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I will be updating and adding on Suggested Itineraries to the various countries that I had visited. Hope that it helps you in your planning.
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Today, will be the first one on my suggested itinerary to Italy.
The list below is the Top 10 places I would recommend you to visit, but due to time constraint, it might be better to visit Italy a second time, say just to cover the Tuscany region with its many hill stations - Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, and etc.
Vernazza, one of village at CINQUE TERRE
Gondolas at Venice
Beautiful Capri Island, Italy
CINQUE TERRE (UNESCO)
NAPLES & POMPEII
Today, I like to suggest this itinerary on your first visit to Italy.
Day 1 Arrive in Milan
If you arrive in the early morning, you might want to catch up on some sleep in the morning, and then enjoy a walking tour nearby the DUOMO SQUARE and visit the Milan Cathedral. There is a Subway Station to DUOMO, La Scala Square, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II,
Day 2 Milan - Como - Milan
Today, you can join a one day excursion to Como, a lovely town, by the shore of Lake Como. Hollywood star - George Clooney owns a beautiful villa here which is said to cost Euro39 Million.
I love Lake Como, and it is such a beautiful lake and indeed there are many beautiful villas here. Enjoy the serenity, and there is absolutely no night life here in this small town. Go for a walk around this place on your own by foot.
By train - 36 minutes.
Milano Centrale to Como S Giovanni
Day 3 Milan - La Spezia - Cinque Terre
Take a train from Milan - La Spezia
6 45 am - 12 20 pm
5 hour 35 min
And then connects to Cinque Terre from La Spezia by train. Get your One Day Pass for Cinque Terre from the Tourism Office in a hallway off platform 1 at the La Spezia Station.
Cinque Terra means Five Lands, and it comprises the five small coastal villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
Cinque Terre is crossed by a knitted mesh of footpaths. The coastal footpath links all five villages, allowing you to be able to hike from the first village to the last village in five hours.
So, it is a good idea to stay overnight at Riomaggiore, if you have intention to go on the hike through all the five villages. Otherwise, Vernazza is a lovely village to stay.
You can do a shorter walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola on the trail named - Via Del Amore, which takes about 45 minutes. This is relatively easy, and flat, and it is wheelchair accessible. Walk on this trail, and you could see spectacular views of the sea, and there are some sculptures along the way.
Day 4 Cinque Terre
Today, you could go on the full day hike if you like to. Otherwise, just spend time on one of the villages, and enjoy the meals, especially the seafood, and pesto sauce. Just have a relaxing day to soak in the beauty of the colourful houses perging on the hills of the terraced vineyards. Good to take the train all the way to Monterroso, and walk the trail back to Riomaggiore.
Day 5 Cinque Terre - La Spezia - Florence
Travel back to La Spezia by train, and then connect by train to Florence.
La Spezia Centrale - Florence
1 hr 27min
Likely to arrive in Florence by mid day. Go to the Old Town of Florence, and walk the town visiting the famous Florence Duomo (Cathedral), and walk to Piazza Della Signoria, then go on to Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge which was spared from the destruction during the Second World War.
Try to ascend to the top of the cathedral to enjoy views of Tuscany.
Day 6 Florence
Today, go visit the Accademia Gallery for the Michelangelo's David, Uffizi Gallery for the numerous paintings, Palazzo Pitti. There is possibility for you to book online to pay a fee to skip the line, and visit the Gallery with a guide.
Day 7 Florence - Siena - San Gimignano - Florence
Make a day trip out to visit Siena (UNESCO), and San Gimignano. There are local companies organizing this. Or you can book online.
Do visit the Siena Cathedral. There is a Piccolomini Library inside. Note you have to pay to enter the cathedral.
You are not allowed to take pictures inside the Piccolomini Library, and the following pictures were taken from the book, entitled - Siena Cathedral & the Cathedral Museum, which I bought inside the Cathedral.
Pictures of Piccolomini Library and Siena Cathedral.
Pius II Convokes a Diet of Princes at Mantua to proclaim the Crusade against the Turks.
Enea Silvio Makes an Act of Submission to Eugene IV.
*** I simply love the Piccolomini Library & Siena Cathedral!
Day 8 Florence - Venice
Florence - Venice
1 hr 51 min
Explore Venice on foot, visiting the Palace Dodge, St Mark's Basilica. Stay overnight here on this beautiful and romantic place, where no where else can beat the ambience.
If you have more time to spare, spend another night in Venice, and travel the next day to Burano, and Murano islands.
Day 9 Venice - Rome
Venice - Rome
Explore and go walk by foot and you can easily go to these three places as they are reachable by foot and only within 20 - 30 minutes walk from each other.
Trevi Fountain, Piazza Espagna, Piazza Navona
Piazza - means Square
Day 10 Rome
St Peter's Church, Vatican Museum.
To go to Vatican Museum, you can buy ticket to skip the queue too. If you go to the line waiting outside the Museum, you will often be approached by people who will offer you this service. Note - On certain days, the queue is really long due to the arrival of guests or visitors disembarking from the Cruise ship for one day in Rome.
Day 11 Rome
You can join one day tour out to Hadrian's Villa or to Catacombs, which you could book online easily.
Day 12 Departure
I will be back to offer you other itineraries for just exploring Tuscany -
Florence, Siena, Cortona (Filming location of Under The Tuscan Sun), San Gimignano, Montepulciano, etc.
Another itinerary will be solely on the island of Sicily.