancient ruins. After spending eight days in Italy on Intrepid’s Highlights of Italy tour – hitting up Venice, the Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome – I can categorically tell you there is a lot more to it than that (but don’t worry, pizza and pasta still featured heavily). Here’s your guide to eight perfect days in Italy. Now, let’s check it out our Italy itinerary 8 days blog: From Venice to Rome — How to spend 8 days in Italy perfectly?

View of Rome from Castel Sant'Angelo, Italy.
View of Rome from Castel Sant’Angelo, Italy.
Sisley at Via del Corso in Rome, Italy
Sisley at Via del Corso

colosseum rome italy

Roman_Forum_rome travel blog
Roman Forum
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Gelato, must eat in Rome
Castel Sant'Angelo and Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge
Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo Bridge | what to see in rome in 3 days
Magical Vatican at night
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The old street in Trastevere, Rome

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice

Days 1 and 2: Venice

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Laila Gebhard, Flickr

Our trip kicked off in Venice, where I had an entire day to explore the ‘floating city of canals’ – or ‘sinking city of canals’ if you want to be glass-half-empty about it – before meeting the group in the evening.

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Rialto bridge, the most beautiful bridge in Venice
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Grand canal
venice food
Venice food
Venice+Seafood
Venice Seafood
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Gondolas

To make the most of Venice, get up early in the morning and head out to Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square). This will give you time to find a morning cup of coffee and watch the sun sparkling over the water before the square fills with fellow tourists (seriously, you won’t be able to swing a selfie stick by 11am). Stick out the lines to get into Saint Mark’s Basilica and you’ll be rewarded with a view as impressive as the sun shining across the Grand Canal.

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Aerial view of Piazza San Marco
Saint Mark’s Basilica Venice
Murals
san marco square in summer
San Marco Cathedral
Albergo San Marco
Albergo San Marco
,venice blog, venice city guide,venice travel blog, venice travel guide blog, venice visitor guide,
holding-the-grand-canal
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Grand canal
Henk Meijer/Alamy
Italy, Veneto, Venice, Santa Maria della Salute church on Grand Canal at sunset
Italy, Veneto, Venice. Santa Maria della Salute church on the Grand Canal, at sunset
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Grand Canal

And while you’re in the area, pop next door and climb the steps up Saint Mark’s Campanile – the bell tower – for a sweeping panorama of Venice. If your camera or smartphone allows you to take panorama photos, all the better. It only costs €8 to climb the bell tower. Bargain. Next, spend a few hours wandering around Venice getting purposefully lost. Venice isn’t just a couple of pretty bridges, and a nice view or two. Every single corner you turn around – and the city’s labyrinthine passageways and bridges mean there are a LOT of corners to turn around – you will get yet another postcard-worthy scene.

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Saint Mark’s Campanile

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy

On the second day of the Intrepid tour, me and a few others in the group caught a ferry (approximately €20) out to some of the smaller islands that surround Venice: Murano and Burano. Murano is famous for it’s glass-making, so you’ll get to see lots of hand-crafted glass animals, vases and chandeliers and wonder ‘how the heck did they do that?!’. Burano is known for it’s adorable, colourful houses (Facebook likes on your photos guaranteed). Well worth the trip if you’ve got a spare day to kill.

murano island

Murano, near Venice, Italy
Murano island, near Venice, Italy
murano glass factory (1)
One of the stores with cool window display of Murano chandeliers and other glass masterpieces.
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Shaping the glob of glass before blowing the bottle at the Murano Glass factory.
murano glass factory (1)
The Guanieri Glass Factory
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Murano Glass Factory Visit

murano glass factory (1)

murano glass factory (1)
Murano Glass Wine Glasses
murano glass factory (1)
Murano making a Glass Horse
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Murano Glass Shop
Colourful houses on Burano Island.
Burano Reflections
colorful Burano
Burano laundry
Young woman walking along the street, Burano, Venice, Veneto, Italy
Aerial view of Burano island
Burano, Venise
Burano cleaning day
Burano, Italy
Italy, Veneto, Venice, Burano, colourful window detail
Burano style window

In the evening, do the tourist thing: ride in a gondola, and watch as the sun sets over the canals. Gondola rides are expensive, so if you get a group of your fellow travellers together it will be cheaper for everyone. Score one for small group touring.

gondola venice (1)
Gondolas

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venice in winter
Venice in winter

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Venice canal. Credit: Venice travel blog
Al-Portego venice travel blog
Osteria Al Portego

venice travel blog venice bus boat

Read more: Venice travel blog — The fullest Venice city guide for a great trip to Venice on a budget for the first-timers.

Days 3 and 4: The Cinque Terre

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Robyn Horn, Flickr

Ah, the Cinque Terre. The string of centuries-old seaside villages that launched a thousand Instagram posts. To say that the Cinque Terre is eye-catching is an understatement – and it also offers a slightly more laid-back and peaceful few days of sightseeing than some of the busier cities in Italy (peaceful by Italian standards, anyway).

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Vernazza seen from hiking trail. | cinque terre travel blog
Sunset in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre National Park, Italy
Riomaggiore
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Beautiful Corniglia
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Monterosso al Mare beach where you can rent chair and umbrella to sunbathe.
Gastronomia San Martino
Gastronomia San Martino | cinque terre travel blog
Vernazza Winexperience
Vernazza Winexperience | cinque terre travel blog
Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
Gelateria Vernazza
Gelateria Vernazza

Continued reading…

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