Italy has become my favourite European destination.
I am Australian, but I have always felt a pull towards Europe. As a child, we travelled to Holland twice to visit family. Once when I was five and the next when I was ten. On the second trip, my parents took me on tour to Austria.
It was January, freezing and to me, it looked like a magical white wonderland. I loved it.
In my young mind, I thought there was no other time to travel other than winter. That trip was the first time I experienced snow. I loved the cold pinching my face, the feeling of being rugged up in a cosy jacket and scarf.
My dad taught me how to make a snowman and I learnt how to cross country ski. It was far removed from anything I had ever experienced in Australia, and I was hooked.
When my own family and I travelled to Europe, I worked as many countries as possible (without rushing) into our 2-month itinerary. There were many favourites, but Italy stood out as a front runner.
Perhaps it was because we stayed in three different locations – Rome, Orvieto and Venice. I purposely chose places that were different and that would give us a good overview of what Italy had to offer.
I liked Rome.
But I loved Orvieto and Venice.
Venice has an ethereal quality unlike anywhere else I have been, and Orvieto suits my penchant for small, quieter country destinations.
I have returned to Italy twice since then, exploring different areas and as well as revisiting Venice. But the last trip I undertook, last’s years first solo trip, was very much made it a winner in my eyes.
So far, that is.
What are the Italian Four Day Itineraries?
Each four-day itinerary was created by implementing my Itinerary Planning Formula.
By using this formula you create a perfectly balanced itinerary. It’s hard to know what to include in an itinerary when you travel – too much sightseeing can be exhausting, too many museums can be boring, too much time on your hands overwhelming – Itinerary Planning Formula alleviates that by teaching you what to include and when and where to focus your research.
The Italian Itineraries are a series of Four x Four Day complete itineraries where all the research has been done for you. Each one includes hotel, restaurant and tours suggestions (catering to all budgets), local tips and recommendations, an extensive Popular Places to visit list, weather information and packing lists plus day trip suggestions.
They also include a sample Daily Schedule so you don’t have to worry about what to do when, it’s all planned for you. But of course, it is totally customisable. The research has been done, you simply get to make the choices that suit you best and create your own itinerary, without all the stress and overwhelm.
Put all four Italian itineraries together to create a 16-day itinerary.
Or the itineraries are available separately. Perfect for those of you who want to create your own itinerary to Italy.
The first stop on this Italian itinerary is Florence.
Birthplace of Renaissance, Florence is filled with art and history and food.
Whatever you enjoy, Florence can accommodate. It is a beautiful, small city that is easy to walk around making it the perfect Italian city to explore. I don’t think it matters how often you visit Florence there will always be more to see, eat, wine to taste, stunning vistas to enjoy and places to wander.
I share my favourite restaurants with you and markets where you can spend time browsing like San Lorenzo, Sant’ Ambrogio and Mercato Nuovo.
Join an excellent food, wine and shopping tour, venturing off the beaten path and experiencing more of Florence than the tourist areas, although you can take time to enjoy the Galleria Accademia to see the stunning Statue of David and the Ufizzi Gallery where you can wander at your leisure.
Venture up to Piazzale Michelangelo to watch the sunset over Florence.
Take a Day Trip to Lucca, a short and easy train ride from Florence. You will have time to explore, walking around this lovely city, particularly along the ancient walls that surround it.
Be flexible and instead of heading back to Florence early, end the day with an aperitive and return to Florence for dinner. Or stay and enjoy dinner in Lucca.
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A city with a different vibe, Bologna is a university city. It is welcoming and casual. The architecture is beautiful and interesting, a city of porticoes.
It is another city that is easy to explore on foot, although it is nice to jump on board the City Red Bus to tour the city upon our arrival.
In this way, you will become familiar with Bologna and choose the places you want to explore more. Purchase a combo ticket and you can jump on the San Lucca Express – a small tourist train – that will take you up and out of Bologna to the Sanctuary of San Luca.
Join a walking food tour, I recommend Taste Bologna, and learn about all the best places to eat and experience life like a local like the oldest osteria in Bologna where we will share lunch, indulge in some wine and eat yourself crazy on what Bologna is known for – Mortadella, Ragu (Bolognese) and tortellini. Even if you aren’t a foodie, you will love it. This is Italian food at it’s most traditional and best.
See how Parmigiano-Reggiano is made and traditional balsamic, aged for over 30 years by joining a day tour out to Modena and the surrounding area. I joined Yummy Italy and had a great day. It was a nice break from solo travelling and jump on a small comfortable bus with someone else taking charge of all the day. As well as the balsamic and cheese tasting, we stopped and toured a prosciutto factory with tastings, of course, before finishing the tastings at a beautiful winery.
The day ended with a late traditional lunch with our group before heading back to Bologna.
One morning you could board a train and head to Ravenna for a day trip. In Ravenna, you can explore the beautiful city famous for its stunning mosaics.
You can explore at your leisure and see as many churches and mosaics as possible.
Apart from being famous for Shakespeare’s Rome and Juliet, Verona is a pretty city with so much more to see. It is another city that is easy to explore on foot, and you will have enough time here to see most of what it has to offer.
Join a walking Food Tour that takes you local eateries, pasta shops and includes wine tasting and traditional Veronese food. Lead by a local tour guide from Veronality, the tour is peppered with stories of family and food and is personable as well as being informative and a good way to get to know the best of Verona.
I will share my favourite restaurant with you but there are so many more great places to eat.
If you find you have seen enough of Verona, why not embark on a day trip – either jump on a train to a nearby town to explore, or join a full day tour, possibly to Lake Garda. It is a beautiful region with much to see.
If you want to venture a bit further, join Veronality on a day tour to the Dolomites. It’s hard to pass up the opportunity to see this stunning area, and with someone else organising the day, all you have to do is sit back and relax and enjoy the views.
Here you will experience wild, raw scenery the area is famous for, enjoying lunch of local cuisine.
Cortona has a special place in my heart, having spent six days here on a previous trip. It is a delightful town perched on the side of a hill and has stunning views out to Lake Trasimeno. It is famous for the book by Frances May, Under the Tuscan Sun and the movie of the same name.
Your itinerary includes my favourite restaurants and cafe and you will find many places to explore. Investigating on foot is easy in this small town, and you will have plenty of time to relax at the café bar or take a casual stroll in the Parterre Gardens.
One afternoon take a taxi to Le Celle, the monastery, before heading back to town. A peaceful place that will make a restful stop after a busy day.
Cortona at night
Montepulciano & Pienza
Join a wine tour that takes you to Montepulciano and Pienza, beautiful towns in Tuscany that are delightful to explore. And the wine is outstanding too!
A traditional lunch will be included.
You will need your camera at the ready on this day as you tour through the most iconic Tuscan countryside, and you will definitely want to capture it.
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This is an exciting trip. It is all my favourites in Italy so far, and I am so excited to be offering these planned, but fully customizable itineraries. Ready-made itineraries that you can personalise to your tastes and budget.
If you have any questions, please ask. I am only too happy to help you plan your trip.
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