Our 3 Week Northern Italy Itinerary.

One of the most commonly asked questions we receive in regards to our trip to Italy last year, is “what route did you take and what did your itinerary look like?”

Because we decided to travel Italy via personal rental car (as opposed to trains or other forms of public transit), we had more flexibility on where and when we hopped cities. Ian had a few key spots he wanted to hit that all happened to be in northern Italy, so we just clumped in some extra stops here and there to form one big circle. But don’t forget that we began our trip with a stopover in Paris!  Because of the close proximity, we were also able to hit two MORE countries than just France and Italy! Read below:

Days 1-4: Fly from the U.S. to Paris.

  • Stay two nights at La Parizienne hotel
  • Eat, drink, and walk your heart out
  • Take a pedi-cab tour of all the major sites (approx. 40 euro for two people).

Day 4-5: Fly from Paris to Milan then drive 2 hours to Serpiano, Switzerland.

  • Stay one night at Serpiano Hotel.
  • Make use of their complimentary bikes and ride around the countryside for a couple hours before heading to Lake Lugano.
  • Eat lunch on the waterfront of Lake Lugano

Day 5-8: Drive 3.5 hours from Lugano, Switzerland to Cinque Terre (Levanto), Italy.

Day 8-9: Drive 2 hours from Levanto to Florence.

  • Stop in Pisa to see the leaning tower and eat Pizza!
  • We stayed at Hotel Marzia just outside of Florence (which we don’t recommend—poor location and quality, but super inexpensive).
  • Visit the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Boboli Gardens, and the Accademia.

Day 9-12: Drive 1.5 hours from Florence to Tuscany.

  • Stay at Villa Fontelunga in Pozzo della Chiana (review yet to come).
  • Visit the Terme di Petriolo hot springs
  • Drive into Siena for lunch and exploration
  • REST! The cities in Tuscany are all spread out. There is lots to do, but you must be willing to drive. We used most of our time for resting!

Day 12-15: Drive 3 hours from Tuscany to Verona

  • Stay at Casa e Natura Breviglieri.
  • Dinner, gelato, and shopping in Piazza delle Erbe
  • Visit Casa di Giulietta AKA Juliette’s balcony
  • Day-trip to Venice
    • Park your car in a parking garage outside the city and take a boat into the city.
    • Ride in a gondola (approx. 40 Euros for up to 6 people). 
    • Boat tour of Murano, Burano, and Torchello.

Day 15-17: Drive approximately 4 hours from Verona to South Tyrol.

  • Stay at Hotel Brunnerhof
  • Drive to Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee
  • Drive to Val de Funes
  • Drive to Austria and eat!

Day 17: Drive from South Tyrol to Milan

  • Stay the night at an airport hotel (we stayed at Mo.om Hotel)
  • Explore Milan if you have time (we didn’t)

Day 18: Begin the long journey home.

***Please note that we were there late April-early May, the weather influenced a few of our priorities and decisions. For instance, if you visit Cinque Terre in the Summer, you would have more excursion options than just eating! Haha! But there probably won’t be snow in the Dolomites if you go in the Summer!***