How to Have an Epic 2-Week Italy Itinerary

First-time in Italy_ An itinerary for Italy in 10-14 days

AMAZING ITINERARY FOR ITALY IN 14 DAYS

If you are planning your 2-week Italy itinerary, this post is for you! This 2-week Italy itinerary helps you to see some of the most beautiful places of Italy in 14 days (or a little less).

There are not many countries that are so rich in natural sights and beautiful architecture and history! Italy plays in a different league, and you could never spend too much time here.

While I have many favorite places in Italy, some quite unknown to tourists, I understand that the main tourist destinations like Rome, Venice, and Florence are on everyone’s bucket list!

For your first trip to Italy, these destinations are probably very high on your list! And I can assure you: Each destination is impressive and worth a visit. 

In two weeks you will experience some city life and also some stunning scenery. But more on that later.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2 WEEKS IN ITALY

So, before talking about the perfect 14 days in Italy, here are some travel tips for your first-time trip. Find out how to get around, where to stay, and more tips for your trip.

HOW TO GET AROUND ITALY IN 14 DAYS 

There are two main ways to get around in Italy. I have done both: road-tripping and rail travel.

I suggest using the train to discover Italy in two weeks. You might have less freedom by using public transportation only but will gain so much more. Particularly, because it is less nerve-wracking compared to driving in Italy and it is way cheaper (at least, if you travel alone or in a group of 2 or where you can share the costs of a rental car).

ROAD TRIPPING

  • Petrol is sooooo expensive in Italy. It has some of the highest petrol prices in Europe, even more, expensive than in Switzerland!
  • Tolls are also pricey.
  • Plus, the streets are narrow, and Italians rush when it comes to driving!

TRAIL TRAVEL

Luckily, public transportation is an excellent alternative.

  • Trains are quite cheap, reliable, and very efficient.
  • Trains might run late a few minutes. Basically, all my trains were 5-10 minutes late, but that is still tolerable in my eyes.
  • Check out prices and schedules here.

So, go with public transportation for this Italy trip.

BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY FOR 14 DAYS

You can visit all the places mentioned in this two-week Italy itinerary throughout the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter.

However, I recommend NOT visiting Italy in the summer months. It is hot and sticky, expensive, and worst of all, every place is full of tourists

Understandably, tourists are here all year round, but in the summer months, be prepared to fight your way through the crowds. If you plan to visit attractions during the summer months, you will need to buy the more expensive “skip-the-lines tickets.“ Otherwise, you will spend a big portion of your day, waiting in lines. 

Even during shoulder seasons, I highly recommend those tickets because it gets busy – but in summer, it is a must!

Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

PLACES TO STAY IN ITALY FOR 2 WEEKS

Since I suggest rail travel for you, and I recommend not changing hotels too often as it makes the trip more stressful.

  • If you stay 14 days in Italy, my tip is to have a base near/in Rome for exploring Rome and Vatican City. Then have a base near/in Florence and a base in Venice. If you visit Cinque Terre and its surroundings, I recommend staying in La Spezia, a city directly in front of Cinque Terre.

These places are, without a doubt, quite expensive. It might be cheaper to stay a bit further out of the city. If you do so, make sure the train station is close by so that you can easily get to the places you want to visit.

So, here are my recommendations for places to visit for your Italy itinerary.

I suggest arriving in Rome and end your trip in Venice. You can, of course, do the trip the other way around and start with Venice. I wouldn’t change the stops in between, though, as they make sense looking at Italy’s geography.

PLACES TO VISIT IN 10-14 DAYS IN ITALY

Okay, let’s talk about all the beautiful places you can visit in up to 14 days in Italy.

ROME AND VATICAN CITY FOR 3-3,5 DAYS

Arrival in Rome + Rome + Vatican City 

  • Rome has two airports: Fiumicino and Ciampino.
  • Both airports are well connected to the city center.
  • The cheapest way to get to the city center is via a shuttle bus. The most expensive is via taxi or private transfer!

ROME (2 DAYS)

I suggest not wasting too much time in the hotel – head out and explore Rome! What a unique ancient and special city. 

View from Castello del Angelo  - best viewpoints in Rome with Arzo Travels
@shutterstock

I’d say that the minimum amount of time for Rome and Vatican City would be 2.5 days. Three full days would be even better. Also, plan in a few hours to get to the next destination.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN ROME

  • Colosseum is the largest ancient amphitheater ever built
  • Roman Hills & Palatine Hills is the centremost of the Seven Hills of the city is one of the most ancient parts of Rome
  • Spanish Steps are a set of steps, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti
  • Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele is a national monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy
  • Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city 
  • Castel Sant’Angelo was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Later, it was used by the popes as a fortress and castle and is now a museum.
  • Here are my travel tips for Rome

WHERE TO STAY IN ROME

Rome is one of the busiest cities in Italy. Accommodation can be pricey though you will not find many of the typical 5-star hotel chains that you might know from other parts of the world.

  • Luxury Hotels in Rome: St. Regis is one of the few hotel chains with a property in Rome. The hotel is popular because of its central location (within walking distance to Rome attractions like the Spanish Steps, etc.). Click here to find out more and get the best rates.
  • Mid-Range Hotels in Rome: This 3-star hotel is also popular – find out more about the Suites Farness Design Hotel.
  • Budget Hotels in Rome: Looking for a budget hotel in Rome? This might be the perfect choice for you: We were a group of three and needed a big room with three beds. And we were really, really happy with our hotel. It was not spectacular, but the location was good, and so was the value for money: Find out more about the St. Peter Bed in Rome here.

VATICAN CITY (1 DAY)

Crossing borders has never been easier than crossing the Italian border and entering a new country – Vatican City. I must admit, the excursion to Vatican City was one of the highlights of my Rome trip. I highly recommend a day trip (or at least half a day in Vatican City) and to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica

That view....Places to see in Vatican City

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN VATICAN CITY

  • Sistine Chapel is a chapel in Vatican City and the official residence of the pope
  • Spiral Staircase was designed to link the Belvedere Palace to the streets of Rome. This also allowed Pope Julius II to travel directly to his private residence by carriage
  • Raphael’s Rooms form a suite of reception rooms and are now part of the Vatican Museums. They are famous for their frescoes
  • St. Peter’s Basilica is a church built in the Renaissance style
  • Check out this Vatican City 1-day itinerary with important travel tips

FLORENCE AND TUSCANY FOR 3 OR 4 DAYS

Then it is time to visit Tuscany and its capital of Florence.

From Rome to Florence

  • From Rome’s Termini Station, you can take the train to Florence. It only takes about 90 minutes.

They say that the earlier you book, the better and cheaper it will be. However, I haven’t noticed that prices go up within a few days for train tickets. So, I always bought them more or less last-minute. But please do not take my word for granted and double-check because I might be wrong.

FLORENCE (2 DAYS)

Florence in one day is possible, but not fun! This city is bursting with attractions and sights. There is so much to do and see that you should try to stay 1,5-2 days.

Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy
@shutterstock View from Piazzale Michelangelo

Even if you aren’t into art – believe me, I am not – art in Florence is a different matter and totally amazing – you will love the city. You might skip a few museums and “finish“ within 1.5 days.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN FLORENCE

  • Florence Cathedral helped set the tone of the Italian Renaissance – now, is the third largest church in the world
  • Uffizi Gallery is a famous art museum housing impressive collections of ancient sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the Modern period
     
  • Ponte Vecchio is a medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River
  • Piazzale Michelangelo is on a hill on the south bank of the Arno River and offers a stunning panorama of the city
  • Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence
  • Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio and still maintains its reputation as the political focus of the city.
  • Check out my Florence trip for more tips.

After your 2 days in Florence, it is time to do one or two day trips and explore the area around Florence. You can also do them in between the days you are in Florence. You can do San Gimignano and Siena in one day and see Lucca and Pisa the other day. 

WHERE TO STAY IN FLORENCE

I did not stay overnight in Florence but took a train from my accommodation nearby. However, based on recommendations, these are my tips for places to stay in Florence:

LUCCA AND PISA (1 DAY)

So, when planning your two-week Italy itinerary, you should plan one full day for Pisa and Lucca. These two places are located close to each other which makes it a perfect day trip from Florence.

PISA

As mentioned, the main places in Italy are easily accessible by train. While I road-tripped Tuscany, I often left my car at the hotel and used trains to get around, so I also suggest doing day trips this way.

Day trip to Pisa, The leaning tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower in Pisa

Pisa is well known for its Leaning Tower, but there is actually more to see. Lucca is a little gem, and while not really off-the-beaten-path, it is probably one of the least busy and least crowded places on this itinerary.

How to get to Pisa from Florence

It is easy to get to Pisa from Florence (in Italian Florence is Firenze). It takes about one hour by train, and the cheapest tickets are less than 9€ one way.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN PISA

  • Leaning Tower of Pisa is the freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of Pisa, most known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean
  • Cattedrale di Pisa is a medieval Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  • Camposanto Monumentale is a historical edifice at the northern edge of the Cathedral Square
  • Palazzo Blu is the center for temporary exhibitions and cultural activities
  • Check out my travel guide on Pisa for more information

On your way back, stop in Lucca – a lovely, charming medieval town. Lucca is a little gem, and while not really off-the-beaten-path, it is probably one of the least busy and least crowded places on this Italy itinerary.

Secret places places in Italy, Lucca in Tuscany

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN LUCCA

  • Guinigi Tower
  • Basilica of San Frediano
  • St. Martin Cathedral
  • Plaza del Anfiteatro (Piazza dell’Anfiteatro)

SIENA + SAN GIMIGNANO (1 DAY)

Another day trip from Florence could be a trip to Siena and San Gimignano. Both are wonderful places to visit – you could rush a bit and add both places to your itinerary or decide on one of the places.

SIENA

Siena is known as one of Italy’s best medieval cities. It takes about 70-90 minutes to get from Florence to Siena by public transportation.

The city sits over three hills, so comfortable shoes are a must.

Sienna tower, looking up

THINGS TO DO IN SIENA

  • Piazza del Campo 
  • Duomo di Siena
  • Pubblico Palace
  • Tower of Mangia
  • Basilica of Caterina
  • Foto Gala
  • Check out my Siena travel guide for more tips

SAN GIMIGNANO 

Siena is beautiful and you might need one full day for visiting it. However, I would try to add another town/place on this day. Some might also be interested in visiting San Gimignano, a famous village about an hour from Siena. 

It is a small hilltop village encircled by 13th-century walls. It looks pretty to look at but also the village itself is impressive.

landscapes of Italy. medieval San Gimignano - Tuscany cutest towns in Italy
@shutterstock

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN SAN GIMIGNANO

  • Piazza della Cisterna
  • Torre Grossa
  • Duomo di San Gimignano
  • Palazzo del Popolo
  • Torre e Casa Campatelli

With Florence or Rome as your base, you have spent about six to seven days in Italy so far – it is time for some beach time and a different side of Italy.

CINQUE TERRE AND PORTO VENERE FOR 2 DAYS

CINQUE TERRE + PORTO VENERE (2 DAYS)

It is time to head to Liguria – a beautiful region northeast of Italy.

It is quite easy to get to Cinque Terre and Porto Venere from Florence. 

  • From Florence, you take a train to La Spezia. You cannot get to Cinque Terre by car. It is almost impossible and will make your hard day harder, so park your car at La Spezia.
  • From there, you will hop on the Cinque Terre Train, which will take you to Cinque Terre within minutes.

CINQUE TERRE 

This string of five towns on the Italian Riviera is famous for its colorful seaside houses and a great combination of relaxed Italian village life and outdoor activities, like swimming and hiking. While I enjoyed my time in Cinque Terre, I would suggest not spending more than 1,5 days there. Italy has so much to offer, and two weeks in Italy actually isn’t that much – and Cinque Terre is quite small.

Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore Harbor (1 von 1)

It is easy to visit the five villages. Either hike or hop on the train that connects all 5 villages. It does not take much time.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN CINQUE TERRE

  • Riomaggiore
  • Manarola
  • Corniglia
  • Vernazza
  • Monterosso
  • Here is my Cinque Terre travel guide (also with more images and plenty of travel tips)

There are many more beautiful places in Tuscany – check them out here.

PORTO VENERE

This place is not a typical stop on most Italy itineraries, but I loved it. Porto Venere is a small and lesser-known but equally stunning (or probably even more stunning) little fishing village near Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre, half day trip to Porto Venere

Cinque Terre is quite small, and you can explore it in one day or 1,5 days max. Use the rest of the time for Portovenere. I know places like Portofino, which is also in this area, are more famous and popular with visitors, but after having visited both, I can say, that I liked Portovenere better.  

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN PORTO VENERE

  • Doria Castle
  • Promenade
  • San Pietro Church
  • Byron’s Grotto
  • San Lorenzo Church
  • Cemetery
  • Here is my Portovenere travel guide (with more pictures and info)

Spend 1-1,5 days in Cinque Terre and half a day – 1 day in Porto Venere. I would leave half a day for the onward journey. If you want to find out more about the area, check out my post with the most beautiful places in Liguria.

WHERE TO STAY IN CINQUE TERRE

  • Riomaggiore is a popular place to stay in Cinque Terre. I stayed there, too. Check out rates and prices here for the hotel I stayed at. The location was okay. It did not come with any great views, but it was easy to reach from the train station, and the room was quite big by Italian standards. 
  • However, I would choose differently if revisiting Cinque Terre, and it would probably be in Vernazza or Manarola because they were the prettiest towns in my eyes.
  • If you are on a budget, I actually recommend staying in La Spezia. After two nights in Cinque Terre, I booked a hotel in La Spezia for two nights. I used it as a base to get around and see other places in Cinque Terre, like Porto Venere, and it is easier to take a train if heading to your next destination on your Italy itinerary. Click here to find the best hotels in La Spezia.

VENICE, BURANO, AND VERONA FOR 3-4 DAYS

So, while the two weeks in Italy are almost up, you still have a few highlights on your itinerary.

From Cinque Terre to Venice

  • I recommend that you now head to Venezia Santa Lucia.
  • The whole journey will take about 2 hours.

Venice (1 Day)

Venice is a city like no other. I have never seen or experienced such a city before. Even those who didn’t like Venice can‘t disagree on that.

Venice Itinerary 2 days

Seeing all the gondolas and ferries, and no cars around, makes this city quite surreal. So, you have to see and experience the city, the Grand Canal, gondolas, and everything else to really believe it.

However, the city itself is quite small. Venice is one of those places you have to see once in your lifetime. While there is definitely way more to see and do in Rome or Florence, Venice also has some attractions.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN VENICE

  • Grand Canale
  • Doge’s Palace
  • Saint Mark’s Basilica
  • Rialto Bridge
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Campanile Tower
  • Check out my Venice guide for more info.

But after one full day in the city, you will have seen all the main attractions and might even have time to visit a museum or two.

WHERE TO STAY IN VENICE

  • Luxury Hotels in Venice: Venice has some great 5* hotels like the Gritti Palace with a lovely view of the Grand Canal. You can check the prices for the Gritti Palace here.
  • Mid-range Hotels in Venice: Travel back in time to the 18th century at Antica Locanda Sturion Residenza d’Epoca: antique furniture, silk wallpaper, and views of Rialto and Grand Canal. Check out the prices for this hotel here. 
  • Budget Hotels in Venice: The family-run Hotel Locanda Ca’ Foscari offers some hotel rooms with ensuite bathrooms, as well as cheaper rooms with shared bathrooms, at a good location close to a Vaporetto ferry stop. Check out prices here.
  • If you plan to travel to Verona by train or need even cheaper accommodation, consider staying in Mestre, the first large city on the mainland. The ao Hotel Venezia Mestre is conveniently located near the train station. Recently built, it provides comfortable rooms as well as dorms, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Check out the prices here.

BURANO AND MURANO (1 DAY)

If you have one full day, visit Burano and Murano but if you have less than one full day, make sure to visit Burano – the most colorful place in the world. Burano is a small little island near Venice and it is easy to get from Venice to Burano and Murano.

You can buy a 24-hour (or 48-hour) pass, which allows you to use unlimited water taxis. Within 90 minutes, you are in colorful Burano. Spending 2-5 hours on the island is totally enough because it really is tiny!

Best Instagram pictures for Burano

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN BURANO

If you like, you can also visit Murano, which is on the way to Burano. If you have a 24-hour ticket for the water taxis, you can just get out in Murano and take another taxi later to head to Burano.

See if you still have time left to discover this little island that is known for its glassworks. However, I would make Burano a priority. 

VERONA (1 DAY)

You can do a day tour from Venice to Verona.

  • It takes a bit more than one hour to get to Verona from Venice.

One of the best, most pleasant surprises in Italy was the beautiful city of Verona. Though it was bursting with tourists, I have the feeling that it is somewhat underrated.

Verona in one day, the best Verona travel travel tips and best 1 day Verona itinerary
@shutterstock

And when I went through my own images, I understand the problem: taking great pictures is a bit challenging because it is so full of statues and attractions that something is always “in the way.“ It is hard to find a good angle. Thus, I hardly saw great photos that convinced me to go. Luckily, I still went and was happy because it is just the most charming city in Italy.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT IN VERONA

WHERE TO STAY IN VERONA

Verona is great for a day trip from Venice, but of course, you can stay there overnight, too. 

  • I highly suggest picking a hotel directly in the city center, and I would choose this hotel for my next Verona trip.

DEPARTURE

Now, there is some bad news. It is time to leave beautiful Italy! Your two weeks are up! There are many other gorgeous places to visit in Italy – I do not want to confuse you but I want to give you more options in case you are looking for alternatives.

  • Check out this guide on the Dolomites – this area in Northern Italy is perfect if you are an outdoor person who likes hiking. 
  • If you want to spend time in and around Lake Como and Milan, you can check out this Lombardy itinerary.
  • If you want to avoid long train rides and rather focus on one part of Italy, you can check out this Northern Italy itinerary or find out about the best places in Southern Italy.

CONCLUSION: ITALY IN 14 DAYS

Wait, where is Milan? As you can see, some top places, like Lake Como and Milan or the Dolomites, are not on the list. They surely are lovely and have their charm, but with limited time (meaning less than three or even four weeks in Italy) for the first time, I suggest the places mentioned above.

If you are a restless traveler and want to add even more places to the itinerary, I have more tips here. However, this itinerary is busy already, though it should not stress you out.

If you plan a trip to Italy, you’re sure to broaden your horizon and experience a variety of unique adventures. I can highly recommend that you travel to Italy for a guaranteed great trip.

You will be able to see quite a lot – and with this 2-week Italy itinerary, you get a perfect idea of the best places to visit.

However, you can never spend enough time in the country and 2 weeks in Italy is surely not enough, so it will just whet your appetite for Italy, and you can see more of it on your next trip.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

 

Best Things to do in 2 Days in Florence, Tuscany

The best 2 days in Florence itinerary, what to do and see in 24-48 hours in Florence

HOW TO PLAN YOUR 2-DAY FLORENCE ITINERARY

Are you planning your Florence itinerary and are wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Florence? Then this post is perfect for you – here I share my tips on what to do in Florence for 2 days.

Florence had been on my Italy bucket list forever (mostly because of Michelangelo), and yet it took me more than a decade to finally visit. I fell so in love that I had to revisit just a few months later. 

First off: I am by no means an architecture or art enthusiast, but after reading a biography of Michelangelo as a teenager, I knew I had to visit Florence. And of course, there are Leonardo Da Vinci and the Medicis… And what can I say? Florence did not disappoint. 

You cannot visit Tuscany and skip Florence. After all, Florence is Tuscany’s capital and most famous city, with millions of people visiting it each year. It should be on any Italy itinerary.

In this 2-day Florence itinerary, I share with you:

  • How to Get to Florence
  • How to Get Around Florence for 2 Days
  • Best Time to Visit Florence
  • Where to Stay for 2 Days Florence
  • Places to Visit on Day 1 in Florence
  • Places to Visit on Day 2 in Florence

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR 2 DAYS IN FLORENCE

How long should you stay in Florence? Well, I suggest staying at least 2 days. You will not see all of its beauty, but with 2 days in the city, you can still visit most of the stunning sights. 

How to Get to Florence

You have two airport choices to get to Florence. The airport in Pisa is actually bigger than the one in Florence and you might fly into that.

  • From Pisa Airport: Take the Pisa Mover shuttle train to Pisa Central Station. There you can transit by train to Florence’s main train station (Firenze), Santa Maria Novella.
  • From Florence Airport: The Volainbus shuttle bus runs to the Florence bus station every 30 minutes during the day and hourly in the evening.

Florence is also quite easily accessible via train from many places in Italy. Even if you are coming from neighboring countries like Austria, Slovenia, or Switzerland, it might be worth checking the train connections to Florence.

How to Get Around Florence for 2 Days

WALKING

  • Many of the attractions listed here are in the city center and within walking distance of each other. Wear comfy shoes because of some (minor) uphill walking and the cobbled-stoned streets.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • If you need to take a bus or public transportation, don’t worry. It is easy, safe, cheap, and reliable.
  • If you stay outside the city center, you will arrive at one of the train stations – Santa Maria Novella or Campo di Marte in Florence. Then walk or take the bus to the attraction (or walk).
  • You can buy tickets for the buses at tobacco shops and newsagents, and they come as either a single trip or a multi-trip. Tickets are quite cheap and are only around 1,50€ one way. The last resort is to buy one from the driver, but it will cost you a bit more. Remember always to validate your ticket on the bus (or at the train station when taking the train). ALWAYS!

CAR

  • Getting around via car is impossible as a tourist because the center of Florence is a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL), which means you need a permit to drive there.

Best Time to Visit Florence For a Weekend

Never visit Italian cities in the summer. At least, if you want to avoid the heat and crowds of tourists. Like hardly any other country, Italy is stuffed with people in the summer months, and Florence is no exception.

The shoulder season is certainly the best time to visit Florence. So, if you can, visit Florence in April or May (and early June probably) or from mid-September to October. 

Where to Stay For 2 Days in Florence

Florence skyline from Piazzele Michelangelo

More Travel Tips For Your 2-Day in Florence Itinerary

  • Keep in mind that some of the biggest museums in Florence, including the Uffizi, Galleria dell’Accademia, and the Palazzo Pitti (which holds the Boboli Gardens), are closed on Mondays, so if one of your 2 days in Florence is a Monday, you might need to make some adjustments! One of the few exceptions is the Duomo and Duomo museum, which are open on Mondays.
  • Besides, all the museums close on certain holidays, like Christmas. Make sure to check the website before visiting.
  • If you are on a budget, check out my Florence budget guide for some tips on how to save money.

2-DAY FLORENCE ITINERARY

So, here we are: discussing places to visit in 2 days in Florence. Day 1 focuses on the city center and its attractions and day 2 focuses on the other side of the river with some lesser-known activities.

Day 1 of 2 Days in Florence Itinerary

Early in the morning, when it is still quiet at the city center, head to the Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square). This will be the only time you can take pictures of the stunning buildings without millions of other people around! It is the perfect place to start your day in Florence.

Stop 1: Piazza del Duomo

Your first stop should be the Piazza del Duomo. It is home to several attractions and is located in the heart of Florence.

You will find the impressive Duomo (cathedral), which is also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

This stunning church was completed in the 15th century – being the fourth largest church in the world back then. Today, it is the 11th largest church building in the world.Florence Duomo - visit this place in 2 days in Florence

Florence Campanile with churchThere are several ways to enjoy the Duomo Complex:

You can marvel at it from the outside; see the Duomo from inside and enjoy the mosaic floors and frescoes; and visit the Baptistery with its bronze Gates of Paradise.  

You can also climb Giotto’s very tall bell tower for the views. It was named after the painter Giotto, who also was the architect of the project for the bell tower (though the bell tower was only completed after his death). 

I am all about views, so I highly suggest climbing to the top and soaking in the sights. Oh, and you should be aware that there are quite a few steps to climb. To be exact, there are 414 steps to reach the very top!

TIPS:

  • Visiting the Duomo is free, but you will need a ticket for the top and the Baptistery.
  • I recommend buying the ticket in advance and having the option to skip the lines. Believe me: I visited at the beginning of April before 9 am, and I saw them…the lines were long! Yes, they exist in the off-season before 9 am! Imagine this during peak season and after 9 or 10 am! It must be shocking! 
  • Come here early to avoid the crowds inside.
  • Total time: I would estimate, for seeing everything, anywhere from 1-5 hours (with skip-the-line tickets, much longer without them). Find out about prices for skipping the lines at the Duomo and a guided tour here.
  • Opening hours: The opening hours for the areas differ. Check out the opening times here.

Stop 2: Piazza Della Signoria

Close to the Duomo is the Piazza Della Signoria. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the piazzas (squares) in Italy? They tend to be colorful, fun, and lively – and Piazza Della Signoria is no exception.Florence Piazza della Signoria in one of the best places to go

Florence Michelangelo David StatueYou will find statues like the equestrian statue of Cosimo I by Giambologna Fountain of Neptune by Ammannati. And of course, the replica of the famous statue of David by Michelangelo.

This piazza used to be the center of Florence’s political power for centuries. From here, you have quite a few impressive buildings to look at. There is the grand Palazzo Vecchio, headquarters of the city government, and a city museum.

After 10 am, this piazza fills with tons of tourists, but it is still so much fun and worth it.

You could visit the Palazzo Vecchio, but my guide actually recommends another place for admiring art – so feel free to skip it with only two days in Florence.

  • Total time: It depends on how closely you look at everything, but my guess is between 20 and 90 minutes (without the Palazzo Vecchio).

Stop 3: Lunch at Day 1 in Florence

Maybe it is already time for lunch? The best restaurants are said to be on the other side of the river. However, close to Piazza Della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery is a street named Via Dei Neri, where you can also find good food. 

Actually, according to my local guide, you will get the best sandwiches in Florence there. All the restaurants there have good sandwiches – which is considered a typical meal in Florence.

Stop 4: The Uffizi Gallery

Close to the Piazza Della Signoria is the Uffizi Gallery. As mentioned, I am not an art fan. By no means do I understand much about it. But names like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci make even my heart beat faster. Florence Uffizi Gallery which is one of the main points of interests in 2 days in FlorenceCommissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, the building was conceived to house the “Uffizi”, the administrative and legal offices of Florence in the 16th century. Now, the Uffizi Gallery entirely occupies the first two floors of the building. 

The Uffizi Gallery is one of Italy’s top museums and one of the most important in the world. Its large collection of Renaissance masterpieces displays Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and many more.

  • Florence is quite busy – at any time of the year. So make sure to buy skip-the-line tickets in advance to avoid wasting much time waiting.
  • Skip-the-lines tickets are a bit more expensive but will save you valuable time with just 2 days in Florence.
  • Total time: 1,5 to 4 hours
  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8.15 am to 6.50 pm
  • On Saturdays and holidays, it will be necessary to make the reservation at least one day in advance
  • Closed on: Mondays, 1 January, 25 December

Stop 5: Ponte Vecchio

I admit I did not really understand the fascination for the most famous bridge – Ponte Vecchio – when I initially looked at its pictures.

I mostly saw pictures taken from people standing on the bridge…but after finally visiting, I got it. Now, I really got it!Florence Ponte Vecchio which is one main tourist attraction to visit in 2 days in Florence

The Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) connects the river banks (nothing unusual for a bridge, but wait) and probably dates back to the 10th century. It was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218. It was destroyed once by a flood but rebuilt in the 14th century.

Florence Vecchio Bridge close-up_

The bridge looks like a little street with houses from a distance. On the bridge, you can buy souvenirs and jewelry from the little shops but be warned; this place is stuffed with people.

  • The opening hours are not the same for all shops. Some shops might be closed on Sundays or Monday mornings and some might close during lunchtime.
  • However, you can cross the bridge at any time.
  • After crossing the bridge, you are on the other side of Florence. It is less busy and less visited, but it also holds a few great places and attractions. However, we will focus on that side of Florence on day 2 of this itinerary.

Stop 6: Dinner in Florence

Cross the bridge to have dinner, if you are ready for it. My local guide told us that the best restaurants are on this south side of the river. Cheaper, more authentic, and they all serve good food! 

If you are not ready for an early dinner yet, you will find more options later. Then cross the bridge just for fun.

So, after dining it is time to end the evening at a beautiful spot.

Stop 7: Giardino Delle Rose

So, for the rest of the day, head to Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers gorgeous views of the skyline. But don’t head there straight away – before the Piazzale, you will find a gorgeous little garden that you should take your time in.Florence Rose Garden with a view for your Florence itinerary

Rose Garden in Florence- things you can do in Florence on a budgetIf you have crossed the Ponte Vecchio, it takes about 20 minutes and is an uphill walk, but not too difficult.

The Rose Garden in Florence is beautiful! You will find 1200 botanical vanities and 400 rose species… It also houses a Japanese garden, donated by the twin city of Kyōto and the Zen Kodai. That all come with great views and a lovely setting (and tons of options to sit and rest).

The garden was created in 1865 by Giuseppe Poggi, who also designed also the Piazzale, on behalf of the City of Florence. The Rose Garden is just below the Piazza Michelangelo, and thus, a great stop on your way up.

If you plan to visit, keep the opening hours in mind:

  • Free entrance
  • January, December 9 am – 4:30 pm
  • February, October, November 9 am – 5 pm
  • March 9 am – 6 pm
  • April, May, September 9 am – 7 pm
  • June, July, August 9 am – 8 pm

Stop 8: Piazzale Michelangelo

End your first day in Florence here: Piazzale Michelangelo. This piazza was created in 1869 by Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi. From there, you can admire the gorgeous view of Florence and the skyline of the city. Florence view from Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best things to seeIn the middle of the square, you will find another replica of the statue of David.

You can buy something to drink beforehand, so you can enjoy watching the sunset (there are also a few cafes and restaurants) on a warmish day.

Florence- from Piazzale Michelangelo, Italy
@shutterstock

TIPS FOR VISITING THE PIAZZALE MICHELANGELO

  • It is free to visit
  • Open at any time of the day, all year round

If you head back down, you will find a larger selection of restaurants.

With this Florence itinerary, you have actually seen quite a lot on your first day, but day 2 is also full of amazing things to do. 

Day 2 of 2 Days in Florence

Knowing that more beautiful places in Florence are awaiting will make it easier to wake up early and start the day, right? So, here are my tips on how to spend the second day. Today, you will also spend some time on the south side of the River Arno.

Stop 1: Accademia Gallery

The Accademia Gallery is on the north side of the river. By now, you have come across the replica of David twice – and here is the original.  

David Statue in Florence in 2 days is a must
@Pixabay

There are, of course, some other art pieces, but nothing can top this famous statue by Michelangelo. 

If you want to see the original, book in advance. Check out skip-the-lines tickets to see the art pieces by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Gaddi, and more, and it is a must-see in 2 days in Florence.

  • Opening hours: Open every day except Monday
  • Closed: January 1, December 25, and every Monday
  • Total time: 30-90 minutes

Stop 2: Piazza San Lorenzo

About 500 meters from the Accademia Gallery, you will find the Piazza San LorenzoFlorence Basilica di San Lorenzo is a place to go in FlorenceI have mentioned Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. But the most famous and important families of their time, not only in Florence but all of Italy, were the Medicis. Without them, Florence would not be what it is today.

The Medicis were patrons of the arts, especially during the time of Michelangelo and da Vinci. So, they were politically active and supported the arts in a way that allows us, centuries later, to admire the works of the Renaissance.

If you still have energy and time on your hands, then visit the San Lorenzo Church with its unfinished facade, where the Medici family once worshipped. You can also visit the Medici Chapels, the final resting place for the Medici dynasty, where you’ll find marble statues by Michelangelo in the New Sacristy.

  • Total time:  30-90 minutes

TIP: If you have to skip out any of the activities on day 2 (for whatever reason), I would say, this skip one. 

Stop 3: Lunch on Day 2

Then it is time to visit the south side of the Arno River. As mentioned above, according to my guide, you will find the best restaurants on this side of the river. Great prices and even better food – afterward, you will stay on that side of the river.

Stop 4: Boboli Garden

The Boboli Garden comprises the largest monumental green area in Florence. The park hosts centuries-old oak trees, sculptures, fountains, an amphitheater, and more – this garden actually inspired Versailles.

TIPS

  • The single ticket is around 10€ and 26€ for a ticket to Pitti Palace and Boboli Garden.
  • Total time: 1 – 3 hours
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 8.15 am 
  • Closing: 4.30 pm in November, December, January, February, 5.30 pm in March and October (without Daylight Saving Time), 6.30 pm in April, May, September, March, and October (with Daylight Saving Time), 7.00 pm June, July, August
  • Closed: First and last Monday of each month, 1 January, 25 December

Stop 5: Pitti Palace

Most of the day, I suggest staying in the Oltrarno area and visiting the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. The Pitti Palace was home to the Medicis and houses not only a lot of impressive pieces of art but also furnishings and more. Florence Pitti Palace from outside should be on your Florence itineraryYou need to stand in front of it to feel how big the palace really is. I mean, of course, the Medicis were not to be humble (they were one of the most influential families in the history of Italy), but that palace is enormous!

On the ground floor and mezzanine is the Grand Dukes’ Treasury, displaying a vast collection of Medici household treasures, from table silverware to precious stone vases, rock crystals, and precious jewelry.

On the first floor is the Palatine Gallery, which has 16th and 17th-century paintings (including works by Raphael), and the Royal Apartments.

The Gallery of Modern Art is on the top floor, holding mostly Tuscan, 19th, and 20th-century paintings.

In the separate Palazzina del Cavaliere, on the upper slopes of the Boboli Gardens, is the Porcelain Museum, while the Palazzina of the Meridiana contains the Museum of Costume and Fashion.

TIPS

  • You can either buy a single ticket for the Pitti Palace (16€) or a combined ticket for the Palace and the Boboli Garden (26€).
  • Total time: 1,5 to 5 hours
  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 1.30 pm to 6.50 pm 
  • On Saturdays and holidays, it is necessary to make the reservation at least one day in advance
  • Closed: Mondays, 1 January, 25 December

Read more: Things to know before visiting Italy for the first time

Stop 6: Dinner at SE·STO on Arno

On my second visit, I had dinner at this stunning place: SE·STO on Arno at Westin Hotel. The views were amazing, the staff great. There is even a rooftop bar, and I could not imagine any better restaurant with a view of the Duomo.Florence SE·STO on Arno

However, it was also busy, so should reserve a table in advance. If you have a second evening in the city, it is a great place to end your trip here.

BEST DAY TRIPS FROM FLORENCE

Florence is amazing – but there are also many places close by that make for perfect day trips.

So, in case you plan some excursions, check out my post on the best places to visit near Florence for more information.

CONCLUSION: WHAT TO DO IN FLORENCE IN 2 DAYS

Florence has quickly become one of my favorite cities in Europe. I was smitten within seconds. Its people, the architecture, the lifestyle – everything about Florence made me love it (okay, the crowds not so much). And I was lucky to visit Florence twice within a few months. 

Two days in Florence is surely not enough to see all the highlights, let alone all the attractions and beautiful places. However, it gives you a good idea of what the city is about. It is enough time to fall in love with it.

Also, with 2 days in Florence, you will want to come back again – because it is so rich in attractions and landmarks, that you always have a reason to come back and enjoy more of this gorgeous city!

Hopefully, this 2-day Florence itinerary has given you a better idea of what to expect and what to do and see!

PIN ME FOR LATER – 2-DAY FLORENCE ITINERARY

Save this pin on Pinterest for your trip to Florence.

Florence in 2 days, ARZO TRAVELS

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

7 DAYS IN TUSCANY ITINERARY

Tuscany, the most beautiful places and best towns and villages to visit in one week road trip, Italy

BEST ITINERARY FOR TUSCANY IN 7 DAYS

Are you planning your 7 days in Tuscany itinerary? Then this post is for you. Here you will find out how to create an epic itinerary for Tuscany along with many travel tips for your trip.

Tuscany is the place of rolling hills, beautiful medieval towns, and villages that often sit on top of hills and thus comes with great views. The region is known for its vineyards and great wines, and then there are the villas at the end of cypress-lined lanes.

But, of course, it is also known as the Renaissance’s birthplace and was home to geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. There is so much to do and see. After spending more than one week in Tuscany myself, I finally saw with my own eyes what all the fuss is about!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR TUSCANY ITINERARY

Let´s start with the travel tips before discussing your itinerary.

How to Get Around Tuscany in a Week

Many places in Tuscany are very well-connected! It is easy getting around by public transportation or car. I used public transportation whenever I headed to the main places (like Florence or Pisa) and drove for the rest of the time. Both ways have their perks. Tuscany, driving in Tuscany, typical road

Tuscany Road Trip Tips For 7 Days

I found that driving in Tuscany was fine – most of the time. I cannot deny that I will probably never get used to the way Italians drive, but in general, it was good. 

  • Especially driving through the vineyards in Val d’Orcia was so much fun! The scenery was top-notch!
  • The streets might not always be perfectly paved and modern, but it should not be a big problem for an experienced driver. Also, streets can be extremely narrow, and that is why I seriously advise choosing a small car.
  • Most towns, villages, and cities don’t allow regular cars. So, even if there are no barriers, you are not allowed to drive. Keep an eye out for this sign, which means you are only allowed to drive there with a special permit.
  • Also, I figured out that I should avoid busy hours. It can be crazy driving in and near main places from 7-9 am and 5-7 pm. It saved me time and stress not driving at these times.
  • Do not let the Italian drivers make you nervous. Do not speed unnecessarily (there are many speed cams around).
  • There are some toll highways in Tuscany, but I only drove them to Tuscany from Liguria. In general, most of the roads here are toll-free. Even some “autostrada” (motorways) are free (they are generally not in great condition).
  • Parking can be really costly and can eat into your budget over time. With some prior research, you might find free parking spots, but most of the time, I had to pay around 1-2.50€ for an hour near the old towns of Lucca and Siena.
  • And do not get me started on Italy’s gas prices – the highest I have ever seen in Europe. One liter of gas costs up to 1.85€. If you find gas for 1.45€, you have found a bargain.
  • Oh, and be prepared for an abundance of roundabouts in Tuscany. If you have not gotten used to them, recheck the rules, as I find the roundabouts in Italy a bit busy and hectic at times.

Public Transportation in Tuscany

I am probably not the first one to openly declare my affection for public transportation in Tuscany. The train rides, in particular, became a nice way of getting around. If I had to choose one way of getting around, it would be train travel in Italy.

  • It is quite affordable and reliable (yes, my trains always ran a few minutes late, but I consider this tolerable).
  •  However, getting to smaller towns and villages without a train station is a bit trickier.
  • So, when you have a train station close to your accommodation – great. Then you can do some trips by public transportation. If there is none, then bus transport is fine, too, but when it comes to schedules, it is not always clear.
  • TIP: Always, always validate your ticket. Even if you buy your ticket at the ticket counter for the next train/bus, you need to validate it at one of the little machines at the station for trains and in the bus for bus rides.

Best Time to Visit Tuscany For One Week

  • I visited Tuscany in spring: At the end of March/beginning of April. It was a lovely time to visit. Temperatures were mild (around 16°- 20ºC), but I also experienced a few rainy days. The trees were blossoming, and it was hilly and lush. The places were not crowded (except Florence and Pisa), and I did not have to rub shoulders with other tourists.
  • I revisited it in summer: In July, it was hot and busy. I did not like it much.

Personally, I recommend visiting at the end of April, May, or early June as it gets a bit warmer and the scenery is supposed to be even more colorful and bright.

Or I would pick fall as my travel time – September to October. Overall, the weather is good, the crowds are gone, and the hills and trees are still lush and colorful.

The summer months are great if you like heat and crowds  – July and August would be good months to visit then!

Pin me For Later – Tuscany Itinerary

Before talking about the best places to add to your Tuscany itinerary, here is a pin for your future reference (save it on Pinterest).7-day Tuscany itinerary pin for Pinterest. places to visit and more tips for 7 days in Tuscany, Italy

PLACES TO VISIT IN 7 DAYS IN TUSCANY

Here are the best places to visit in beautiful, beautiful Tuscany.

Florence – 2 Days

  • If you are in Tuscany for one week, I recommend staying in Florence for 2 days, because there are so many places to visit and things to do. 

Florence is one of the best places in Italy. You seriously have to add to your Tuscany itinerary. This city is one of my favorites in all of Europe! It wins the heart of its visitors within minutes – it is soooo pretty! Florence Campanile with church

Florence view from Piazzale Michelangelo is one of the best things to see

And even if you are not the typical art fan (believe me, I am not), Florence is different. While Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci still play a crucial role in the city today, there is so much more to do and see. 

You can do a few things for free in Florence but several fantastic museums and churches need a ticket reservation in advance if you don’t want to spend hours in line. There is no country in the world where skip-the-line tickets make more sense than in Italy from April to October.

Things to Do and See in Florence

  • Uffizi Gallery – find the original statue of David by Michelangelo. Skip-the-line tickets are essential). 
  • Cross the Ponte Vecchio Bridge – this medieval bridge is 312 meters long and houses some smaller shops. It dates back to the 14th century.
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – oh, what a lady! This stunning cathedral is a beauty. You surely will be impressed by its sheer size if you want to visit the inside book your ticket in advance.
  • Piazza Della Signoria – this lively square is fun and busy. You will also find a replica of the David Statue and many more art pieces. 
  • The views from Piazza Michelangelo are priceless. It takes a 10-15 minute uphill hike (not too steep, though), and from there, you have great views and can enjoy the Florentinian skyline for free (also great for enjoying the sunset).
  • Pitti Palace – once the Medici family’s home, it is now a Renaissance Palace that houses incredible art pieces. Plan in 3-5 hours for this place and buy tickets in advance.
  • The Boboli Garden – located right behind the Pitti Palace, you can stroll this gigantic garden for several hours without getting bored (get a combined ticket for Pitti Palace, Boboli Garden, and more.
  • Here is a more detailed Florence guide for you!

If you make Florence your base for your whole Tuscany trip, then check out the best day trips to take from there.

Where to Stay in Florence

Lucca and Pisa – 1 Day

For this day, we have two towns on your itinerary. It’s up to you which one you opt for first- Lucca is closer to Florence than Pisa. 

  • From Florence, you can easily get to Lucca and Pisa via train or car.

Day trip to Pisa, The leaning tower of Pisa

Pisa is surely mostly known for one attraction, but it is a bit more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is a charming little town. Initially, I  planned to stay one whole day in Pisa, but I figured out that half a day is really enough! There are just so many other stunning places in Tuscany.

And like Florence, Pisa is busy. At least, it is busy around the Leaning Tower, not so much in other areas.

Day trip to Pisa, stroll the river

Things to Do and See in Pisa

  • Visit the Piazza del Duomo, where you have the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is a 14th-century tower that is probably the most famous tilted building in the world. Skip-the-lines tickets are a must if you do not want to spend a lot of time in line.
  • But there is also the impressive Cathedral di Pisa, the baptistery, and Camposanto Monumentale. The Duomo is free to visit, but you need to get a ticket center ticket (which is well signed).
  • If you want to climb the Leaning Tower or visit the baptistery or the Camposanto, you need to buy tickets. If you don’t buy skip-the-line tickets in advance, you might have to stand in line forever or not even get a ticket at all.
  • Stroll the Arno River (which is such a tranquil place after the busy Piazza del Duomo) and visit the Santa Maria Della Spina – a tiny church with a unique gothic exterior
  • On your way to the Santa Maria Della Spina, you should visit the Palazzo della Carovana at Knights’ Square. 
  • Check out my Pisa itinerary to find out more.

WHERE TO STAY IN PISA

In case you want to stay overnight, here are some well-rated accommodations:

Lucca

  • Then it is time to head to Lucca. It is just a 30-minute  drive (or train ride) from Pisa.
  • While it seems like there is much more to see in Lucca than in Pisa, Lucca is very walkable. Despite the number of attractions, you can see all these places in half a day. 

Lucca is a popular, though not overly crowded, town between Florence and Pisa.

Secret places places in Italy, Lucca in Tuscany

Things to do in Lucca

You can walk the huge Renaissance walls that offer nice views and are a good place to rest. Seriously, I have never seen such big city walls. From there, you can make your way to the historic city center and visit other main attractions.

  • The Duomo di San Martino (entry about 3€, which was nice, but you can skip it if you’re on a budget). You can climb the tower there (the views are not as great as from the other tower, but if you are in the mood to climb towers and don’t mind paying another 3€, this is a good place to enjoy the views). 
  • Then there is the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro with its many cafes and restaurants.
  • Climb to the top of the Guinigi Tower – it has centuries-old trees at the very top; climbing the 270 steps will cost you about 4€
  • Visit the St. Martin Cathedral (Chiese di San Michele) with its unique exterior.
  • Visit the Basilica of San Frediano 
  • If you enjoy guided walking tours, check out this affordable Lucca walking tour.
  • Tip: If you do not road trip Tuscany, check out this guided tour of Lucca and Pisa in one day from Florence.

Volterra and San Gimignano – 1 Day

Here are two stunning villages to visit: Volterra and then to San Gimignano. Whether you road trip or not  one day for visiting both places should be fine.

Driving to Volterra and then to San Gimignano was one of the best driving experiences: great views and nice roads. However, these are mountain roads and they are narrow – and it might not be everyone´s cup of tea. 

Volterra

Volterra is a walled mountaintop town southwest of Florence which dates from before the 8th century BC. I visited Volterra on a rainy day, and despite the weather, it still charmed me.  Volterra the most beautiful places and best towns and villages to visit in 5 daysSince it is a hilltop village, you with great views – but you also have cute streets, and even cuter doors and houses.

Things to Do and See in Volterra

  • Piazza dei Priori  – The piazza is located in the center of the town. You will also find the Palazzo dei Priori (city hall), the Council Chamber, and the bell tower (both open to the public) there.
  • Piazza San Giovanni, where you will also find the Cathedral and the Baptistery
  • Walk the Etruscan Gate that is close to the Piazza San Giovanni and built in the 4th century. 
  • Visit the Etruscan Acropolis, which is located within the Archeological Park. 
  • Enjoy the views!

San Gimignano (1 Day)

From Volterra head to San Gimignano – this place is surely is not a hidden gem. This small-walled medieval town near Volterra is one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Tuscany. Encircled by 13th-century walls, the town center is a triangular square lined with pretty medieval houses and its skyline is one of a kind.

landscapes of Italy. medieval San Gimignano - Tuscany cutest towns in Italy
@shutterstock

It gets busy, especially in the summer. However, it holds a few great attractions that make it worth a visit. 

Things to Do and See in San Gimignano

  • Climb Torre Grossa – The tower stands at 54 meters and dates back to the 13th century. The admission fee is about 5€, but the view is probably well worth it (I visited on a rainy day, so I skipped it).
  • Check out Porto San Giovanni – The door was finished in the 13th century and is a highlight of the town.
  • Piazza del Duomo – The heart of San Gimignano also houses the cathedral, the Palazzo del Podesta, the Palazzo del Popola, and more.
  • There are also guided tours that will show you both towns in one day.

Val d’Orcia (incl. Montepulciano) & Wine Tasting in 1 Day

South of Siena is one of the most beautiful sceneries, and you will see the Tuscan countryside at its best! The Val D’Orcia is famous for its stunning landscapes and its red wines. While I, personally, don’t drink wine, I know it is still a great place for wine tasting.

I was in love with the views. Driving here was fun. The roads are winding  and you have great views wherever you look at.

Tuscany Val D`Ora and the green lush hills The lush, green hills and yellow fields in between (and in the summer, you can expect red poppies and fields of sunflowers) make it one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany.

One of my favorite towns was the hilltop village of Montepulciano. Spend a few hours there, and if you have time left (I wish that I had), then visit Montalcino or Pienza as well.

Here are some tours that include wine tasting that I have found online – because some people just come to Tuscany for food and wine.

Siena – 1 Day

Now let´s talk about Siena – one of the most beautiful medieval towns in all of Italy. Siena sits over three hills and is a perfectly preserved medieval town and a shrine to Gothic architecture. There is an impressive maintained historic center that’s been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.Siena tower, looking up

Tuscany, Siena cathedralYou can start your day at the central piazza. The huge Piazza del Campo is the heart of the city and where most of its important events have been held ever since.

Twice a year, on July 2 and August 16, a famous horse race takes place. But most of the time, it is a nice and lively square where you can enjoy the Dolce Vita.

Things to do and See in Siena

  • Visit the impressive Duomo die Siena, a Romanesque-Gothic cathedral with mosaics – the exterior looks a bit pinkish. 
  • Climb the 400 steps of the Tower of Mangia- which is located on the Piazza del Campo. It was closed at the time of my visit but is supposed to offer some of the best views in Tuscany.
  • Admire the Pubblico Palace that is the town hall building in gothic style and located on the Piazza del Campo.
  • Stroll the old town and be ready to find some cute houses around every turn.

If you have less than 5 days in Tuscany, check out this organized tour that allows you to see several towns in Tuscany – including Siena.

Where to Stay in Siena

Arezzo and Cortona – 1 Day

For this day, you can visit two places eat of Florence or you can take it easier and just visit the first one, which would be Arezzo.

Arezzo

Arezzo is a town in eastern Tuscany and has become one of my most favorite towns in Tuscany. 

I was a bit exhausted and forgot what the town was about due to bad research – or better yet, due to a lack of research. I expected another hilltop village and was surprised that it isn’t a typical medieval town in Tuscany.Tuscany, Arezzo view from above, one of the best places to visit in Tuscany

Tuscany, Arezzo market square one of the best places to visit in TuscanyThe town square is indeed uphill, but not all of the town just some parts.

Also, I was spoiled with great weather, and I fell in love almost immediately. So, if you are 7 days in Tuscany, make visiting this small town a priority.

Things to Do and See in Arezzo 

  • Visit the Piazza Grande – the market square is home to several beautiful buildings, cafes, and restaurants. 
  • Visit the Arezzo Cathedral 
  • Stroll the Fortezza Medicea 
  • Visit the museum of the Fraternity dei Laici (located directly on the Piazza Grande, and for only 3€, you will also get access to the panoramic terrace)
  • Fancy a cooking class in Italy? In Arezzo, you can take a cooking class at a local´s home.

Cortona

If you have more time, you can add a visit to Cortona, which is quite close by. It is one of the few places I wish I had made a priority but somehow did not visit.

Cortona is a medieval walled hilltop town and the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo.

You can combine it with a trip to Arezzo and visit the Villa Bramasole, the Diocesan Museum, or the Santa Margherita Cortona.

MORE PLACES TO SEE IN TUSCANY IN 10 DAYS

With 7 days in Tuscany, you should be able to see all the above-mentioned places.

Of course, you can see what works for you and change days as you like, but logistically, it makes sense to combine two or three places each day. Only Florence will take much more time to explore.

If you have more than one week in Tuscany, then here is what you can do also.

Pistoia and Pescia – 1 Day

These two places, Pistoia and Pescia, are quite unknown and very underrated in Tuscany. You could combine a trip to these places and explore the more off-the-beaten-path destinations in Tuscany.

Pistoia, in particular, is a charming town with an authentic medieval touch. Secret places places in Italy, Pistoia in Tuscany

Pistoia is divided by a river; on the left side of the river, you will find the Cathedral, and on the right side, you will see the main square (Piazza Mazzini) as the heart of the town and the City Hall.

Tuscany, Pistoa baptiserary_

Places to visit and things to do in Pistoia: The Cathedral of San Zeno, the Spedale del Ceppo, the church of Santándrea, the Piazza Della Sala, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Humility.

It was one of the least busy places during my Tuscany trip and it is the perfect place to visit if you want to see beautiful architecture with interesting buildings but want to escape the crowds. I would plan in half a day, eat lunch at the square, and after a nice lunch, head to nearby Pescia.

Pescia is a small town loacted on the banks of the Homonymous River. It is a little beauty – strolling the town (and river) will take less time than visiting Pistoia, though.

Saturnia (Thermal Bath) – 1 Day

I forgot about this! Can you believe it?! I forgot I wanted to visit the Saturnia Thermal Baths and remembered when I was in the east of Tuscany. Then I could not be bothered to drive all the way back! 

Saturnia natural thermal bath in Tuscany
@shutterstock

Anyhow, the Saturnia Thermal Bath seems to be a great way to relax and see the other side of Tuscany. You can also visit the town of Saturnia after hopping in the free thermal springs!

……

FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLANNING YOUR TUSCANY ITINERARY

Tuscany is surely one of the most beautiful regions in Europe, if not in all of the world. The landscapes and the fantastic cities, villages, and towns make it a perfect place to discover.

Sometimes I felt like I had visited a village already as some towns and villages are “similar,” and the scenery did not always dramatically change. However, it was a great experience. 7 days in Tuscany is a good amount to spend here, but even 10 days in Tuscany will be fun without getting bored.

While I did not do my trip to this Tuscany itinerary, this is how I would do it now, now that I know better.

However, even if you change the route or some places, this post hopefully has helped you create your perfect one-week Tuscany itinerary.Safe Travels, Arzo

 

Best Things to Do in Porto Venere, Italy

Italy, porto venere a day trip from Cinque Terre to PortoVenere the most beautiful place in Italy

WHAT TO DO IN PORTOVENERE IN ONE DAY

Looking for one of the most beautiful places in Liguria? Then you should visit Porto Venere! It is like a little dream come true. And if you are wondering about the best things to do in Portovenere you will find your answer here – along with travel tips for your trip to this gorgeous place.

One of the prettiest places I have ever stumbled upon in the Italian Riveria, on the Ligurian Coast, is Porto Venere (or Portovenere). Personally, I had not heard of it before I arrived in Liguria, but I don’t think that it is a real hidden gem anymore.

People have found out that this town is one of the most beautiful places in Italy…Yes, you read that right. It is one of the most beautiful places in Italy!

Porto Venere Travel Tips

If you ask me, Porto Venere is the best day trip from Cinque Terre.  So, this post will help you plan your trip to Porto Venere from Cinque Terre.

Find out how to get to Porto Venere, what to do, plus some more travel tips for this beautiful gem on the Italian Riveria – one of the most underrated places in all of Italy.

Before talking about the best things to do, here are some tips for your trip to this gorgeous place.

Where is Porto Venere?

Porto Venere is located on Italy’s Ligurian coastline in the northwest part of Italy. It is 14 kilometers south of La Spezia, about 90 kilometers north of Pisa, and 126 kilometers southeast of Genoa.

How to Get to Porto Venere

To reach Porto Venere, you have a few options:  

  • BUS: You can take the train from Cinque Terre (from any of the five villages) to La Spezia. There, you will find a bus station (about 300 meters from the train station). Buy your tickets from the tobacco shop. A round trip is 5€. If you buy them from the bus driver, they are more expensive. It takes less than 30 minutes to reach Porto Venere by bus – along the way, you will have nice views. 
  • CAR: You can also drive to Porto Venere from La Spezia or any other place. Keep in mind that parking might be difficult in the summer months (and expensive), and the streets are narrow.
  • BOAT:  You can arrive at Porto Venere by boat (probably the most scenic way) from either La Spezia or any of the Cinque Terre towns (except Corniglia). 
  • HIKE: You can also hike from Riomaggiore (the village closest to Porto Venere). At least for one way, this could be an option (takes about 5+ hours) because it is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) one way.

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

Where to Stay in Porto Venere

I visited Portovenere for a day only – what a pity! If you are into hiking and want to escape the crowds of Cinque Terre, then book a hotel here in Porto Venere. There are not many hotels so, booking in advance might be the best decision.

More Tips

  • Wear comfortable shoes. There will be some short and some steeper walks on the cobblestone streets of Porto Venere.
  • If you want to hike, bring your hiking shoes.
  • Water fountains are providing fresh water, so bring your refillable water bottle.

Pin Me For Later – What to do in Portovenere

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Porto Venere in Liguria, the prettiest places in Italy. A great day trip from Cinque Terre, Italy

Best Things to Do in Porto Venere

First of all, Porto Venere is quite small, so one day (or even half a day) is enough. However, I truly loved it and would not have minded staying overnight!

So, here is your list with what to do and see in a few hours. The sights are kind of located in a circle/square, so you can do the itinerary as it is or vice versa and start the other way around.

Harbor

The first thing you will see is the harbor with many colorful houses. Liguria´s towns and villages are all colorful, but what makes Porto Venere special is that it is a bit bigger than the other villages. This means the promenade is bigger and, thus, a bit more impressive, too. 

Best hidden gems in Italy, PortoVenere

I would probably wait to stroll the harbor and do it at the end of the day, so you can have lunch/dinner there. However, it might also be a good way to start your day with an espresso, as there are several cafes and restaurants lined up!

Porta del Borgo and Old Town

I would start with a walk through the Porto del Borgo. Walk through the old city gate that is directly behind the promenade. The entrance to the historical center of Porto Venere leads to its main street – Via Capellini – and was built in the 12th century.

Old town of Porto Venere

Streets of Porto Venere in the old town

Here you have the typical narrow streets and old houses, including many little shops and more cafes and restaurants. Though you can just walk along the street towards the Church of Saint Peter, I recommend looking to your left and taking some detours to discover the side streets.

Towards the end of the old town, you will see more beautiful places. Eventually, you will get to Lord Byron´s Grotto.

Lord Byron’s Grotto

Before you arrive at St. Peter Church, you will see Lord Byron´s Grotto to the right.

Grotta di Lord Bayron in Porto Venere with a boat

This area was named the Bay of Poets because English poets loved it. When Lord Byron visited, he would often swim across the bay to see Percy Bysshe Shelley, another poet in residence. These days, it is a great place to sail, dive, and yes, swim (though the currents are tricky).

Boat tours are bringing you to the grotto (not all, so double-check if you book your tour).

Church of Saint Peter

The San Pietro Church (Chiesa di San Pietro) stands tall and proud on a hill. I said that this town is so special – and so is this church. 

Church on a rock in Porto Venere_

Church St. Peter seen from the way to Doria Castle

So, the exterior is impressive, but so is the interior white, but not overly full of glitz and glamour that we know from other Italian churches. It is really special, so make sure to have a quick peek.

Walk around the building and enjoy the gorgeous views and scenery – it is not only about the church here. 

Church of San Lorenzo

Your next main stop will be Doria Castle but before that you will see another church.

Right next to Doria Castle, you can find the Church of San Lorenzo. This church was built in the 12th century after Porto Venere had become part of the Gulf of Genoa. It has undergone several restorations over time.

San Lorenzo church in Porto Venere_

The interior of this church is well worth a quick look, but if you are short on time, the view from outside is beautiful, too.

Doria Castle

Situated on a rocky plateau with a towering structure, Doria Castle is one of the highlights in Porto Venere. It was built as a typical Genoese military structure and dates back to the 12th-14th centuries.

You can visit it, but you will have to climb some steps to get there – though if you have been in Italy for a while you are probably used in climbing stairs.

San Lorenzo church from Doria Castle

The view is the best part! To be honest, the view alone is worth the 5€ entrance fee.

I was so overwhelmed with the view that I did not even pay attention to the castle itselfYou can get a little leaflet with more info on the castle since you might also be distracted by the view of the water and San Lorenzo Church.

More Things to Do in Porto Venere

With the above mentioned tips you will probbaly not fill a full day in Porto Venere. So, here are a few more suggestions.

Porto Venere Regional Natural Park

The island is well known for its hiking trails, with a lot of nature trails. If I had had more time and had planned better, I would have made sure to add some hiking to my Porto Venere itinerary, as it must be breathtaking.

Walking along the coast in Porto Venere_

If you are in Riomaggiore, the closest town of the five villages of Cinque Terre, you will even find signs for the coastal walk. It takes five+ hours, but I can just imagine how great it must be.

Porto Venere Cemetery

I don’t have an obsession with cemeteries, however, I visited the cemetery of Porto Venere on my way to the Doria Castle – and it was beautiful!

Cemetary in Porto Venere_

Boat TripPalmaria, Tino, and Tinetto

If you have more time, you can do a boat excursion around these three famous islands -Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto.

There are different boat tours available (different times, lengths, and prices, starting from 8€). You can ask at the ticket shops at the harbor about prices and timetables.

Beach

Porto Venere has a small beach section. It is nothing spectacular, but if you like to hop into the water at the end of the day, then bring your swimming clothes with you.

Beach in Porto Venere

Swim in Porto Venere rocks

Le Grazie & La Chiaglia

While sitting on the bus, I wish that I had gotten out at Le Grazie, a fun and busy-looking town on the coast, just a few kilometers from Porto Venere. Since my dog and I were exhausted from the previous days of our trip, I did not get out.

However, on my way back from Porto Venere to La Spezia, I walked to the next town, La Chiaglia. This was a lovely stop with an even nicer beach section. So, if you want to take a break and enjoy some beach time, you can add this to your trip!

FINAL WORDS ON PORTO VENERE IN A DAY

I would have loved to stay overnight in Porto Venere to watch the sunset or sunrise and soak in the special atmosphere. You can easily do the main attractions in a few hours, but staying overnight does not sound like a bad idea to me!

I would definitely want to come back and am so happy that I did not leave this place out of my itinerary. Porto Venere is a beauty! I hope, this post about the best things to do in Portovenere has inspired and helped you plan your trip!

Read more: 

 

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

ULTIMATE LAKE GARDA ITINERARY FOR 1-10 DAYS

Best things to do in Lake Garda itinerary

LAKE GARDA ITINERARY – THINGS TO DO IN 1-10 DAYS

If you are planning your Lake Garda itinerary, this post will help you to find out about the best things to do at Lake Garda.

Whether you stay 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days in Lake Garda- here are tips for your trip.

Visiting Lаkе Garda iѕ a treat for уоurѕеlf. The incredible nаturаl beauty, gorgeous scenery, and great Italian food are well worth experiencing. You can сhооѕе from a whole hоѕt оf energetic аnd rеlаxing асtivitiеѕ thаt will уоu entertain you for sure. 

And you cаn еnjоу аll оf these perks for a much lower price than in Lake Como. There are so many fun things to do – which makes the area one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy.

Spectacular, luѕсiоuѕ environment fillеd with a variety оf trееѕ, like palms and cypresses, as well as оrаngе and lеmоn groves – it took just a few seconds to bе captivated bу the vibrаnt bluе соlоr оf thе lаkе´ѕ сlеаr water.

The area аrоund Lake Garda оffеrѕ tons of орроrtunitiеѕ for fun, rеlаxаtiоn, and recreation. There is something to do in Lake Garda for kids, teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors.

You will find some of the cutest little villages and towns along the shores, making it perfect for those who enjoy shopping in boutique stores and marveling at pretty houses landscaped with flowers.

Limone sul Garda best places to visit

LAKE GARDA TIPS FOR YOUR ITINERARY

Before talking about your Lake Garda itinerary, here are some travel tips.

Best Time to Visit Lake Garda

  • With the beaches and the options of water sport activities, many people flock to Lake Garda in the summer! Then it gets busy! If you really like busy and also hot weather, then visit in July and August.
  • If you prefer warm (or hottish) weather, June and September might be the better options. It will still be busy but not that crowded.
  • If you want to avoid the crowds, visit in April and May or October (but avoid the Easter holidays, etc.)
  • In the winter months, it gets quieter but also restaurants and hotels might be closed. This is really the time if you want to experience Lake Garda without many people. There are Christmas Markets and events – plus you might even see some snow.

If you visit during the shoulder season (always my preferred time of traveling), you should only keep in mind that some restaurants might be closed, and you might not be able to do all the activities. However, prices will drop during shoulder season.

Getting Around Lake Garda 

Lake Garda is Italy´s biggest lake, with a shore length of almost 160 kilometers. This means getting around can be time-consuming.

  • Public transportation is not fast and buses do not run frequently. 
  • Driving can be nerve-wracking around Lake Garda. Also, petrol is ridiculously expensive. Italy has one of the highest petrol prices in all of Europe. On the other hand, there is no toll when driving Lake Garda’s shores, but getting to other cities or attractions, like Verona, costs extra when you use the motorways (about 9 € for 100 km).
  • So, there is no great way to get around Lake Garda. However, driving might be the better option to get around
  • Hop on a boat several times to see as much as possible of this gorgeous place

BEST THINGS TO DO IN LAKE GARDA IN 1-10 DAYS

Whether you stay in Lake Garde for one day, 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, or even 10 days – you will find enough activities to fill your days.

1 Day in Lake Garda

Most people probably head to Sirmione if they have only one day in Lake Garda. There are many reasons to do so.

Sirmione

Famous as “the pearl of the islands and peninsulas,” Sirmione is a popular tourist hotspot. It is a great place to visit on the first day of your trip.Instagramplaces in Lake Garda

Located on the lake’s southern shores, it is also close to many other places, like Verona. It is on a long and narrow peninsula that divides the gulfs of Desenzano and Peschiera’s towns. However, this small town has a lot to offer, so that you can plan a full day for Sirmione.

View from Sirmione Tower

You can get wonderfully lost and visit many of Sirmione’s highlights in one day.

THINGS TO DO IN SIRMIONE

  • Castello Scaligero – For an entrance fee of about 8€, you can enjoy great views of the town and lake and walk the fortress walls. You cannot miss the fortress, as it is just at the “beginning” of the old town. You can buy tickets at the ticket center.
  • Villa Romana “Grotte di Catullo – Find the Villa Romana in the archeological park at the northernmost end of the peninsula of Sirmione. The entrance fee is about 3€).
  • Old town – Get lost in the old town with its wonderful buildings full of flowers. 
  • Boat tour – Spoil yourself with a (short) boat tour around Sirmione (you can book tours in advance or go to the boat station before entering the old town).
  • Find more pictures of Sirmione and travel tips.

WHERE TO STAY IN SIRMIONE

  • Luxury: For a luxurious experience, stay at the Grand Hotel Terme, which offers great amenities and a full English buffet.
  • Mid-Range: If you are looking for a mid-range option, the Champagne Rooms would be a great choice, with helpful staff and a nice location. They also offer family suites, perfect if you’re traveling with your family.
  • Budget-friendly: Located right by Lake Garda’s shore, the lovely Hotel Porto Azzurro makes a good budget option.

2 Days in Lake Garda

If you have two days in Lake Garda, head to the most beautiful village/town on your second day.

Limone sul Garda

Visit Limone sul Garda – which is actually my favorite place in Lake Garda. It is small and absolutely adorable. If you don’t mind overloading on cuteness, this is a great place for your Lake Garda itinerary.

Limone best places to visit

Limone is located on the western shores and has a tradition of fishing and olive and lemon production. The lemon portion of their history is still visible throughout the town – you can even visit the Lemon Museum in Limone. But there is more to do!

What makes this place so great are the cute houses full of flowers; the small, windy, cobblestone streets; the promenade; the harbor; and more. If you stay in Riva del Garda or Malcesine, you can get here easily by boat.

Limone places to see

BEST THINGS TO DO IN LIMONE SUL GARDA

  • Walk (or bike) the newly-opened cyclopath. It is a one-kilometer-long cyclopath built just at the base of the mountains and offers incredible views), and I am sure it will become one of the main tourist attractions in and around Lake Garda.
  • Wander through the old town. Plan in enough time to stroll the beautiful streets – you´ll quickly find out why Limone is THAT cute).
  • Have lunch/dinner in the “harbor” area. The views are …priceless.
  • Visit the Lemon Museum.
  • Stroll the promenade and admire the scenery.
  • For more Limone travel tips, click here and also see more pictures.

WHERE TO STAY IN LIMONE

My personal favorite place in Lake Garda was Limone. The place is tiny but yet my favorite place in the region.

  • Luxury: Hotel Splendid Palace is a lovely accommodation that offers many amenities and beautiful views from its rooftop pool.
  • Mid-Range: Garni Gianmartin provides a savory buffet and lovely lake views. A favorite among solo travelers.
  • Budget-friendly: Hotel Cristina has a nice location and offers lake views, a pool, and friendly staff.

3 Days in Lake Garda 

Okay, if you have 3 days at Lake Garda, you can do a day trip to a beautiful city!

Fall in Love With Verona

Though Verona is not directly located on lake´s shores, I suggest visiting Verona for a day. Even if you stay in Lake Garda for only three days, make sure to add the city to your Lake Garda itinerary.

Lamberti Tower view in VeronaIt is a perfect day trip from Sirmione because it is located southeast of Lake Garda. The city is so much more than just the setting for Shakespeare´s Romeo and Juliet. It is also one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.Verona where to visit -Piazza Bra - the mian market square

TOP THINGS TO DO IN VERONA

  • Spend time at the colorful piazzas. Verona has some of the most colorful and beautiful market squares – Piazza Bra, Piazza Della Erbe, and the cute Piazza Dei Signori.
  • Visit Juliet´s Balcony. Be prepared to experience a wild crowd in front of it). You can see the balcony for free, but there is an entrance fee if you want to stand on the balcony or visit Juliet´s house.
  • Enjoy the views from Lamberti Tower. For an entrance fee of 8€, you can climb 365 steps and see Verona from above; or you can take the lift up.

Here are more detailed tips for the best things to do in Verona.

WHERE TO STAY IN VERONA

  • The Altana Relais Verona Boutique Guesthouse is one of the best-rated hotels in Verona. This 5-star hotel seems to offer a lot. Check out the rates here.
  • The Best Western Hotel Firenze is a good choice if you are looking for a mid-range priced hotel. Located close to some major attractions in Verona, it is a good base. Find out more about the hotel and the rates here.
  • If you want to stay in a hostel, you check out The Hostello. This hostel has good reviews and is budget-friendly.

4 Days in Lake Garda

With four days in Lake Garda, you could spend it in the mountains and Malcesine.

Explore Malcesine and Mount Baldo

If you have more time at Lake Garda, I suggest one full day for Malcesine and Mount Baldo.Malcesine Gardesee Reisen

Malcesine is on the western shores of Lake Garda. It is easily reachable via boat from Riva del Garda or Limone. By the way, traveling by boat to Malcesine is also the most scenic way to arrive.

The old town is as pretty as most other Lake Garda towns and villages. It is fun to stroll with its harbor, colorful old houses, and cobblestone streets for a while.

One of the best views you can enjoy is from Scaliger Castle.Malcesine and things to do in Lake Garda

Mount Baldo view of Lake Garda

Wander through the pretty castles and enjoy the picturesque views. But Malcesine is not only about the old town. It is also a watersport lover´s dream. And what makes Malcesine even more special is Mount Baldo, which you can visit easily from Malcesine. 

THINGS TO DO IN MALCESINE

  • Head to Mount Baldo. You can either hike up or take the cable car; a return ticket is about 22€. 
  • Stroll the old town and explore the pretty buildings and walk the narrow streets.
  • Enjoy a drink at the “harbor”
  • Visit Scaliger Castle for the views. The entrance fee of 6€ is worth it.
  • Check out my detailed Malcesine travel guide

WHERE TO STAY IN MALCESINE

  • The Hotel Castello Lake Front hotel looks great. The 4-star property is centrally located, and you have free parking. Check out the rates for the hotel.
  • A more budget-friendly hotel is the Hotel Garni Selene. It is not directly in the town center but might be a perfect choice if you do not want to be where the crowds are. Check out rates here.

5 Days in Lake Garda

If you stay 5 days in Lake Garda, Riva del Garda is a good place to visit.

Discover Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda, located on the very northern shores, is another of the most popular places in Lake Garda. It is especially popular among watersport lovers, as there is a strong wind that is just perfect for windsurfers. But it is also a good destination for those who aren’t into windsurfing. View from the tower in Riva del Garda, Lake Garda

The colorful promenade and the numerous shops and restaurants (Riva del Garda is one of the biggest cities around the lake) make it a perfect place for those who enjoy a lively location. It is a perfect Italian town to visit with its lemon trees, palms, olive trees, and laurels.

Riva del Garda belongs to Trentino – a fun province with many other sightseeing destinations.Urlaub am Gardasee, die schönsten Plätze am Gardasee

THINGS TO DO IN RIVA DEL GARDA

  • Windsurf or any watersports (If you are into watersports, you probably will spend more than one day doing that.)
  • Enjoy the views from Torre Apponale (This time, you only have to climb about 165 steps, but there is no lift.)
  • Relax at the lively piazza, Piazza III Novembre 

WHERE TO STAY IN RIVA DEL GARDA

  • The Rivacentro is a popular, luxurious apartment hotel with helpful staff, modern rooms, and great amenities.
  • For a mid-range hotel, you could stay at the Parc Hotel Flora, which offers spa access, views, and breakfast.

6 Days in Lake Garda

If you want to take a rest, but prefer something more hidden and unique (for a day at the beach, I actually recommend Limone), then rent a car and explore a more hidden area in Lake Garda.

For the last two days, I have several ideas. See which one fits your idea of a great way to end your Lake Garda trip best.

If you prefer some nice relaxing days (without the driving around and booking of tours), I suggest staying in Limone where you have a great little beach.

If you are ready for a bit more action, read my tips below.

Tenno & Lake Tenno

North of Lake Garda is another lake. It is much smaller, less crowded, and a real hidden gem.

Getting from Riva del Garda to Lake Tenno takes about 30 minutes by car. Lake Tenno is a mountain lake, and though the distance to Riva del Garda is only about 10 kilometers, you have to drive narrow and really windy mountain roads. The drive is not for everyone, but the lake is well worth it.

Lake Tenno in Lake Garda

If you enjoy taking a dip, then Lake Tenno is probably a better choice than Lake Garda. 

If you want to be a little more active, head to the village of Tenno (a well-preserved village dating back to the Bronze Age) before or afterward.

7 Days in Lake Garda

Lake Garda has many more cute towns to explore, like Desenzano del Garda, but with one week in Lake Garda, I suggest doing another trip away from the lake.

Dolomites

If you ask me, I would do whatever it takes to head to two more stunning lakes in the Dolomites, namely Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) and Lago di Carezza (Karersee).Lago di Braies in the Dolomites

Getting there from Riva del Garda or Malcesine takes some time – I admit, it is not around the corner.  

But once you are in the Dolomites, both lakes are quite close to each other. So you can visit both in one day if you have your own car.

While driving there is time-consuming, there are parking spots just in front of them, and there is not much hiking needed to get to either.  You can read my more detailed post on the Dolomites here.

10 Days in Lake Garda

Okay, these places are a bit further away but consider adding these places to your Lake Garda itinerary if you have 10 days in the area.

Venice

Venice is another trip you can take from Lake Garda. I would not necessarily recommend driving to Venice if you stay in Limone – that is too far.

But if you stay near Sirmione, you can book a tour or get there by train or car. Venice Itinerary 2 daysVenice is an experience in itself. The canals, the bridges, the gondolas, the colorful houses, the Piazza San Marco… there are many reasons why Venice should be on your bucket list. Though spending two days in Venice would be better, you can do a day trip if you start early.

Check out my Venice itinerary for more tips on things to do and see.

GardaLand

Gardaland is one of the most popular amusement parks in Italy. If you are traveling with kids, this might be the perfect way to spend a day.

With more than 30 rides, musical performances, and more, it is a great place for a family trip. Personally, I haven’t visited yet, but I would do so with children. This is a place where you will spend a day.

Trento & Trentino

If you stay in the beautiful region of Trentino (e.g., in Riva del Garda), I highly suggest a trip to Trento.Best view in Trento

Trento is one of the most authentic and beautiful towns I have come across in Italy.

If you stay in one of the hotels in Riva del Garda (or Trentino), you will also get a Trentino Guest Card, which allows you to use public transportation for free in the region. In this case, you don’t even have to get there by car. With your Trentino Guest Card, you can also get access to museums and castles for free.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON LAKE GARDA ITINERARY

As you can see, staying one week in Lake Garda (or even longer) is not boring at all. With a great Lake Garda itinerary, it is just the perfect amount of time to see and experience the many fun activities and places Lake Garda has to offer.

Hopefully, this post has helped you find out about the best things to do – whether you have 1 day or more time to spend here, it definitely is worth a trip.

READ MORE: BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN NORTHERN ITALY

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

EPIC THINGS TO DO IN ROME IN 2 DAYS

Rome in 2 days - best places to visit and places to see

AMAZING 2-DAY ROME ITINERARY

Are you planning your 2-day in Rome itinerary covering all the top places in Rome in 2 days? Then read on as I share my tips for an amazing trip to this unique city! Rome is like no other city. It is full of (sad) history and culture, beautiful people, stunning architecture, and great food. 

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR 2 DAYS IN ROME

Before starting with the best places to see in 2 days in Rome, you´ll find a quick guide with the most important travel information.

I cannot say Rome has become my favorite city, but I (and my two cousins) really enjoyed our trip. Verona or Florence might win the prize! However, Rome was still a great trip.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

How to Get Around 2 Days in Rome 

  • Rome can be wonderfully explored on foot. The main attractions are quite close to each other, and if you are used to walking, you can enjoy these places as a pedestrian.
  • We got tickets for hop-on and hop-off sightseeing buses (we stayed in Rome for more than two days and walked each day at least 15-20 km) and used the buses when we were tired or to save time. I admit that I love those sightseeing buses and regularly use them to get a good overview of the city.
  • Rome’s public transportation is apparently good, and you can use buses to get around easily and cheaply.
  • In my experience, there is no real need to use taxis or to rent a car.

Where to Stay in Rome for 2 Days

Rome is one of the busiest cities in Italy – full of tourists at any time of the year. Accommodation can be pricey though you will not find many of the typical 5-star hotel chains you see everywhere else where you have crowds of visitors.

  • Luxury Hotels: There are some amazing 5-star luxury hotels. St. Regis is one of the few hotel chains with a property in Rome. The hotel is popular because of its central location (it is within walking distance to Rome attractions like the Spanish Steps, etc.). Click here to find out more and get the best rates.
  • Mid-Range Hotels: Here is a popular 3-star hotel – find out more about the Suites Farnese Design Hotel.
  • Budget Hotels in Rome: Looking for a budget hotel in Rome? This might be the perfect choice for you: We were a group of three and needed a big room with three beds. And we were really, really happy with our hotel. It was not spectacular, but the location was good, and so was the value for money: Find out more about the St. Peter Bed in Rome here.
  • I had coffee at Atlante Star – the view from the rooftop is amazing and reason enough to stay there overnight. Check out their prices here.
  • If you prefer staying at an Airbnb, check out that post.

2-Day Rome Itinerary – Best Time to Visit 

We visited Rome in the winter – and had a blast.

  • I definitely don’t recommend visiting in the summer. From June to September it is warm too hot, generally dry, and tourists from all around the world flock to Rome, so it gets extremely crowded and hotel prices are high.
  • The best time for a 2-day Rome trip is from October to April. It can get coldish in the winter months but it hardly dips below freezing point. 
  • Wintertime has the least crowds, which results in shorter lines (standing in lines might play a big role when visiting Rome). The weather in January, during my trip, was mild, and crowds were gone though it was still busy and lively, while accommodation costs are lower. 

These activities can all be done at any time of the year – but I guess winter, fall, or spring might be the best time to visit.

Money Issues in Rome

  • The currency is Euro (€).
  • Shops often advertise that EC/Credit Card payment is possible.
  • But the reality is that once we wanted to buy something (including tickets for the hop-on and hop-off buses), it did not work because of a broken “card machine.“ This happened regularly, and it was a bit frustrating and disappointing. I don’t want to assume too much, but we figured that credit card payments were not allowed to avoid paying taxes to the government. 
  • I might be wrong, but definitely withdraw money and have cash on you to avoid problems, or book tickets in advance and pay online.

WHAT TO DO AND SEE IN ROME IN 2 DAYS

Visiting Rome means being transplanted back to ancient times. There is so much history, and as the Roman Empire used to be the most powerful in its time, so much fascination. So, let’s dive into the top places to visit and the best activities for your Rome itinerary.

DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN ROME

Start your day with a trip to the Colosseum…

Learn About Rome´s History at the Colosseum – Around 9 am

The Colosseum is one of the main tourist attractions. It is even a great place if you visit Rome with kids.

The Colosseum – officially known as the Flavian Amphitheater – is almost 2,000 years old. It was commissioned around A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty as a gift to the Roman people. However, there is a cruel and tragic history behind it, as the Colosseum used to be a venue for gladiator and wild animal fights for about 4 centuries. In the 6th century, it was abandoned and actually used as a quarry for numerous building projects. Restoration efforts only began in the 1990s. Willian West 355103 unsplash Rome tourist attractionsDespite its bloody history, it is an awe-inspiring place to see in Rome.

The Colosseum is the largest ancient amphitheater ever built – it could hold up to 50,000 visitors. It is still the largest standing amphitheater in the world today, though about two-thirds of the original Colosseum has been destroyed over time. It is made of stone, concrete, and tuff, and it stands 4 stories tall at its highest point. 

The architecture is one of the most distinctive in any European capital. While looking at it from a distance is nice (and free), you should get a ticket and explore the inside. Keep in mind that it is one of the main attractions, so there will be tons of other tourists visiting as well. Rome places to go in 2 days best sights

  • So, buying an online ticket in advance is a good option to avoid the line (as this includes “skip the lines” already). We got extra audioguides (and my cousin answered all my additional questions) and learned about its history in a nutshell. 
  • If you don’t have such an awesome cousin, you could book guided tours in advance.
  • Come here early to avoid the crowds 
  • Regular tickets are € 16.00 and include entrance to the Colosseum plus entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine archaeological area – but they do not include to “skip the lines”.
  • Reduced tickets available (bring your ID) 
  • There are tickets (not always available, though) that also allow you to visit the arena for a higher price
  • Opening hours: 10.30 am – 7.15 pm (last entry at 6.15 pm), closed January 1 and December 25
  • It takes about 1-2 hours to visit the Colosseum
  • There is no dress code but wear comfy shoes
  • HOW TO GET THERE: Roma, Piazza del Colosseo
    Metro: Line B stop Colosseo
    Bus: n. 51, 75, 81, 85, 87, 118
    Tram: n. 3

From the Colosseum, it is time to head to the next attractions, which are just a stone‘s throw away: the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Stroll the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – Around 11 am

If you have a ticket for the Colosseum, it normally includes the entry fees for these sights as well, which are other places to add to your 2 days in Rome itinerary.

The Roman Forum (Foro Romano) is located just to the west of the Colosseum and is the ancient city of Rome, whereas Palatine Hill rises above the Forum and it is the place where the emperors built their palaces. Rome best places to visit in 2 daysThe Roman Forum and Palatine Hill used to be the center of public life during the Roman Empire and included many of Ancient Rome´s most important structures. The remains paint a picture of how important this place used to be.

  • To be honest, I wish I had an audio guide or a tour guide. Even though my imagination is okay, it was not enough to really grasp the importance of the place, and I felt a bit lost without a guide. 

You´ll also have great views of the Colosseum, and it is not as crowded as other Rome attractions, or maybe because of its size it felt less busy. Tourists places in Rome in two days

  • Combine it with a trip to the Colosseum
  • Regular tickets are € 16.00 and include entrance to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine archaeological area
  • Opening hours: 10.30 am – 7.15 pm (last entry at 6.15 pm), closed January 1 and December 25
  • Plan in 1-2 hours for these two attractions
  • HOW TO GET TO PALATINEVia di San Gregorio 30. From the Colosseum you can easily walk, otherwise: Metro: Line B stop Colosseo, Bus: n. 51, 75, 81, 85, 87, 118 Tram: n. 3
  • HOW TO GET TO ROMAN FORUM: Largo della Salara Vecchia 5/6, Metro: Line B stop Colosseo, Bus: n. 51, 75, 81, 85, 87, 118

From there, you could take public transportation, a taxi, or walk to the next famous landmark.

Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II – Around 2 pm

This building has become one of my favorite sights and is Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele. Though I haven’t seen it in many top 10 lists for Rome, it has made it on my list. Its symmetry is just astonishing. Monumento Nazionale a Vittoria Emanuele II  _ The wedding cake Rome points of interestIt is 135 meters wide and 70 meters high – and the top is crowned with an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel cast in bronze and two chariots driven by the goddess Victoria. 

Apparently, the building was considered very ugly by the Romans and is often compared to a wedding cake because of its structure. Though I don’t like wedding cakes much, I loved this building, which is actually also known as the Alter of the Fatherland.

It was created as a monument for the first king of united Italy (completed in 1925) and is probably one of Rome’s most modern-looking buildings. Yes, I seriously did not see many new buildings, so I perceived this 100-year-old building as modern! Rome where to go in 2 daysWe did not visit the museum inside but instead climbed some of the stairs and enjoyed the great views from there.

  • There is also a flag museum (free of charge) you can visit.
  • Climbing the first stairs to the lower terrace (with the view in the picture) is free
  • Using the lift to the panoramic terrace (the only way to get to the top) cost about 7€ 
  • HOW TO GET THERE: From Palatine Hill, you can either walk (about 2 km) or take a bus, e.g., line 81, hop-on and hop-off buses also take you there.

From there, you could take a taxi, or walk for about 10 minutes to the next famous landmark.

Check out Pantheon – Around 4 pm

The Pantheon is one of the main landmarks in Rome. Honestly, I was not too impressed. Maybe, I was in a bad mood when I entered because just a few seconds before, my ice cream had fallen, and I was sad over the waste of my valuable, delicious Italian gelato.Adam Wood 432049 Unsplash Places to see in Rome

It was built between 25 and 27 BC as a temple dedicated to the twelve Gods and to the living Sovran. It was most likely reconstructed between 118 and 125 AD and is almost 2000 years old. It is the only ancient Roman building that has remained more or less intact through the centuries (remember the Colosseum that has largely been destroyed). In the 7th century, the temple was officially converted to Christianity and named Basilica of Saint Mary and Martyres.

  • The Pantheon is free to visit
  • You do not need to book any ticket in advance. Lines might be long though
  • The Basilica is open all days from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm (last entry 6.30 pm), closed on 1st January, 15th August, and the 25th December, times may vary in accordance with special religious celebrations.
  • You can book audio guides for about 7€
  • Guided tours are also available at the church (take about 45 minutes and cost about 20€)
  • Mobile App is available: Pantheon Rome
  • It is a church, so dress moderately

From there, you could take public transportation, a taxi, or walk to the next famous landmark which is about 1 km away.

Relax at Piazza di Spagna – the Spanish Steps – Around 6 pm

The Spanish Steps are another tourist magnet.

 The Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti in Italian) was built in the 18th century and has its name from the Spanish Embassy at the Piazza di Spagna. They are a set of steps (135 steps in total) climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, with the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.Rome in 2 days itinerary. Arzo Travels

Though we visited in January, it was so busy. We even had issues finding our way to climb down! Since spring 2019 it is not allowed to sit on the Spanish Steps anymore.  

It was a bit of a disappointment, to be honest. I am sure it will be much better now that you can actually walk down the stairs and so it has made it on the list of the best places to visit in Rome.

Okay, one great way to end the day is to head to the nearby Trevi Fountain.

Make a Wish at Trevi Fountain – Around 7.30 pm

I mentioned that I didn‘t like the Spanish Steps that much because it was crowded. But I cannot recall any place that was as crowded as the Trevi Fountain. Come early to Trevi Fountain in RomeThat place is jammed with people from all over the world. It gets even busier in the evenings. Yes, in the picture, it does not look busy. But it is. We went back there again early in the morning when it was still quiet to see it without the crowds.

There had been another fountain on that site that was demolished in the 17th century, and then Trevi Fountain was designed completed by Giuseppe Pannini in the 18th century. It is about 26 meters high and about 49 meters wide. In the center of the fountain, you will see a statue of Oceanus, the Sea God in Greek mythology.

  • There are many cafes and restaurants close by, too, so you´ll find something to your fancy.
  • Have your drink on a bench in front of the fountains instead of in a cafe.
  • Don’t forget to throw in a coin if you want to revisit Rome. The myth says that throwing a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you´ll visit Rome again.
  • While the water from the fountain was long known as the best in Rome, it is now not drinkable!

This will probably be a busy day, but sticking to a tight schedule will allow you to see many of Rome´s sights within two days. Check out ideas on how to spend your evenings in Rome.

  • Tip: With 2 days in the city you might be able to visit Trevi Fountain twice. Early in the morning, it tends to be less busy, and you can manage to take a picture without other people in it.

DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN ROME

Yes, Rome in 2 days is quite busy, but it is worth it. So, here are my suggestions for your second day.

Enjoy Castel Sant’Angelo – Around 9 am

Castel Sant’Angelo is located close to the Tiber River. It is a popular place to find musicians and small stalls selling souvenirs. You can also visit the museum inside and enjoy great views of the city.Best attractions in Rome where to visit with arzo Travels

The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant’Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself (around 2000 years ago!) and his family. It has been used for different purposes, from defense fortress to prison and dungeon and more.

At the beginning of the 20th century, it became a museum and venue for cultural and social events.

View from Castello del Angelo  - best viewpoints in Rome with Arzo Travels
View from Castello del Angelo  @shutterstock

Inside you will now find the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo with many pieces on display, including a grand collection of paintings, sculptures, military memorabilia, and medieval firearms.

The museum is divided into several sections, with elegant Renaissance interiors, including the Sala Paolina with frescoes depicting episodes from the life of Alexander the Great on the castle’s upper floors. There is also a terrace offering unforgettable views over Rome and Vatican City with a little cafe.

  • Open daily from 9 am to 7:30 pm (last entrance 6:30 pm), closed: 25th December and 1st January 
  • Ticket prices are around 14€ for adults
  • You cannot bring backpacks, suitcases, or large bags to the sites
  • You have to go through security checks
  • Plan in between 1-3 hours

Okay, one great way to end the day is to head to a nearby rooftop bar.

Enjoy an Espresso at a Rooftop Bar – Around 12 pm

When in Rome, make sure to head to some of the great rooftop bars here.Visit a rooftop bar in Rome with Arzo Travels

If you plan to visit Castel Sant’Angelo and its terrace you will have great views already, but why not enjoy some more fantastic views?

TIP: For amazing views of St. Peter‘s Basilica in Vatican City, we went for an espresso at Atlante Star. It is a four-star hotel with a lovely view of Vatican City and Rome. I guess there aren’t many rooftop bars that can claim to offer views of two countries.

Stroll the Tiber River – Around 2 pm

If you have some energy left, invest time exploring an UNCROWDED place in Rome (well, kind of).

When you stroll the Tiber River, you will have the place almost to yourself – a rarity. I am into strolling rivers. It may sound weird, but I have fallen in love with places where I basically just strolled along the rivers.

The river is not as dominant (nor as pretty) as in other cities, but you could stroll, have a drink, picnic, etc.

Read more: Visit Appia Antica – A day trip from Rome.

End the Day in Travestere – Around 5 pm

For the second night, I definitely recommend dining in the Trastevere neighborhood. This area is probably one of my favorite areas in Rome. The cobblestone streets with their many shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes are really charming. 

Rome itinerary Arzo Travels

If you want to enjoy a hip, easy-going vibe, plan some time to stroll through Travestere and pick one of the numerous restaurants to dine in. There are also some that are quite affordable.

If you spend your last evening here, you will probably have a great last memory of Rome!

DAY TRIP FROM ROME

Vatican City is a must-see in, well, I would say Rome though it is not part of Rome. However, it was one of the highlights of my Rome trip.

And so I highly suggest staying 3 days in Rome, so you can add a day trip to your itinerary. But you could also add it to your 2-day itinerary and visit Vatican City in half a day/ 1 day.

Explore Vatican City

This tiny country (the smallest in the world, to be more precise) lies within Rome, and crossing countries is made easy. Vatican City seen from RomeThe Pope’s home is probably one of the most extreme places I have visited so far. There is so much “bling-bling“ and pomposity that it felt unreal.

  • I strongly recommend getting tickets for the museum as well and planning in at least half a day for this place, including the Sistine Chapel. 
  • Have I mentioned that it gets bustling and crowded? So make sure you book your tickets in advance. Even in January, there were long lines – which you can skip with “Skip the Line“ tickets.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON A WEEKEND TRIP TO ROME

Rome is a great winter destination but probably is amazing to visit at any time of the year. 2 days in Rome (plus one day in Vatican City) is the minimum time to spend. 2 days will allow you to see some of the best sights in Rome.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you plan your 2-day Rome itinerary.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE GARDA FOR AN INCREDIBLE HOLIDAY

Where to stay in Lake Garda? Best places to stay in Lake Garda

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN LAKE GARDA – GREAT HOTELS FOR ALL BUDGETS

If you are planning a trip to Lake Garda, you have already made a great decision. Now there is probably the question about where to stay in Lake Garda?!

So while finding reasons to visit this area is actually a no-brainer, finding the perfect accommodation and the best place to stay in Lake Garda is indeed a bit more difficult.

Lаkе Gаrdа is thе lаrgеѕt lake in Italy – and it iѕ аlѕо оnе оf thе mоѕt beautiful ones. Surrounded by ruggеd hills and luѕh vegetation, the lake features a fjord-like fоrmаtiоn with its ѕоuthеrn part wider than itѕ northern part. Thе lаkе аrеа аlѕо еnjоуѕ thе mild and comfortable Mеditеrrаnеаn сlimаtе.

Viѕiting the lake also mеаnѕ being еxроѕеd to a spectacular luѕсiоuѕ environment fillеd with a variety оf trееѕ like palms, cypresses, оrаngе trees, and lеmоn groves. You will еаѕilу be captivated by the vibrant bluе соlоr оf thе lаkе’ѕ сlеаr water.

There are plenty of unique and unusual things to do in Lake Garda. The vicinity аrоund Lake Garda оffеrѕ a boatload of орроrtunitiеѕ for fun, rеlаxаtiоn, and recreation. But it is not only about nature – the lakeshore is dotted with several charming hаrbоr tоwnѕ.Malcesine and things to do in Lake Garda

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

Things to Consider About Places to Stay in Lake Garda

Here are some general tips when it comes to booking a hotel in Lake Garda, as well as the best towns to stay in when you’re at Lake Garda. 

Personally, Lake Garda won my heart in a second, and I think it should be on any Northern Italy itinerary. It just took a few moments to forget about my prejudices. For the longest time, I thought it was a boring place and a good destination for families (with younger kids) and camping fans.

After visiting, I think it is a great destination in Italy – with activities, towns, and villages for everyone’s taste. Whether you are a family (younger kids, older kids, or no kids at all), a couple, friends, or a solo traveler, Lake Garda makes for a great Italian holiday. Lake Garda Instagrammability

There are many things you should be taking into consideration when choosing your Lake Garda accommodation. There is an overwhelming amount of places to stay on Lake Garda, so you can afford to be a little picky.

As mentioned above, Lake Garda is camping-friendly. You will also find luxury hotels, very family-friendly hotels, and more.

Not only the hotel category is important when choosing your Lake Garda accommodations – it is also crucial to pick the best location for your stay.

Here are a few things to consider. 

Getting Around Lake Garda 

Lake Garda is Italy’s biggest lake, with a shore length of almost 160 kilometers. While it’s great that Lake Garda is large, it also means that getting from one attraction (or town) to another can be very time-consuming. 

  • Public transportation is not great in and around Lake Garda. You cannot rely on public transportation if you want to visit many towns along the lake. Buses do not bring you everywhere, they do not necessarily run often, and also it takes a lot of time getting from a to b. 
  • Driving can be nerve-wracking (to some people). The mountain roads are very narrow and Italians tend to drive…let´s say a bit crazy. Also, petrol is ridiculously expensive in Lake Garda (Italy has one of the highest petrol prices in all of Europe; Lake Garda is even more expensive than other areas). One liter of petrol often costs 1.75€ – or more. There is no toll when driving Lake Garda’s shores, but getting to other cities or attractions, like Verona, costs extra when you use the highways (about 8 to 9 € for 100 km).

While I still love Lake Garda, you should keep distances in mind when booking your Lake Garda hotel.

Tax For Staying Overnight Around Lake Garda

  • Each area charges an extra tourist tax. The amount depends on the area and hotel category. While it varies greatly, you can calculate roughly 1€ per night (per person) that has to be paid to the hotel.
  • If you book a hotel, it normally does not show on the price offer.
  • You normally pay at it the reception once you check in/check out.

Where to Stay in Lake Garda: Southern or Northern Shore? 

Each area has its own charm and advantages.

  • The southern area tends to be warmer. If you stay on the southern shores, it is quicker for you to get to cities like Verona and Venice.
  • The north and northeast areas are better places to stay in Lake Garda for water sports loversFrom here you have better day trip options to the Dolomites.

For each of my top recommendations, I also mention for whom this town/village is the perfect place and why.

More Tips For Your Hotel in Lake Garda

  • If you stay in Lake Garda for more than 4 days, I suggest splitting your trip. Choose two different locations for your trip. Stay a few days on the southern shore before you move up north (or the other way around).
  • Yes, it sounds stressful to some of you. But if you stay a few days in totally different Lake Garda areas, you will see a lot more, and getting around is much easier.

Best Towns to Stay in Lake Garda

We will talk about these 5 places for your stay at Lake Garda.

  • SIRMIONE
  • RIVA DEL GARDA
  • DESENZANO DEL GARDA
  • MALCESINE
  • LIMONE SUL GARDA

Top Areas and Hotels to Stay in Lake Garda

Let’s get started with the best areas and hotels in Lake Garda.

SIRMIONE

Sirmione is one of the most popular places for tourists. It sits on a peninsula jutting out into the lake on the southern shore.Instagram places in Lake Garda

If staying in Sirmione, you have some of the best-known sights in Lake Garda around the corner.

The resort town is known for its thermal baths and Rocca Scaligera, a medieval castle overlooking the lake. This makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions and it is definitely worth a visit. 

With its winding little alleys and beautiful houses, the old town makes it a perfect place to stay in Lake Garda. There are also small public beaches although they are not the best places to chill.

The Archaeological Site of Grotte di Catullo encompasses a Roman villa, a museum, and olive trees, and you will also find the ruins in the rocky Jamaica Beach just below it.  

And you can do shorter or longer boat rides from Sirmione, so you can leave your car and get to see more of the area.

Sirmione is also great if you want to stay in a busy tourist hotspot, close to Gardaland or Verona (even Venice as a day trip would be possible).

However, Sirmione is also one of the busiest places. If you cannot tolerate crowds very well, Sirmione is probably not the best place to stay in Lake Garda.

Accommodation in Sirmione

  • Luxury – For a luxurious experience, stay at the Grand Hotel Terme, which offers great amenities and a full English buffet.
  • Mid-Range – If you are looking for a mid-range option, the Champagne Rooms would be a great choice, with helpful staff and a nice location. They also offer family suites, perfect if you’re traveling with your family.
  • Budget-friendly – Located right by Lake Garda’s shore, the lovely Hotel Porto Azzurro makes a good budget option. 
  • CampingCamping Tiglio is a great place for lakeside camping, offering clean facilities and nice amenities.

RIVA DEL GARDA

At the very northern shores of Lake Garda is Riva del Garda.  View from the tower in Riva del Garda, Lake Garda

It is another gorgeous village with a bustling old town, a lovely waterfront, a clock tower with great views (it is just 165 steps to get to the top), and colorful old buildings.

Riva del Garda is one of the bigger towns at the lake and is great for shoppers, museum lovers, and anyone who does not like it too quiet.

It is also a popular place for watersports lovers – like kite surfing, windsurfing, or canoeing. 

From Riva del Garda, you can “easily” get to places like Sirmione, Malcesine, and Limone by boat (or car) – you can also visit South Tyrol ́s attractions from there (like Lago di Braies as a day trip) which probably makes it one of the best towns to stay in Lake Garda.

Let’s face it, the Dolomites in South Tyrol are just breathtaking, and this way, you can combine mountains and the “city” life easily.

It is close to Nago-Torbole, Limone, Malcesine, and Mount Baldo, as well as places like Trento and the Dolomites.

Accommodation in Riva del Garda

  • Luxury – The Rivacentro is a popular, luxurious apartment hotel that has helpful staff, modern rooms, and great amenities.
  • Mid-Range – For a mid-range hotel, you could stay at the Parc Hotel Flora, which offers spa access, views, and breakfast.

DESENZANO DEL GARDA

Desenzano del Garda is a resort town on the southern shore of Lake Garda. The town is the biggest at Lake Garda – so, there are quite some attractions and places to visit.

Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda where to stay

There is a lovely water promenade, and many shops and stores. The little harbor, with its colorful buildings, makes it also pretty picturesque. 

The vibrant Piazza Matteotti and Piazza Malvezzi are some of the best places to see, but there are also some more ancient sights like Desenzano’s Castle. This is the town where you can party the best – so if you are a night owl, then this is the best town to stay in Lake Garda.

To be honest, it would not be my first pick to stay in Lake Garda – though staying here comes with some perks.

It is close to Sirmione, which makes it a good place if you want to focus on Lake Garda’s southern shores. It is also a good base for a day trip to Bergamo and Milan (or even a day trip to Lake Como).

Also, given that Desenzano del Garda does have a train station, it is great for those who arrive via train.

Accommodation in Desenzano del Garda

  • LuxuryPark Hotel offers a luxury experience, daily breakfast, and a rooftop pool. Also great for families.
  • Mid-Range – You can stay at the Villa Rosa Hotel Desenzano for a modern hotel experience close to the town center and beach. 
  • Budget-friendly – For a budget option, try the B&B Desenzano Paradise, which offers a buffet breakfast, free bicycles, and a lovely terrace. Favored by solo travelers.
  • Camping – A good camping option near the lake would be Camping Village San Francesco, offering a pool, restaurant, and games.

MALCESINE

When you think about where to stay in Lake Garda, you should also consider Malcesine for your Lake Garda vacation.

Malcesine in Lake Garda

This busy little town is located at the foot of Mount Baldo, making it a great base if you’d like to enjoy a day in the mountains (either by hiking up or using the cable car).

It is also one of the best choices if you enjoy watersports.

The old town and the harbor make it a lovely place for people who enjoy relaxing and strolling, too.

From here, you can also quite easily reach Limone and Riva del Garda by boat.

Malcesine, though smaller than some of the other towns mentioned here, is actually a great choice for those who enjoy some busier places that also offer quick getaways.

By the way, when I visited the castle and enjoyed the views (better views than from the Sirmione castle), I saw that the rooftop is also a wedding venue. It was absolutely stunning and romantic. So, if you are in the mood to get married…then Malcesine is definitely the best place to stay.

Malcesine is perfect for Northern Italy trips, being so close to Riva del Garda, Trento, and Rovereto. Check out my detailed Malcesine post. 

Accommodation in Malcesine

  • LuxuryLa Loggia del Capitano is a great luxury option, with spacious apartments and terraces with great views. 
  • Mid-Range – Comfortable apartments at a mid-level price can be found at Appartamento Morena, which has a nice lounge and amenities. Good for families and groups.
  • Budget-friendlyGarda Family House is not located directly in Malcesine but offers continental breakfast at a budget-friendly price, just outside of Malcesine proper.

LIMONE SUL GARDA

One of the cutest towns in Europe is also one of the best places to stay in Lake Garda. As my base when I visited Lake Garda, I totally adored Limone.

Limone best places to visit

Strolling through the old town, walking the cycle path, and watching the sunset on the promenade… despite its very small size, it is full of beauty and charm.

You can’t go wrong with choosing Limone as your base (here are my recommendations for things to do in Limone, btw). Staying here also makes it pretty comfortable to explore this pretty town early in the morning or in the evening, when all the crowds are gone. Limone might be tiny, but the crowds come.

So, whether you want to walk the cyclopath or stroll the narrow streets – there is no better times than the early mornings or later evenings, and if you stay somewhere else, it might not be possible. 

It is easy to get to Malcesine and Riva del Garda (by boat), but it takes some time to get to other areas that are further away.

So, my tip for where to stay in Lake Garda is Limone. Though getting to different places is time-consuming, and there aren’t tons of activities offered, it is my personal favorite.

If you stay for more than 2 or 3 nights at Lake Garda, then it might get boring, but since Limone also has a beach, you can’t really go wrong with booking your accommodation here for a few days.

Accommodations in Limone Sul Garda

  • LuxuryHotel Splendid Palace is a lovely accommodation that offers many amenities and beautiful views from its rooftop pool.
  • Mid-RangeGarni Gianmartin provides a savory buffet and lovely lake views. A favorite among solo travelers.
  • Budget-friendlyHotel Cristina has a nice location and offers lake views, a pool, and friendly staff. 

Read more:

CONCLUSION: WHERE TO STAY IN LAKE GARDA

Sо, whеthеr you’re looking for a rеlаxing winter brеаk complete with luxurious surroundings and plenty оf thingѕ tо ѕее and dо, or you’re looking tо bооk уоur Italian summer hоlidауѕ in аdvаnсе, Lаkе Gаrdа iѕ a dеѕtinаtiоn definitely wоrth visiting.

And now, you also have ideas on the best hotels in Lake Garda.

Hopefully, this post has helped you find the best places to stay in Lake Garda. The choices are endless, but the above-mentioned areas are my personal favorite tips for where to stay in Lake Garda. 

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

BEST THINGS TO DO IN MALCESINE, LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Things to do in Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy Arzo Travels

WHAT TO DO IN MALCESINE IN ONE DAY + AND TRAVEL TIPS

During my trip to Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, I spent one day discovering the top things to do in Malcesine: the picturesque medieval atmosphere of the old town, the pretty panorama of the lake and the mountains from the harbor, the most beautiful view of Lake Garda from Scaliger Castle, and much more.

This beautiful town, located on the northeastern shore of Lake Garda, is a great base to visit other highlights of Lake Garda, such as Limone sul Garda and Riva del Garda. 

In this post, you will learn some facts, why you should visit Malcesine, what to see in Malcesine, and more useful tips for your trip to Malcesine and Lake Garda.

  • Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

MALCESINE TRAVEL TIPS

Get ready for your trip to Malcesine with this useful information.

Malcesine Facts

  • The town of Malcesine (pronounced mal-che-see-nay, with the accent on “che”) is located in the northern part of Lake Garda, on the eastern shore, south of Riva del Garda and opposite Limone sul Garda. 
  • It forms part of the province of Verona, in the region of Veneto: Verona is approximately 40 km to the South-East, and Venice is approximately 120 km to the South-East. The city of Trento is also quite close, approximately 65 km to the North.
  • This small comune of approximately 3500 inhabitants is nestled between Lake Garda and the slopes of Mount Baldo: the iconic Scaliger Castle overlooks the lake from the top of a hill. 

HOW TO GET TO MALCESINE

  • Plane: The closest airport to Malcesine is in Verona; however, take a look also at Milano Bergamo Airport, Venice Airport, and Treviso Airport, which are bases for low-cost airlines in Europe such as Ryanair and Wizzair. Slightly farther away are Milano Malpensa Airport and Bologna Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take public transportation.
  • Public transportation: Unfortunately there is no train station in Malcesine; the closest stations in large cities are Verona to the South and Rovereto to the North. Buses run along the coasts of Lake Garda; bus connections can take a while to travel in this area. During July and August, there may be extra connections between Riva del Garda and Venice or between Verona and the Lake towns to bring Opera-goers back to their accommodations. During the rest of the year, some connections may be canceled. The main public transportation company is called ATV Verona.
  • Car: The scenery of Lake Garda and the surrounding hills and mountains is beautiful from the road to Malcesine. However, it is a local road which crosses many towns and holiday destinations, so there could be traffic. 
  • Boat: There are ferries connecting Malcesine to towns all around Lake Garda. The ferries leave from Peschiera or Desenzano to the South, or from Riva to the North. Many ferries are managed by this company..
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HOW TO GET AROUND MALCESINE

  • Malcesine is a very walkable town: wear comfortable shoes and enjoy the picturesque cobble-stoned streets. 
  • You can easily explore the whole city center. The Scaliger Castle is located on top of a hill, but it’s not hard to reach. 
  • You don’t need a car to get around Malcesine, plus there aren’t many parking lots. If you travel by car, or you want to use it for day trips, make sure you check with your accommodation if they have space for it. 
  • There is a tourist bus during the summer, but the schedule may change, so be sure to check it. 

BEST TIME TO VISIT MALCESINE

Lake Garda is a very popular summer destination. Even though Lake Garda might not be that popular with US-Americans, it is extremely popular with European – especially German – visitors. Malcesine and the nearby towns can get very, very crowded in July and August, which are also the hottest months. Prices for accommodations rise and it can become pretty expensive.

I recommend visiting Malcesine in April or May, or in late September and early October. In these periods the weather can be nice, destinations are less busy (but there is still a lot going on and it can be partly crowded), and accommodation prices are a little lower. It is much more pleasant to visit the best attractions of Malcesine in these conditions. 

During the rest of the year, many tourism establishments may be closed.

WHERE TO STAY IN MALCESINE

Even though I didn’t stay overnight in Malcesine, here are a few accommodation possibilities. Note that many hotels state an “adults only” policy which may come in handy for those looking for a children-free stay.

  • Luxury: Guesthouse Grand View is perfect if you are looking to enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Garda and the mountains while swimming in the outdoor pool. It is located on the slopes of Monte Baldo close to the center of Malcesine. Check out rates here.
  • Mid-range: Enjoy the old town from Hotel Malcesine, located in the heart of the city center, close to the harbor. The terrace with sun chairs overlooking Lake Garda is a beautiful place to relax. Check out rates here.

If you plan to stay in another village around Lake Garda, check out my accommodation guide with tips on the best accommodation around Lake Garda.

MALCESINE – RANDOM INFORMATION

  • In Italian restaurants, leaving a tip is not required, but appreciated. 
  • At restaurants where you sit at a table, the bill will include a “coperto”. It is a fee between 1-3 EUR per person that covers the cost of the tablecloth, cutlery, bread, and sometimes a jar of tap water. 
  • Take good care of your feet by wearing comfortable shoes.
  • Be prepared for mosquitos in the summer months.
  • Cheaper supermarkets are located by the main road, Via Gardesana SR249.

Things to Do in Malcesine

I really enjoyed my day trip to Malcesine. As you know, Limone is my favorite town on Lake Garda, but Malcesine is also very pretty, and a bit larger. Plus, the view from the Scaliger Castle is stunning.

Here are the top things to do in Malcesine.

Explore the Old Town

The first thing to see in Malcesine is the medieval old town. Walking in the center of Malcesine, between the lake and the main road, is very pleasant and relaxing. 

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The narrow alleys have a very special atmosphere made of colorful buildings, cute shops, and cafés, with pretty squares suddenly opening up to the sun, some bordered by orange trees and palms. As Malcesine is between the lake and the slopes of Mount Baldo, most streets are uphill.

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Malcesine’s history dates back to Roman times. Afterwards, this area was dominated by Goths and Lombards, by the Scaligeri family of Verona, by Venetians and Austrians, before finally becoming part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866. The old town retained its medieval structure around the fortress of Scaliger Castle. 

  • Italian tip: if you are looking to enjoy some local wine, look for the Italian words “osteria”, “vineria” or “enoteca”.

Walk by the Harbor

When considering what to do in Malcesine, the answer is as easy as walking along the harbor. 

The small harbor is another beautiful place in Malcesine, bustling with travelers and locals, ferries, and fishing boats. It is perfect to relax and do some people-watching.

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In the courtyard of Palazzo del Capitano, one of the top attractions of Malcesine, you can sit on a bench with a gelato while you enjoy the wonderful view of the Lake and the mountains. 

Visit Scaliger Castle

The Scaliger Castle is a must-visit in Malcesine: You will learn a bit about Malcesine´s history and it offers the best view at Lake Garda. The rooftops of red shingles below, the Lake in front of you, mountains all around: it was my favorite view!

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Also known as the Malcesine Castle (Castello di Malcesine in Italian), this medieval castle sits on a promontory overlooking Lake Garda. Even though the first castle here was built around the year 500, it takes the name of the family that ruled in Verona, Della Scala, who took over in 1277 and rebuilt it. It was declared National Monument in 1902.

If you have only one day in Malcesine, make sure you visit the castle to experience the view and learn about the local culture. 

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The Scaliger Castle houses the small Museum of Natural History about the flora and fauna of Lake Garda and Mount Baldo, as well as an exhibition of drawings made by Goethe; another museum of local history is being created.

From the various courtyards and balconies on different floors, you can enjoy wonderful views. Make sure you climb the tower and admire the picturesque view 70 meters above Lake Garda. 

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The Scaliger Castle is also a very romantic venue: the Rivellino courtyard is used to celebrate weddings. 

  • Price: the ticket to Scaliger Castle in Malcesine costs 6 EUR.
  • Opening hours: Scaliger Castle is open every day, but hours change seasonally and on weekends, so make sure you check online. 
  • Top tip: enjoy a wonderful view of Scaliger Castle rising above Malcesine and Lake Garda from the ferry to/from Limone, the town on the other side of the lake.

Visit Captain’s Palace

You will certainly notice this beautiful palace near the harbor: it is one of the key historical attractions in Malcesine. 

This historic building was constructed by the Scaliger family over Roman and Romanesque ruins in the 1200s and 1300s; it was later remodeled in Venetian style in the following centuries, with sumptuous decorations worthy of the residence of the Captain of the Lake.

The most recent renovation started in 2007 and gave the palace back its original splendor.

You can walk through the main hall, admire the frescoes on the ceiling, and enjoy the wonderful view of the lake and the garden through the back gate. It is a very Instagrammable spot in Malcesine, especially when the flowers are blooming.

  • Price: admission is free. Only the ground floor and the garden are open to the public.
  • Events: the first floor is used for concerts, conferences or wedding ceremonies.

Admire the View From Mount Baldo

Monte Baldo is certainly a top destination around Lake Garda, especially for day trips. It is popular to visit Malcesine just to reach the top of Monte Baldo and admire the view. 

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I took the cable car to reach the top. The first station of “Funivia Malcesine-Monte Baldo” is close to the city center, approximately 10 minutes on foot from the harbor. In just a few minutes, it takes you up to 1800 meters of altitude.

After the mid-station, the rotating cabins make this experience even more unique! The view of Lake Garda and the surrounding mountains makes it worth traveling to Malcesine. I would say this is definitely a place to visit in Malcesine in one day.

Animal lovers should check out the cute “Elalpaca” alpaca farm on the top of Mount Baldo, near the cableway arrival.

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  • Price: A return ticket costs 25 EUR when purchased online. 
  • Opening hours: The cable car is open approximately from May to October, from 9 AM to 5 PM, depending on the year. Make sure you check it in advance
  • Practical tip: Get there in advance in high season, as the queue could be long. Getting there early as possible is the best option, as well as buying the ticket online.
  • Clothing tip: On top of Monte Baldo, it can feel significantly colder than in Malcesine, so consider bringing a light jacket. Of course, check the weather before you head there, as clouds could block the view.

It is also possible to hike from Malcesine to Monte Baldo. The trail is 11 km long but the altitude difference is 1815 meters! I can recommend this very steep trail only to trained hikers. Even hiking downhill can hurt your knees.

Paragliding at Mount Baldo

Those of you looking for a thrill should definitely consider paragliding from Mount Baldo to Malcesine! Thanks to the thermals rising from Lake Garda (the flows of air going upwards), after taking off from the top of Monte Baldo, you can reach up to 3000 meters! The landing is all the way down in Malcesine, close to the lake. It looks very exciting.

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Many companies offer a tandem paragliding flight in Malcesine, where you sit on the paraglider together with an instructor. You just have to wear comfortable clothing, and they take care of the rest. Many packages also include pictures and a video of this amazing experience.

  • Top tip: paragliding is a very popular activity, so make sure you book in advance.

HIKING IN MALCESINE

There are plenty of hiking trails in Malcesine that lead up the slopes of Monte Baldo.

Some are easy and suitable also for families with children, such as the ring trail from Malcesine to San Michele (the mid-stop of the cablecar ride); others are quite challenging and more scenic, like the hike to the top of Mount Baldo and the treks on the peaks, where there are even WWI trenches.

Make sure you do your research, choose a trek suitable to your capabilities, and bring the necessary equipment.

WATERSPORTS IN MALCESINE

Another cool thing to do in Malcesine is spending time by the shore of Lake Garda! 

The water sports that you can do in Malcesine are windsurfing and kitesurfing. Winds blow on Lake Garda all day long: the strong Pelér wind blows in the morning, and the lighter Ora wind blows in the afternoon. 

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As long as you have basic swimming skills, you can book with the local providers and have some fun!

There are also options for sail boats and for SUP (stand-up paddling). 

If you’d rather relax, make sure you check out the beach north of the city center called Paina Beach, or the lovely Val di Sogno beach, approximately 30 minutes on foot south of Malcesine. Everywhere, the water is clear and very inviting for a swim.

It is also fun to rent a motorboat to enjoy the view of the mountains from the lake.

  • Price: Most are free, in some you can rent a sun chair.
  • What to expect: the beaches are made of pebbles!
  • Food: There are restaurants and kiosks around the beach areas.
  • Italian tip: The Italian words for “beach” are spiaggia and lido

DISCOVER THE MARKETS OF MALCESINE

A traditional market takes place in Malcesine every Saturday morning, from 8 AM to 2 PM. You can find fresh produce, local food, and traditional crafts. This area is famous especially for olive oil and wine. 

The atmosphere in the alleys and squares of the city center is super Italian. It’s the perfect place to find cute souvenirs.

  • Practical tip: because of the market, on Saturdays, it’s even harder to find a place to park your car. 

OLIVE GROWERS CONSORTIUM OF MALCESINE

I have to admit that I hate olives. Here, I said it. I hate olives. Olive oil is okay if the scent is not very strong. So, I had to pass on this Malcesine attraction.

Foodies will enjoy visiting the Consortium of Olive Growers. Olives are a specialty in Malcesine: the shop of the Consortium is located in the center of Malcesine, while the Olive Mill is 30 minutes away on foot on Via Panoramica.

Locals are proud of producing an excellent extra-virgin olive oil thanks to the mild climate of Lake Garda, which is ideal for growing olives. Olive trees are able to grow easily in this stony and exposed soil. It is quite amazing, since just south of Lake Garda is the foggy plain Pianura Padana, and just north are snowy mountains.

The Consortium was founded in 1946, but olive trees have grown in the area since Roman times.  Olive oil is so precious that it is called “yellow gold”. More than 500 small olive producers from Malcesine and the nearby towns are part of the Consortium, which ensures high-quality processing of the olives through strict policies. It is possible to buy Malcesine Olive Oil only in Malcesine! 

  • How to visit: You can visit the Consortium with a guided tour on Fridays, to learn about olive trees with a video, and to taste wine and olive oil on bread. Make sure you book until one day before.

DAY TRIPS FROM MALCESINE

Malcesine is the perfect location to take day trips around Lake Garda and even beyond.

Limone sul Garda

My favorite day trip from Malcesine is Limone sul Garda, the town on the opposite shore of the lake. I loved the atmosphere in the cute alleys of Limone, the colorful flowers, the view of Lake Garda. Furthermore, from the ferry, you can enjoy an extra special view of Malcesine Castle. Check out my Limone post for more info on Lake Garda´s cutest village.

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Riva del Garda

It is also very easy to visit Riva del Garda from Malcesine. Riva del Garda is the town on the northern tip of Lake Garda. The beautiful city center features colorful houses, the impressive Torre Apponale stone tower, and an interesting Museum of Lake Garda concerning archaeology and history from Roman times until the WWII resistance. The mountains are very close, so the beach and the trails nearby are very scenic. 

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Verona

The interesting cities nearby are Verona, with its pretty center, the Roman Arena, and the Romeo and Juliet balcony; Rovereto, home to the stunning Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art “MART”; and Trento, with a very authentic old town and the massive Buonconsiglio Castle. 

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If you want to have some fun, head to the amusement park Gardaland! Fresh water rides, exciting roller coasters, but also family-friendly rides and shows await you on the southern side of Lake Garda.

FINAL WORDS ON THE BEST ATTRACTIONS IN MALCESINE

Without a doubt, Malcesine is one of the prettiest villages around Lake Garda. It is worth going there on a day trip, but it is also a perfect base for multiple days. I hope with my post you will be able to enjoy the top things to do in Malcesine.

If you are planning a trip to Lake Garda, here is my 1-7 Lake Garda itinerary.

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