Italy itinerary 8 days: Venice to Rome — How to spend 8 days in Italy perfectly?

When you think about Italy, you usually think of three things: pizza, pasta, and beautiful old ruins. I spent eight days in Italy on Intrepid’s Highlights of Italy trip, seeing Venice, the Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome, and I can tell you there’s a lot more to it than that (but don’t worry, pizza and pasta were still strongly featured). Here’s how to spend eight beautiful days in Italy. Now, have a look at our 8-day Italy itinerary blog: From Venice to Rome: How to Spend 8 Days in Italy Like a Local

View of Rome from Castel Sant'Angelo, Italy.
View of Rome from Castel Sant’Angelo, Italy.

 

Sisley at Via del Corso in Rome, Italy
Sisley at Via del Corso

colosseum rome italy

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Roman Forum

 

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Gelato, must eat in Rome

 

Castel Sant'Angelo and Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge
Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo Bridge | what to see in rome in 3 days

 

Magical Vatican at night

 

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The old street in Trastevere, Rome

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice

Days 1 and 2: Venice

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Laila Gebhard, Flickr

Our vacation began in Venice, where I had a full day to explore the “floating city of canals” – or “sinking city of canals,” if you want to be pessimistic – before meeting the rest of the company in the evening.

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Rialto bridge, the most beautiful bridge in Venice

 

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Grand canal

 

venice food
Venice food
Venice+Seafood
Venice Seafood

 

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Gondolas

To make the most of your time in Venice, wake up early and go to Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square). This will allow you enough time to get a morning cup of coffee and watch the sun sparkle over the sea before the plaza fills up with other visitors (believe me, you won’t be able to wield a selfie stick by 11 a.m.). If you wait in line to enter Saint Mark’s Basilica, you’ll be rewarded with a vista as beautiful as the sun beaming across the Grand Canal.

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Aerial view of Piazza San Marco

 

Saint Mark’s Basilica Venice
Murals

 

san marco square in summer
San Marco Cathedral

 

Albergo San Marco
Albergo San Marco

 

,venice blog, venice city guide,venice travel blog, venice travel guide blog, venice visitor guide,
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Grand canal

 

Henk Meijer/Alamy

 

Italy, Veneto, Venice, Santa Maria della Salute church on Grand Canal at sunset
Italy, Veneto, Venice. Santa Maria della Salute church on the Grand Canal, at sunset

 

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Grand Canal

While you’re there, go next door and ascend the steps to Saint Mark’s Campanile – the bell tower – for a panoramic view of Venice. If your camera or smartphone can capture panorama shots, that’s even better. Climbing the bell tower costs only €8. Bargain. Next, spend a few hours intentionally getting lost in Venice. Venice is more than simply a handful of beautiful bridges and a scenic vista or two. Every time you turn a corner – and the city’s intricate tunnels and bridges mean there are a LOT of corners to walk around – you’ll be treated to another postcard-worthy vista.

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy
Saint Mark’s Campanile

Piazza San Marco and the Basilica San Marco in Venice, Italy

On the second day of the Intrepid trip, a few members of the group and I took a ferry (about €20) out to several of the smaller islands that surround Venice: Murano and Burano. Murano is famed for its glass-making, so you’ll witness a lot of hand-crafted glass creatures, vases, and chandeliers that will leave you wondering, “How the heck did they do that?!?” Burano is well-known for its charming, colorful homes (Facebook likes on your photos guaranteed). If you have a free day, it’s well worth the trip.

murano island

Murano, near Venice, Italy
Murano island, near Venice, Italy

 

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One of the stores with cool window display of Murano chandeliers and other glass masterpieces.

 

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Shaping the glob of glass before blowing the bottle at the Murano Glass factory.
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The Guanieri Glass Factory

 

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Murano Glass Factory Visit

murano glass factory (1)

murano glass factory (1)
Murano Glass Wine Glasses

 

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Murano making a Glass Horse
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Murano Glass Shop

 

Colourful houses on Burano Island.

 

Burano Reflections

 

colorful Burano

 

Burano laundry
Young woman walking along the street, Burano, Venice, Veneto, Italy

 

Aerial view of Burano island

 

Burano, Venise

 

Burano cleaning day

 

Burano, Italy
Italy, Veneto, Venice, Burano, colourful window detail

 

Burano style window

In the evening, do the tourist thing: ride in a gondola, and watch as the sun sets over the canals. Gondola rides are expensive, so if you get a group of your fellow travellers together it will be cheaper for everyone. Score one for small group touring.

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Gondolas

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venice in winter
Venice in winter

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Venice canal. Credit: Venice travel blog

 

Al-Portego venice travel blog
Osteria Al Portego

venice travel blog venice bus boat

Days 3 and 4: The Cinque Terre

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Robyn Horn, Flickr

Cinque Terre, oh, Cinque Terre. A chain of centuries-old beach towns that sparked a thousand Instagram postings. To say the Cinque Terre is beautiful is an understatement – and it also provides a somewhat more relaxed and quiet few days of touring than other of Italy’s larger towns (peaceful by Italian standards, anyway).

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Vernazza seen from hiking trail. | cinque terre travel blog

 

Sunset in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre National Park, Italy
Riomaggiore

 

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Beautiful Corniglia

 

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Monterosso al Mare beach where you can rent chair and umbrella to sunbathe.

 

Gastronomia San Martino
Gastronomia San Martino | cinque terre travel blog

 

Vernazza Winexperience
Vernazza Winexperience | cinque terre travel blog

 

Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre

 

Gelateria Vernazza
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