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8-Day Italy Itinerary: Rome, Florence, and Venice

A boat travels through one of the canals in Venice, Italy during sunset
Boat on Canal in Venice, Italy / Melanie Fitzgerald

An Eight-Day Journey Through Italy's Timeless Beauty

Welcome, fellow wanderers! Let's explore the art of savoring each moment and forming deep connections with the destinations we encounter. First stop - Italy! Here is my suggested itinerary for an eight-day adventure through Rome, Florence, and Venice, immersing yourself in art, history, culture, and the joy of simply being.

Day 1-2: Rome - Unveiling the Layers of History

The adventure begins in the Eternal City, where every cobblestone whispers tales of the past. Kick off your exploration with a bus tour, allowing you to get an excellent overview of the city and visit iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain. These hop-on-hop-off tours offer convenience and a chance to take in the city at your own pace, fitting perfectly with the ethos of slow travel. Tickets are good for 24 hours. If time allows, ride the entire loop first, then decide when and where to stop along the route. The loop takes under two hours. 

Later that evening, dive deeper into Rome's culinary scene with a food tour, where you'll taste the flavors of authentic Italian cuisine. From freshly made pasta to mouthwatering gelato, let your taste buds dance with delight as you explore local markets and hidden eateries with a knowledgeable guide. Food tours are a great way to learn local customs and traditions, get insider tips and recommendations, and reduce the stress of finding the best places to eat. It also creates a sense of connection with fellow travelers.

No visit to Rome is complete without delving into its rich history and art. Spend a day wandering through the Vatican, marveling at the Sistine Chapel's ceiling painted by Michelangelo. As you gaze upon the intricate frescoes and sculptures, take a moment to appreciate the skill and dedication of the artists who brought these masterpieces to life. Then, venture to the Capitoline Museum, home to an impressive collection of ancient artifacts and Renaissance masterpieces, including the iconic statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback.

But slow travel is more than just sightseeing; it's about engaging with the local culture. Step into a mosaic class and let your creativity flow as you learn this ancient art form from skilled artisans. Under their guidance, you'll create a mosaic masterpiece to take home as a unique souvenir of your time in Rome. 

Day 3-5: Florence - A Renaissance Dream

Next, head to Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Immerse yourself in the city's artistic treasures with a guided tour of the Duomo and Michelangelo's David, two iconic symbols of Florence's rich cultural heritage. Climbing to the top of the Duomo offers panoramic views of the city and a moment of reflection as you ponder the centuries of history that have unfolded beneath its dome.

Afterward, treat yourself to a wine and food tasting tour, where you'll sample the region's finest wines and culinary dishes. From bold reds to crisp whites, each sip tells a story of the Tuscan landscape and the dedication of local winemakers. Accompanied by delectable cheeses, cured meats, and olive oils, this tasting experience is a celebration of Italy's gastronomic heritage.

For a unique experience, visit the Santa Maria Novella Apothecary, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Here, you can explore centuries-old recipes for perfumes, herbal remedies, and skincare products, connecting with Florence's tradition of wellness and beauty. As you wander through the historic halls lined with ornate jars and bottles, you'll feel transported to a bygone era of elegance and sophistication.

Take time to wander through Florence's charming streets, where every corner reveals a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you stumble upon a quaint cafe serving freshly brewed espresso or a bustling market brimming with local produce, embrace the spontaneity of travel and let the city's magic unfold before you.

Day 6-8: Venice - Navigating the Canals of Serenity

Our journey concludes in Venice, a city like no other, where shimmering canals replace streets and gondolas glide gracefully beneath ornate bridges. Start your exploration with a visit to Rosticceria Gislon, a local favorite known for its delicious Cicchetti (Venetian tapas) and refreshing spritz cocktails. Sitting at a canal-side table, watching the world drift by, you'll feel a sense of tranquility wash over you as you indulge in these epicurean treats.

Stroll along the Accademia Bridge, soaking in panoramic views of the Grand Canal and the picturesque palazzos that line its banks. Here, amidst the gentle lapping of water against stone, you'll find a moment of serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Capture the beauty of Venice with your camera or let it imprint itself upon your memory, knowing that you're experiencing a truly unique destination.

Hop aboard a water bus and cruise down the Grand Canal, admiring architectural marvels like the Rialto Bridge and the palatial Ca' d'Oro. As you glide past historic buildings and bustling piazzas, you'll gain a newfound appreciation for Venice's intricate network of waterways and the role they play in shaping the city's identity.

Let the city's beauty inspire your artistic expression, and join a watercolor class. Guided by a local artist, you'll learn techniques for capturing Venice's unique light and atmosphere, creating a personal memento of your time in this enchanting city.

And don't forget to indulge in Venetian delights like gelato at Bacaro del Gelato and traditional pastries at Cafe Florian, where literary giants like Hemingway once found inspiration. From creamy pistachio to tangy lemon, each scoop of gelato is a taste of pure bliss. Delicate pastries filled with sweet ricotta or almond paste are also a delicious reminder of Venice's culinary heritage.

After your eight-day journey through Italy, may you return home with cherished memories, newfound inspiration, and a deeper appreciation for the beauty of slow travel and Italy's timeless charm.


Don't Forget to Take These Along on Your 8-Day Italy Itinerary!

  • Comfortable walking shoes for exploring cobblestone streets

  • Lightweight, breathable clothing that you can layer

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat for sunny days

  • A refillable water bottle to stay hydrated on the go

  • A journal or sketchbook for capturing memories and creative inspiration

  • Travel-sized toiletries and skincare products for self-care on the road

  • A versatile cross-body travel purse with anti-theft technology like anti-slash material, locking zippers, and RFID-blocking technology

  • A small amount of Euros in case of emergencies. You can order them at your bank. They generally take 2-3 business days to arrive if they don't have them on hand. Also, remember to take a coin purse!

  • A reusable tote bag with a zipper for carrying souvenirs and local finds



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