How to Spend One Week in Italy
Collected by Becca Blond, AFAR Local Expert
It would be easy to spend a month in Italy without running out of experiences, but with just seven days you must stay focused. You can get the gist of the country (and not spend forever in transit) by visiting three major cities: Rome, Florence, and Venice. From art and history to food and romance, these three offer an excellent introduction to all things Italian and are easily accessed by train, making it possible to get the most out of an inevitably magnificent week.
Via del Gianicolo, 3, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
After a steamy day touring through the Roman ruins, the Gran Melia in Rome offers the perfect place to cool off. The city's first "urban resort," this hotel stands on the site of what was once home to the Roman Empress, Agrippina, mother to the...
Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This 1st-century wonder will take your breath away. Not only is it one of the city's most ancient sites, it's been in continuous use for centuries. Originally built as a private temple, today it is a Catholic church and the resting place of...
Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
One of my most memorable stops in Rome was of course the Piazza San Pietro and with it, the Basilica, and Vatican City. This huge square was laid in 1657 and holds the 400,000 worshippers and visitors who crowd this vast area in times of...
00120, Vatican City
When I walked into the World's largest Church, I had two feelings : I felt lucky and exhilarated. But when I started walking under the epitome of Renaissance art, I had a feeling that has no defination or boundaries.The Biblical narration of...
Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Via S. Zanobi, 33, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Via di Campestri, 19/22, 50039 Vicchio di Mugello FI, Italy
The olive reigns at Villa Campestri, a Renaissance villa built around a 13th-century fort. Activities include grove tours, oil tastings, seasonal cooking classes, and olive oil massages. The restaurant L’Olivaia serves farm-fresh Tuscan food with...
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
An ornate 15th-century private palazzo has been transformed into a lavish hotel (below) that faces the Rialto market. Artworks from the 1600s meet 21st-century amenities in the 42 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the Grand Canal. Doubles...
Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
Campo San Giacometto, 122, 30125 Rialto, Venezia VE, Italy
At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...
Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
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