This ultimate 1 week by train itinerary for Italy is born out of love from a trip I took a few years ago. Italy is a country that has always won me over — it’s culture, food, and scenery is hard to beat. I remember when we went on this trip, just how overwhelming it was to decide where to go in Italy as there was so much to choose from! Ultimately for our first trip to Italy, our itinerary started in Florence and ended in Venice with a combination of trains and hiring a car.
This one week itinerary for Italy is an abbreviated version of our trip (after so many requests on an 1 week trip!). It’s designed to remove the rented car portion as it’s not always the most feasible way to travel. The original two week itinerary to Italy can be found here. With seven days in Italy, this itinerary hits the highlights, starting in Florence and ending in Venice!
The Ultimate 1 Week by Train Itinerary for Italy
Tips for Traveling by Train in Italy
It’s good to know a little bit about how the train system in Italy works. You can opt to purchase your train tickets individually and it’s highly recommended to reserve a seat in advance as they do fill up (especially in the summer). If you think you’re going to use a few trains, a rail pass may be your option but know that you still need to reserve seats in advance. Tren Italia is where you’ll want to have a look for booking your reservations. I could go way more into detail on the trains, but this post here covers it really well.
1 Week by Train Itinerary for Italy
Day 1 Fly into Florence
I would recommend flying into Florence as it’s a great spot to start a trip. As a major hub, there are plenty of international flights that can get you there. Plus it’s rather close to the city! Settle in on the first day!
Day 2 Florence
With a full day in Florence, there is so much to do! You can easily cover a ton of ground and I’d recommend getting an early start to beat the crowds.
Day 3 Florence + Day trip
I found that Florence is beautiful but there is also a ton to see nearby! I really loved the countryside, though we explored by car, you can easily get the train from Florence to Lucca for a day trip. Of course there is plenty to see in Florence as well, so explore more of the city is always good too.
Day 4 Cinque Terre
Taking the train from Florence to Cinque Terre may feel complicated but it’s actually really easy! It takes about 2.5 hours, and you grab the train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella station with a switch in Pisa, then to Riomaggiore. From Riomaggiore, depending where you’ve booked yourself in, you grab the local train which runs frequently. We stayed in Riomaggiore as we loved the smaller town and it’s easy to explore from there!
Day 5 Cinque Terre
Explore the coastline!
Day 6 Venice
It may be a bit of a jaunt to Venice but it is so worth it! Train from Riomaggiore to Florence, and then grab the high speed train right into Venice. Be sure to be on this high speed line else it will take an entire day. We did the entire voyage in about 4.5 hours and arrived into Venice by 2 or 3. It gave us a half day plus an entire next day to explore.
Day 7 Venice
Explore Venice before departure!
This is just a sample itinerary, of course you can add a few nights to each destination or remove some nights. These three destinations are some of the top in this northern part of Italy, making it really easy to get by on train and not having to deal with a car.