9 Days in Italy: 5 Ideas for Planning Your Itinerary

By Chris Quan | Updated Feb. 27, 2024

Nine days in Italy are enough to visit its key destinations and have a fantastic experience, if planned strategically.

Designing a 9-day itinerary is influenced by your preferences, travel pace, and the specific regions you want to explore. Here are five popular options to inspire your planning.

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1. 9-Day Classic Rome, Florence, and Venice Itinerary

This is often the best option for first-timers. With this itinerary, you would visit Italy's main tourist cities and the most emblematic attractions. There are also food tours included to spice things up.

The pace of the whole trip is comfortable.

This itinerary could be planned like this: 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Florence, and 2 nights in Venice.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Rome and take a rest to get ready for the upcoming trip.
  • Day 2: Spend a day on the highlights of Rome. Explore its most-loved attractions including the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Roman Forum.
  • Day 3: Then take a day to experience the atmosphere of old Rome. Discover Rome's old town by visiting the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and more.
  • Day 4: Take a high-speed train to Florence.
  • Day 5: First take a 1-day classic Florence city tour. Visit Florence Cathedral, the Uffizi Gallery, the Old Palace, the Old Bridge, and Piazzale Michelangelo.
  • Day 6: Then, embark on a food tour in Florence. Explore the famous local San Lorenzo Market to try various local delicacies and enjoy some free time exploring.
  • Day 7: Take a high-speed train to Venice.
  • Day 8: Explore the essence of Venice. Take a gondola ride, visit the iconic Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, and taste Venice's local food on a special aperitivo food tour.
  • Day 9: Depart Italy.

Most of the tours in these three cities would be on foot, so preparing a comfortable pair of shoes would be really helpful.

If you are interested in these destinations, free feel to contact us for a tailored tour. We would provide a private tour service to suit your schedule including a guide service, booking your hotels, and arranging transportation within Italy with private transfers.

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2. 9-Day Classic Italy Itinerary with the Amalfi Coast

This itinerary differs from the classic route above with the opportunity to visit the famous Amalfi Coast in the south to see the Italian coastline and explore seaside towns.

If you want to make your 9 days in Italy go further south without missing the classic highlights, you could refer to this itinerary.

Spend 2 nights in each of Venice, Florence, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Venice and take a rest.
  • Day 2: Take a day trip to explore Venice's landmarks including Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, and the Doge's Palace. Then, have an iconic gondola ride and a food tour.
  • Day 3: Transfer to Florence. Do a half-day tour to explore the Accademia Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Day 4: Explore the heart of Florence. Visit Signoria Square, considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Italy for its exquisite architecture, pass through Florence's oldest bridge, and explore the famous Florence Cathedral.
  • Day 5: Transfer to Rome.
  • Day 6: Enjoy the essence of Rome during a day trip. Visit the iconic Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and the Arch of Constantine.
  • Day 7: Transfer to Sorrento (a town on the Amalfi Coast).
  • Day 8: Drive along the coastline to explore three seaside towns and see a charming cathedral, terraced gardens, and mansions.
  • Day 9: Depart Italy.

3. 9 Days in Southern Italy (Naples, Pompeii, and Sicily)

This itinerary focuses on the charm of southern Italian culture and scenery. You would immerse yourself in the historical ruins of Pompeii, enjoy Naples' pizzas, and relax in alluring Sicily.

You could plan your 9 days like this: 3 nights in Naples (with Pompeii) and 5 nights in Sicily.

  • Day 1: Naples arrival
  • Day 2: Naples exploration. Enjoy a guided walking and food tour to taste local street food and the most authentic pizzas in the birthplace of pizza. At night, if you want, we could arrange an exclusive dinner with a panoramic view of the Gulf of Naples.
  • Day 3: Enjoy a day trip to Pompeii. Visit this ancient city that was buried by a volcano more than 1,000 years ago and learn about its stories.
  • Day 4: Transfer to Sicily.
  • Day 5: Discover Palermo, one of the popular towns of Sicily. It is a day to explore the town's history by visiting its ancient palace, chapel, and royal gardens.
  • Day 6: Continue exploring Palermo with a day for delicious food experiences. Discover a variety of delicacies in the open markets and the streets around the vibrant square.
  • Day 7: Explore Taormina, the heart of Sicily. On this day of adventure, start journey to the Mount Etna volcano and see its unique "buttonhole" craters and volcanic caves.
  • Day 8: Enjoy some free time in Taormina.
  • Day 9: Depart Italy.

4. Rome and Tuscany in 9 Days (Central Italy Countryside Exploration)

Besides an immersion in history, in this itinerary, you would explore some of the popular towns in Tuscany for different experiences, including wine tasting, medieval architecture sightseeing, and some walking or biking experiences.

You could plan your 9-day itinerary like this: 2 nights in Rome, 2 nights in Florence, and 4 nights in the towns of Tuscany.

  • Day 1: Rome arrival
  • Day 2: Explore Rome's history and architecture by visiting iconic attractions including the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain.
  • Day 3: Transfer to Florence.
  • Days 4–5: Discover Florence's art and culture by visiting the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery. Take a walking tour of the city to see its architecture and feel its urban atmosphere.
  • Day 6: Enjoy a day trip to Chianti and San Gimignano. Take a stroll on cobbled streets, visit a family-run winery, and enjoy fine wine and food.
  • Day 7: Enjoy a day trip to Siena. This is a day to soak up the medieval atmosphere of Tuscany. Walk around the medieval streets and unique shell-shaped square and explore well-preserved medieval architecture, such as Siena Cathedral.
  • Day 8: Take a day trip to Pisa and Lucca. Visit the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa and climb to the top for panoramic views of Pisa and its surroundings. Walk or bike along the well-preserved city walls in Lucca for excellent views of the city.
  • Day 9: Departure

Many towns are not accessible by train, such as San Gimignano. Booking a private tour with a private car is recommended. It provides flexibility and allows you to explore remote areas or visit multiple towns in a day. Contact us to create your private trip.

5. 9-Day Milan, Lake Como, and Venice Tour (North Italy and Its Lakes)

This may not be a conventional itinerary for a first visit to Italy, but if you are seeking an unconventional journey immersed in Italian culture and nature, perhaps you will find inspiration from this itinerary.

Lake Como stands out as a highlight of this journey. It is Italy's largest lake, renowned for its enchanting scenery, luxurious resorts, and old lakeside towns. There, you could escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

Spend 2 nights in Milan, 3 nights in Lake Como, and 3 nights in Venice.

  • Day 1: Milan arrival
  • Day 2: Begin with a Milan day tour — a day to experience Milan's fashion and art atmosphere. See Milan Cathedral, visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls, and witness Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper.
  • Day 3: Then transfer to Lake Como.
  • Day 4: Visit the historic town of Como, featuring Como Cathedral, a stroll through the charming streets, and a scenic boat ride.
  • Day 5: Then venture out further for a hike. Some areas around Lake Como offer scenic hiking trails, which are recommended if you're interested in nature walks. Alternatively (or also), you could explore a local vineyard for wine tasting.
  • Day 6: Transfer to Venice.
  • Day 7: Take a classic day tour of Venice. Experience the essence of Venice by visiting its iconic architecture with a boat ride and a food tour.
  • Day 8: Hop on a boat to two of the city's nearby islands to experience Venice's famous glassmaking (on Murano Island) and see colorful houses (on Burano Island).
  • Day 9: Depart Italy.

Need Any Help?

Feel free to contact us for expert help in planning and arranging your Italy trip, and enjoy a hassle-free journey. We will create your specific itinerary based on your group size, travel length, travel time, interests, and other requirements.

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