3-Weeks In Italy Itinerary

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Italy is a destination all kinds of travellers could enjoy. Regardless if you only have a few days, a week, or even have about a month. If you are looking for a beach holiday, hiking trip, food getaway, or cultural trip – Italy should be on your list. If it’s your first time here, I highly recommend you check out these amazing books about Italy.

Italy is only of the few places on Earth where you could experience so many things in a short period of time. Due to its location, wherever you are coming from, you know there’s always a fast way to reach Italy. In this article, I will show you three different 3-weeks in Italy itineraries. One for the northern part, second for the southern part, and third for all over Italy trip. Some of the places and attractions might be repeated.

ALSO READ: Europe in 3 weeks on a budget

ITALY QUICK TRAVEL TIPS

colosseum, venice boat - 3 WEEKS IN ITALY

It’s pretty easy to travel to Italy. But to make things easier for you, I list quick travel tips for your visit to Italy.

Best time to go to Italy

Depending on what you want to do, basically, all year round is a good time to visit Italy. For hiking and summer activities, the busiest time is from June until August. For winter activities like skiing, it’s best to visit northern Italy from December until February.

If you want to avoid the crowd, Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September-November) are great times to explore Italy.

Getting around Italy

I once had a 6-hour layover in Rome and I didn’t want to spend all those hours at the airport. So, I tossed my luggage at the airport luggage storage, took the train to the city and had a nice local lunch, walked on Spanish steps, and of course, my favourite, a couple of spoons of gelato.

Italy, in general, has an amazing train system. Although some people may argue about its punctuality, it is very reliable and affordable indeed.

The best way to travel around Italy is by using the trains or trams for cities, planes, driving, then buses. Almost all cities are connected through trains. Big cities to big cities (Rome to Florence for example) takes only 3-hour by train.

If you want to go faster, you can always take a domestic flight. Most major cities are flights to all other major cities within the country.

On the other hand, if you prefer freedom of movement – rent a car. Just remember, most cars are in manual transmission. IDP (International Driver’s Permit) are valid in Italy. But double-check this one, because some countries will give international driver’s licenses to their citizens, but then Italy might not acknowledge or accept these.

Lastly, you can use buses, most young people will use the buses for affordability. However, personally, the difference in prices between bus and train is not much. At least on trains, you can walk around and stretch.

Visa and COVID-19 policy

Italy is part of Schengen which is a policy under the EU. This means that the Italian immigration office is following the same visa rules as other Schengen State members when it comes to allowing tourists to enter and travel in the country.

Travellers with passports from most Americas, most of Europe, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and some Middle East can enter and travel to Italy for 90 days (EU/Schengen Members have freedom of movement). The rest of the nationalities not on the list must apply for a Schengen visa.

Italy opened their international border to foreign tourists in 2021 to vaccinated travellers. However, due to Omicron, the restrictions have changed. The government announces changes every month, which you can check here.

Other basic travel tips

Here is a list of sites I use for travel services such as accommodations, tour sites, car rental, and even travel insurance.

MUST-SEE PLACES IN ITALY (pinned map)

Click the logo on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: Map Data: Google

3-WEEKS IN ITALY ITINERARIES

From the eyes of an outsider, I’d say the north of Italy is so different from the south. It has this older European vibe and everything feels more intimate. I love exploring this region because the train lines here are just great.

Going from city to city is no trouble (well, the train schedule is an extra challenge). It’s definitely the area I recommend for people who hate spending time at train/bus stations or even the airport. I also love that during summer, while it can be humid, the greenery keeps the temperature cool and walking around isn’t too bad. Now, let’s discuss the best itinerary for 3- weeks in Italy.

I recommend you fly to Milan and start your adventure from there.

Itinerary #1: North of Italy – Milan, Venice, Florence

david of michaelangelo statue, pasta, duomo idi milan - 3 WEEKS IN ITALY ITINERARY

This itinerary will take you to the north part of Italy where art is rich, wine is tasty, and fashion is part of the daily grind. The good thing about this itinerary is you can easily get from one place to another.

If you land in Milan, you can take a train to Venice, then a train to Florence. From Florence, you can take a flight home. If you feel like one week for each city is a little too much, you can add Bologna to your 3-weeks in Italy itinerary, it’s in the middle of these three great cities.

Week 1 – Milan

Milan is also known as a literature city. Even though Milan is now a modern city, you won’t get lost in the middle of skyscrapers. The city has managed to keep their historic buildings and charming streets while making sure they offer convenience to the locals and the tourists.

Must-see attractions in Milan:
Where to stay in Milan:

Week 2- Venice

3-weeks in Italy is incomplete without visiting the famous Venice, a very popular romantic destination in Italy. However, it’s more than a beautiful gondola ride, Venice holds historical sites and is pretty much the most popular floating city. Venice can be reached through a quick plane ride from Milan or a 3.5-hour train ride.

It is a small island city which means, you can easily just walk around, just remember there are many steps and small alleys. It’s so easy to spend 2 days in Venice or even a week. There are so many things to do and food to eat.

Must-see attractions in Venice:
Where to stay in Venice:

Week 3 – Florence

Florence is probably known for Renaissance Art, architecture, and monuments. It is also the home of the most popular galleries. For art and history fans, this is definitely a city you won’t want to miss. You can take a flight from Venice to Florence or enjoy a scenic 3-hour train ride.

If you find yourself with too much time in Florence, get on a day trip to Pisa or Bologna.

Must-see attractions in Florence:
Where to stay in Florence:

Itinerary #2: South – Rome, Naples, Sicily

The South of Italy offers stunning beaches and must-visit historical sites. There are also dozens of wineries to explore, castles to discover, and mountains to hike. This 3-weeks in Italy itinerary will start in the capital city of Rome, followed by the famous metropolitan city of Naples, then to Italy’s biggest island – Sicily.

The south of Italy is rich in history, outdoor activities, and of course enjoying the scenic Mediterranean Sea. Again, if you find that you have too much time on your hands, you can add Bari or hike the two best National Parks in this region – Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park and Pollino National Park

pompeii ruins, roman forum ruins - 3 WEEKS IN ITALY ITINERARY

Week 1 – Rome

Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history spanning 2,500 years, it has been a centre of politics, culture, power, and development. Vatican City, now an independent state can be visited during your trip to Rome. Some of the places you could visit in Rome include:

Must-see attractions in Rome:

Note that many of these places have a long wait line. Either get a skip-the-line ticket or start your day early.

Where to stay in Rome:

Week 2 – Naples

Naples is the third-largest city in Italy and has been inhabited since the neolithic period. It is full of squares, churches, and historical buildings, as well as modern amenities, nightlife, and adventurous activities such as:

Must-see attractions in Naples:
Where to stay in Naples:

Week 3 – Sicily

Sicily is the biggest Italian island that’s why the places to visit here almost seem endless. It has numerous beaches, archaeological sites, islets, and archipelagos. It is also tourist-friendly all year round as it has a great climate, nothing too extreme. Without further ado, here are some of the places you could visit while staying in Sicily:

Must-see attractions in Sicily:
  • Mount Etna is considered a UNESCO heritage site. It is accessible from 9 am to 4:15 pm during summer and from 9 am to 3:45 pm during winter
  • Mount Etna buggy tour
  • Zingaro Natural Reserve is open from 7 am to 7:30 pm
  • Taormina – a couple of places that you could visit here including Greco Teatro, Castelmola, and Isola Bela, which is a tiny island that was designated as a nature reserve.
  • Selinunte Archaeological Park is the largest in Europe. Tours last from 40 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the inclusions of the tour package you chose. It is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • No Mafia walking tour
  • Cala Gadir is perfect for divers as the sea is clear on all occasions. It is open from 9 am to 7 pm
  • Palermo food tour
  • Catania City tour
Where to stay in Sicily:

Itinerary #3 All around Italy: Venice, Rome, Sicily

vatican city, rome - 3 WEEKS IN ITALY ITINERARY

There are tons of modes of transportation when travelling across Italy. For long distances, you can either ride trains or aeroplanes. You could reach your destination faster by plane but it is more expensive. So, if you have ample time, and prefer to sightsee while travelling, then you could choose to ride a train instead.

For short travel, you can take the bus, rent a car or hire a private driver. If you chose the latter option, aside from having a private driver, they could serve as a semi-tourist guide as well and recommend places to visit. This 3-weeks in Italy itinerary will give all the best of Italy – historical Rome, stunning Venice, and the beaches of Sicily.

Week 1 – Venice

Even though it’s not one of the largest cities in Italy, Venice is among the most popular cities for tourism in the world. Some of their tourist spots draw millions of tourists per year, and here are some of them:

Must-see attractions in Venice:
Where to stay in Venice:

Week 2 – Rome

Rome is the most visited city in Italy and the 16th most visited city in the world. Here are some of the must-visit places during your stay in Rome.

Must-see attractions in Rome:
Where to stay in Rome:

Week 3 – Sicily

Sicily is a very interesting place. Aside from being the biggest island in Italy, they also have a language that has been recognized by UNESCO. Aside from that, Sicily has around 9 dialects. Besides their rich culture, there are also tons of places to visit in Sicily. Some of which include:

Must-see attractions in Sicily:
  • Mount Etna is considered a UNESCO heritage site. It is accessible from 9 am to 4:15 pm during summer and from 9 am to 3:45 pm during winter
  • Mount Etna buggy tour
  • Zingaro Natural Reserve is open from 7 am to 7:30 pm
  • Taormina – a couple of places that you could visit here including Greco Teatro, Castelmola, and Isola Bela, which is a tiny island that was designated as a nature reserve.
  • Selinunte Archaeological Park is the largest in Europe. Tours last from 40 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the inclusions of the tour package you chose. It is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm
  • No Mafia walking tour
  • Cala Gadir is perfect for divers as the sea is clear on all occasions. It is open from 9 am to 7 pm
  • Palermo food tour
  • Catania City tour
Where to stay in Sicily:

SUMMARY OF 3-WEEKS IN ITALY

Italy is such a great destination to spend your 3-week holiday. Whether you love being outdoors, dining in, or visiting museums, Italy can offer all this. The fact that they also have such a wonderful train system and lots of domestic flights, makes travelling here so much easier even if you don’t speak the language.

I hope that you found this article about 3-weeks in Italy helpful in creating your own travel itinerary during your vacation. Enjoy your time there and don’t forget to enjoy a gelato!

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Are you planning a vacation to Europe soon? How about Italy? This destination have so much to offer. From food, historical sites, to outdoor activites. Here's how you can spend 3-weeks in Italy. via @threeweektraveller

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