I don’t need to tell you what a special country Italy is. I’ve told you before, many times, and it is the awe of people from all over the world for a reason.
It’s a big country, by European standards, and it’s pretty diverse. There are loads of ways you can do Italy. Do you want to ski or shop? A Tuscan retreat or a Roman city break? Do you crave the beach, the city, or the countryside?
The last time I went to Italy, me and my pals managed to tick off quite a lot of everything in just a few days. If you’re planning a trip to Italy sometime soon, check out our itinerary and resources below. Use them as gospel, base your own ideas off them, or deviate entirely: the choice is yours, but the offer is there.
Full disclosure: as soon as my friends and I had decided to take a trip at the end of the uni year, I (being the Scorpio that I am) went ALL IN, neglecting my studies to create a FULL ON powerpoint of itineraries for us to choose from. After doing my research, and showing the full offering to everyone, we had a vote, and democratically elected Itinerary #6 (Rome-ing Around) as our holiday. This being:
1-5 June 2018
2 nights in Rome (1 day in Rome)
1 night in Florence (1 day in Cinque Terre, 1 day in Florence)
1 evening in Rome (no sleep, no regrets)
1 return flight Manchester (UK) to Rome Ciampino
1 return Flixbus journey from Rome to Florence
1 return train journey from Florence to Monterosso al Mare
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to include all the resources we used to get us from our doorstep, to Italy, and back. It might not be relevant for everyone, but it will give you a good idea of what you need to consider (and will come in handy for any fellow Brits).
Like any devotee to a cause, I first had to consult my holy scripture: Skyscanner. £83 pp return flights from Manchester to Rome. Not bad. Thanks again, Ryanair*.
This, of course, didn’t include the cost/time of travel from Leeds, where we were, to Manchester. However, our good friends Megabus (can the UK show it some love in the comments?!) and our not-so-reliable friends known as the British rail system, courtesy of The Trainline took care of that.
*As it was Ryanair there was, of course, a slight catch in that it wasn’t the main airport in Rome. Not to worry, though, there were regular shuttle buses to the train station, and we were able to walk to our Airbnb from there.
Speaking of Airbnb, that’s exactly what we used! We had a good search on Booking.com and Hostelworld too, but the Airbnbs we found were, not only dreamy, but the most convenient, cost-effective and fit-for-purpose for 5 gals slogging their way through Italy. Depending on who you’re going with, how long you’re going for, and what you want to get up to, I’d recommend all 3 of these sites every time.
Travel In Italy
First of all, if you haven’t got the Flixbus app, get it now. Funnily enough, they’re part of the same company as Megabus, so you know you’re gonna get a cheap and, largely, reliable service. This is what persuaded us to go on to Florence from Rome (approx €10 return if I remember rightly, and about a 2hr journey). And then, once we were in Florence, it just felt rude to not then catch the train to one of the 5 villages of Cinque Terre using the Trainline EU.
The day we went from Rome –> Florence –> Cinque Terre –> Florence –> (technically) Settignano (where our Airbnb was) was obvs a big day of travelling, but so very worth it for a day at the beach. Plus, getting to see the gorgeous mountains and lush Italian countryside as you whizz through by train is pretty nice in itself.
Use this if:
- You’re willing to sacrifice sleep time in order to fit as much as possible into the few days you have
- You’re travelling light (it’s Italy in the summer, so of course you are)
- You want to hit up at least 2 Italian cities
- You’re willing to travel extensively for a beach day (worth it IMO)
- You’re looking for a quick, cheap and jam-packed trip to Europe from the UK
Leave your own Italian resources in the comments