Tuscany requires a car when visiting or you'd miss out photo opportunities such as this one.

10 days in Italy: Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre and Venice

In early September, we spent 10 days travelling in central Italy. We wanted to have a mix of bigger cities and small towns. The trip started in Rome and ended in Venice, spending four days in Tuscany and three days in Cinque Terre.

Itinerary for 10 days in Italy

Here’s our we spent our time across 10 days. To read more about how we spent each of the days, I’ve included links to my blog posts: 

  • Arrival in Italy with two days and one night in Rome (blog post)
  • On day 2, left in the late afternoon for an overnight in Orvieto (blog post)
  • Picking up the car in Orvieto, spent two days driving around the southern Tuscany region of the Val d’Orcia based in Montepulciano (blog post)
  • Then two days in the Chianti region based near Greve in Chianti (blog post)
  • Then to the west coast for three days and two nights in Cinque Terre (blog post)
  • A night stopover in Pisa after leaving Cinque Terre in the evening (blog post)
  • Finishing off the trip with two days and two nights in Venice (blog post)

This very packed itinerary meant we were changing accommodation pretty much every other night. This can be quite tiring but it also meant we could cover a lot of ground. Since we were always moving forward, it meant for minimal time in a car or on a train getting from one place to another. Instead, our time on trains was minimized and our time in the car was spent leisurely driving through Tuscan countryside.

On subsequent trips I’ve tried to make a few bases and explore from there but we also tend to travel within a smaller area. This 10 day itinerary is quite spread out across the country!

To see this itinerary on google maps, click on the following link: click here for itinerary map

Montalpulciano
The picture perfect Tuscan hill top town of Montepulciano at sunset.

Getting around in Italy

Firstly, this trip required open-jaw flights to make the most of our short time. This meant flying into Rome and out of Venice. This meant we didn’t have to backtrack which would have taken the better part of a full day.

Once in Italy, we used the train for many legs of the trip:

  • From the airport to Rome’s central train station Roma Termini using the Leonardo Express
  • Travelled from Rome to Orvieto on the regional train
  • The very short trip (~10 minutes) from La Spezia to the villages of Cinque Terre on the regional train
  • From Monterosso (in Cinque Terre) to Pisa on the intercity train
  • Finally from Pisa to Venice (via Florence) on the high speed train booked months in advance

I’ll start by saying the Tuscany leg of the trip requires a car. We picked up the car in Orvieto, drove around for four days, and dropped it off in La Spezia, the largest town near Cinque Terre. There are not many places I would recommend driving in Italy, but Tuscany is one of them.

Tuscany requires a car when visiting or you'd miss out photo opportunities such as this one. For first time visitors with 10 days in Italy, Tuscany should be considered.
Tuscany requires a car when visiting or you’d miss out photo opportunities such as this one.

Are you looking to visit Italy? If you have any questions on how to spend 10 days in Italy, please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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