Italy on Train for 2 weeks

Italy on Train - A Perfect 2 Weeks Itinerary

Italy a country with rich history, amazing culture, delicious food and beautiful sights is probably on everyone's bucket list. Being a small country, traveling by road or by train is a perfect option for exploring this beautiful gem of Europe.

The best time to visit Italy is from July to August. But I feel like, the best time would be at the starting of June and in September. This way you could avoid the crowds and also enjoy the amazing climate of Italy.



I personally prefer trains because they are cheap, highly efficient and time saving. Also being able to hop into train at one place and arrive at another within a couple of hours is much less stressful and convenient than negotiating busy airports. Plus you can spend time relaxing and gazing out of the window enjoying stunning scenery pass by.

The best part about this itinerary is that, its super flexible. Suppose, if you have already visited Rome and would like to visit some other place instead, you can just remove it and add the other destination you wish to visit. Check out my post on 14 places to put on your Italy bucket list to decide your destinations.

So, I have put together what feels like a perfect two week itinerary to travel Italy by train.

Travel Route

This Italy train itinerary takes through four major cities and one coastal region. Plus it will give you enough time to see major sites in these places without making you rush from place to place.

Days 1 to 3 - Venice: -

Make sure you arrive early in Venice, this will give you three quarters of the day to explore the city.

Italy's sinking city, Venice is made up of 118 small islands connected by bridges and separated by  canals, is literally sinking into the marshy ground it was built upon. This city is known for its beauty, arts and architecture. 

The best way of exploring the city is without maps. Just walk down the cobblestone streets into any alley you would like and go back in time to experience the medieval feel this city has.

There are many places you can visit and numerous activities you can do in this city. But no matter what the top one stays the Gondola ride. Although these rides are quite expensive these days, they are worth it so as to get the Venetian experience. Most Gondola's seat 6 - 8 people, so if you really want to save money, you can just share your ride with others and make a few friends.

The Grand Canal

You can visit the Basilica San Marco also known as the Saint Mark's Basilica is the best example of Byzantine style architecture in the city. You can find some great mosaics and paintings by some of the great artists inside the cathedral. The area surrounding the cathedral is known as the Piazza San Marco, is city's largest square and main meeting place. It is surrounded by cafes, museums, shops and some of city's best architecture.

One of the major things you will just love doing in Venice is exploring its popular islands. Just a short boat ride from the main island can take you here. Murano is known for its glass makers, Burano for its canals lined with colorful houses and Lido is known for its restaurants, beaches and shopping centers. You can easily get a ferry from Piazza San Marco to any of these islands.

The other major attractions in the city include the Doge's Palace, which was the residence of one of Venetian leaders and is now used as a museum and the Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal.


Day 4 to 5 - Milan: -

Venice to Milan is approximately a 2.5 hours journey with almost one direct between the two cities every hour. Take a early morning train from Venice to optimize your time in Milan.

Milan is usually overlooked by visitors in favor of visiting some of the more historic cities and regions. The city is full of Renaissance architecture, incredible cathedrals and is one of the fashion capitals of the world.

Being the identity of Milan since a long time, Duomo of Milan, which is the largest gothic cathedral in the world, remains the major destination in Milan. The construction began in 1386 and it took almost 500 years to complete it. It's an impressive sight both from inside and outside and it also offers a great vantage point from the roof.



Galleria Vittorio Emauele II,  designed by Giuseppe Mengoni in 19th century, marked the beginning of modern architecture in Italy. It is the largest shopping arcade in Europe and is known for its luxury shops and elegant cafes.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

If you would like to see some incredible renaissance artwork you can visit Santa Maria delle Grazie, home to Leonardo Da Vinci's amazing fresco of the Last Supper. Else you can visit Sforza Castle, which is home to a bunch of art museums, one of which contains Michelangelo's last sculpture, Rondanini Pieta. The castle in itself also is a great place to stroll through the courtyard and surrounding parklands.

You can spend one day enjoying the stunning views of the Southern Alps. Take a 30 - 45 mins train ride from Milan and get down at Como. Enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Como and its surrounding mountain peaks. There are many small towns around the lake. Hop into any one of the ferries, stop at any town of your choice and start exploring it. These towns are known for their cobblestone streets, charming stores and cafes.

Day 6 to 8 - Florence: -

There is almost one train per hour from Milan to Florence and the journey is approximately 2 hours.

Florence is the birthplace of Renaissance and is located in the heart of one of the most beautiful regions in the world, Tuscany. It is known for its incredible churches and some of the world famous art masterpieces.

Even after all these years, the main attraction in Florence remains the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Located in the heart of Florence, the cathedral is known for its oink and green marble exterior ans huge interior that holds about 20,000 people. There is also a bell tower that you can climb and enjoy the beautiful view of the city.



Florence is all about Renaissance art and sculptures. So make sure you visit some of the many art galleries and museums in the city. Visit Galleria delgi Uffizi, which is home to world's most famous collection of Renaissance art including paintings, sculptures ans tapestries. You can also visit Galleria dell' Academia, to see Michelangelo's original David along with some famous paintings and sculptures from 13th and 16th century. The gallery also has an amazing collection of instruments from Medici family.

Florence is also an ideal place for shopping in Italy. Visit Mercato Centrale  which is a perfect place to get some souvenirs, antiques, food and some genuine leather goods. You can also visit Pont Vecchio which is Florence's first ever bridge built over Arno river and also the only one to survive WWII bombings. There are a lot of shops there now selling gold and silver jewelry.

Make sure you keep one day in spare to explore the areas outside the city. Tuscany is famous for its wineries ans hill towns. Anghiari, Cortona, Pitigliano and Poppi are some of them.

Day 9 to 11 - Rome: -

There are almost 34 direct trains from Florence to Rome everyday. The journey is also short of approximately 1.5 hours.

The once capital city of the Roman Empire and the present capital of Italy, Rome is known for its Roman ruins, incredible architecture and world class art including Michelangelo's famous painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Take guided tours to Vatican museums and St Peter's Basilica so as to get proper insight about the rich history of Vatican and most importantly to save you time queuing for hours. :)

Next, visit the first thing that comes to everyone's mind when we say Rome. Yes, you guessed it right the Colosseum. The largest amphitheater in the world till date.It is a fascinating place to take a glimpse back into Italy's history.  Your ticket to Colosseum also includes entry to Roman Forum where you can wander around the city and take a walk up the Palatine hill to get a view over the Forum and the city.




The other best place to experience Italy's history, is the Pantheon. One of the masterpieces of Roman architecture, the Pantheon is known for its spectacular design, elegance, proportions and harmony.

Pantheon

The other places you can visit in Rome include the Spanish Steps, a famous staircase which is always abuzz with people day and night, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona. 

You should also try espressos from two most famous cafes in Rome which are Tazza d'Oro and Caffe Sant'Eustachio.

Day 12 to 14 - Amalfi Coast: -

There are many trains from Rome to Amalfi. The average journey time is 3 hours.

Amalfi coast is a string of 15 towns that are bound by Tyrhennian Sea on one side and Lattari mountain range on the other side.Every year more than  million tourists visit Amalfi to experience its beautiful landscapes and culture and sample its mouth-watering cuisine.

Start your journey from Sorrento, which is considered as the starting point of Amalfi Coast. Known for its amazing views of oceans, diving, sea fishing and food, Sorrento is a place where you can arrive with no plans and still have a great time. Also make sure you grab a bottle of Limoncello, when you visit here.

Visit Positiano, a place which features in almost picture of Amalfi coast. It is mainly known for its delightful pastel-colored houses. And an important thing, be prepared to climb a LOT of steps when you are here, especially if you want to enjoy the beach and take some spectacular views from the top.



A trip to Amalfi coast won't be complete without a stopover at Amalfi. Head straight to the famous Marina Grand Beach to relax and soak some sunshine. While you are here make sure you grab an espresso and some home made cake to enjoy a complete Italian experience.

Another must visit site while you are in Amalfi coast is Minori. Also called as the "City of Flavors", Minori is a perfect destination for a foodie. Make sure you try N'dunderi (dumpling made of ricotta) and Scialatielli (fresh pasta ribbons).

The other major towns in Amalfi coast are Atrani, Capri, Ravello, Praiano and Maiori.

If you like, you can also visit Pompeii and Naples which are just about an hour drive from Amalfi Coast. Naples is the birthplace of pizza and Pompeii is known for its well preserver archaeological sites.

Train Tickets: -

Travelling by train will be expensive as compared to bus or even flights in some cases but it will be more comfortable, scenic and time saving.

Now, you might be thinking whether to take point to point ticket or getting a rail pass. In this case, I will suggest you to take point to point tickets as it can easily help you save almost 100 euros



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