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Northern Italy: Your 10-Day Itinerary


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Brianna Paulin


Day 1: Arrival in Milan

Welcome to the vibrant city of Milan, the fashion capital of Italy! As you step off the plane and breathe in the Italian air, you can feel the excitement building for the adventure that awaits you. Milan is a city of contrasts, where history meets modernity, and tradition blends with innovation.


After checking into your hotel, take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Milan to soak in the atmosphere. Start your exploration at the impressive Duomo di Milano, the iconic cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline. Marvel at its intricate Gothic architecture and consider climbing to the rooftop terrace for a panoramic view of the city.


Continue your journey by visiting Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Admire the stunning architecture and enjoy a cup of rich Italian coffee at one of the elegant cafes. Immersed in luxury, this is the perfect place to witness Milan’s reputation as a fashion mecca.


In the evening, head to the trendy neighborhood of Navigli, known for its picturesque canals lined with charming cafes and bars. Indulge in some authentic Italian cuisine and sip on a glass of local wine as you immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.


Before retiring for the night, make a plan for the next day. Milan offers a wealth of attractions, such as the renowned opera house Teatro alla Scala, the historic Sforza Castle, and the fascinating museums of Brera and Leonardo da Vinci. Consider which ones pique your interest and tailor your itinerary accordingly.


As your first day in Milan comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on the unique blend of tradition and innovation that permeates the city. Tomorrow, you will continue your journey to explore the wonders of Northern Italy.


Day 2: Exploring the vibrant city of Milan

Today, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Milan and discover why it is an international hub of fashion, culture, and art. Start your day with a visit to the iconic Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Located in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, this masterpiece is a true testament to the genius of the renowned artist.


Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll through the elegant streets of the Quadrilatero della Moda, Milan’s famous fashion district. Admire the exquisite storefronts of luxury brands and perhaps indulge in some retail therapy, as shopping in Milan is an experience like no other.


For a taste of Milanese culture, make your way to the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery that houses an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance masterpieces. Marvel at works by artists such as Caravaggio, Raphael, and Mantegna as you delve into the rich artistic history of the city.


Lunchtime in Milan is an opportunity to sample some renowned local dishes. Head to a traditional trattoria and savor Risotto alla Milanese, a creamy saffron-infused rice dish, or indulge in flavorful Ossobuco, a braised veal shank served with gremolata.


In the afternoon, take a break from the bustling city and visit Parco Sempione, a tranquil oasis situated near the Castello Sforzesco. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the park, admire its lush greenery, and find a quiet spot to relax and soak up the sunshine.


As the sun begins to set, make your way to the bustling district of Brera. This neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife, charming cafes, and art galleries. Grab a seat at an outdoor terrace and delight in an aperitivo, a pre-dinner ritual in Italy that combines refreshing drinks with a variety of appetizers.


End your day by visiting the Teatro alla Scala, one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. If there is a performance scheduled, consider securing tickets in advance to witness the awe-inspiring talent that graces its stage. If not, simply admire the grandeur of the building from the outside.


Reflect on the vibrant energy and cultural richness you’ve experienced during your second day in Milan. Tomorrow, you will venture beyond the city limits and explore the stunning beauty of Lake Como.


Day 3: Discovering the stunning beauty of Lake Como

Today, prepare to be enchanted by the breathtaking beauty of Lake Como, located just a short distance from Milan. This picturesque lake, nestled amidst the towering Alps, has been a haven for artists, celebrities, and nature lovers for centuries.


Start your day by taking a scenic ferry ride from the city of Como to Bellagio, often referred to as the “pearl of Lake Como.” As you cruise along the crystal-clear waters, marvel at the majestic villas and charming villages that dot the shoreline.


Upon arrival in Bellagio, take a leisurely stroll along the narrow cobblestone streets, lined with colorful houses and boutique shops. Explore the elegant gardens of Villa Melzi, a neoclassical villa with a beautiful lakeside setting, or visit Villa Serbelloni for panoramic views of the lake.


Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants, indulging in fresh seafood delicacies while admiring the stunning views. Afterward, embark on a scenic hike along one of the many trails that surround Lake Como. Choose a trail that suits your fitness level and soak in the serene beauty of the surrounding mountains and lush vegetation.


For a unique perspective of the lake, consider a boat tour to Villa del Balbianello, a magnificent villa perched on a promontory at the tip of the peninsula. This historic villa has been featured in several movies, including James Bond’s Casino Royale, and offers breathtaking views of Lake Como.


End your day by savoring a gelato while sitting by the lakeside, taking in the tranquility and natural splendor that surrounds you. As the sun sets, watch as the colors change and reflect on the peacefulness of this idyllic location.


As you return to Milan, carry with you the memories of a day spent in the stunning beauty of Lake Como. Tomorrow, you will continue your journey through Northern Italy, heading towards the historic city of Verona.


Day 4: Immersing in the history of Verona

Welcome to Verona, a city steeped in history and romantic charm. Today, prepare to delve into the rich cultural heritage of this enchanting city, which has been immortalized by Shakespeare’s iconic play, Romeo and Juliet.


Begin your day with a visit to the ancient Roman amphitheater, the Arena di Verona, one of the best-preserved amphitheaters in the world. Marvel at its impressive architecture and imagine the gladiatorial contests and grand spectacles that once took place within its walls. If you visit during the summer, consider attending an opera performance that brings the amphitheater to life.


As you wander through the picturesque streets of Verona’s historic center, make sure to visit Juliet’s House, where you can see the famous balcony that inspired Shakespeare’s tragic love story. Leave a love note on the walls as a symbol of eternal affection, or simply bask in the romance of the courtyard.


Continue your exploration of Verona’s history by visiting the imposing Castelvecchio, a medieval fortress that now houses an impressive art collection. Admire the intricate details of the architecture and enjoy stunning views of the city from its ramparts.


For lunch, savor traditional Veronese cuisine at one of the local trattorias. Indulge in hearty dishes such as Pastisada de caval, a slow-cooked horse meat stew, or Risotto all’Amarone, a rich risotto made with the famous local wine.


In the afternoon, visit the beautiful Piazza delle Erbe, a lively square surrounded by colorful buildings and bustling markets. Marvel at the ancient frescoes on the facade of the Palazzo Maffei and enjoy a taste of local delicacies at the market stalls.


Before leaving Verona, take a moment to visit the picturesque Giardino Giusti, a Renaissance garden where you can enjoy a peaceful respite from the city’s vibrant streets. Stroll along the manicured paths, admire the beautiful vegetation, and capture panoramic views of Verona from the garden’s terrace.


As the day comes to an end, reflect on the rich history and timeless romance that permeates every corner of Verona. Tomorrow, you will continue your journey through Northern Italy, exploring the breathtaking landscapes of the Dolomites.


Day 5: Enjoying the picturesque landscapes of the Dolomites

Today, get ready to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. These towering mountains, characterized by their distinctive pale rock formations, offer breathtaking landscapes and endless opportunities for adventure.


Begin your day by driving or taking a scenic train ride to the heart of the Dolomites. As you ascend higher into the mountains, be prepared to be surrounded by stunning vistas of jagged peaks, lush valleys, and crystal-clear alpine lakes.


Once you arrive, choose from a variety of activities to explore and connect with the natural wonders of the region. If you’re up for a challenge, embark on a hiking or mountain biking adventure along the well-marked trails that crisscross the Dolomites. Marvel at the rugged cliffs and lush meadows as you immerse yourself in the serenity of nature.


For a more leisurely experience, take a cable car ride to the summit of one of the Dolomite peaks. From the top, enjoy panoramic views that will take your breath away. Take in the pure mountain air and relish the tranquility as you bask in the beauty that surrounds you.


If you’re feeling adventurous, consider trying rock climbing or via ferrata, a thrilling activity that allows you to traverse the mountains using steel cables and ladders. With the guidance of an experienced instructor, you can safely navigate the impressive cliff faces of the Dolomites.


After a day of outdoor exploration, treat yourself to a relaxing spa session at one of the wellness centers nestled in the mountain resorts. Unwind in the soothing waters and indulge in a rejuvenating massage as you soak in the peaceful ambiance.


As the sun starts to set, find a cozy mountain lodge or a traditional rifugio to enjoy a hearty meal featuring local specialties. Sample dishes like canederli (bread dumplings) or polenta accompanied by locally produced wine. Allow yourself to savor the flavors of the region while enjoying the warm hospitality of the people.


Reflect on the breathtaking landscapes and the sense of serenity that the Dolomites have provided you during your fifth day in Northern Italy. Tomorrow, you will continue your journey to the magical city of Venice, known as the “Floating City.”


Day 6: Visiting the charming city of Venice

Welcome to Venice, a city like no other. Today, get ready to immerse yourself in the timeless beauty and unique atmosphere of the “Floating City.” With its romantic canals, stunning architecture, and rich history, Venice is a true masterpiece.


Start your day by exploring the iconic St. Mark’s Square, the heart of Venice. Marvel at the intricate details of St. Mark’s Basilica, a Byzantine masterpiece adorned with stunning mosaics. Climb the Campanile, the bell tower that offers panoramic views of the city, and capture the breathtaking vistas that stretch out before you.


From St. Mark’s Square, venture into the narrow streets and alleys, known as calli, and let yourself get lost in the labyrinth of this enchanting city. Discover hidden gems, charming bridges, and picturesque canals as you wander through the historic neighborhoods.


A visit to Venice would not be complete without a traditional gondola ride along the canals. Drift along the tranquil waters, passing elegant palaces and quaint bridges, and let the gondolier serenade you with melodic songs that echo through the winding streets.


Head to the Rialto Bridge, one of the most famous landmarks in Venice, and explore the bustling Rialto Market nearby. Indulge in the vibrant colors and aromas of the market as you browse through the stalls offering fresh produce, seafood, and local Venetian specialties.


In the afternoon, visit one of Venice’s renowned art museums, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection or the Accademia Gallery. Admire masterpieces by artists like Titian, Tintoretto, and Canaletto as you delve into the rich artistic history of the city.


As the sun sets, find a cozy bacaro, a traditional Venetian wine bar, and indulge in aperitivo. Sample cicchetti, delectable bite-sized snacks, and sip on a glass of local Prosecco or a spritz as you soak in the lively and convivial atmosphere.


End your day by experiencing the magic of Venice at night. Wander through the quiet streets, illuminated by the soft glow of lanterns, and savor the peacefulness that descends upon the city after the crowds have dispersed. Reflect on the beauty and charm of Venice, knowing that tomorrow, you will continue your journey to the cultural hub of Florence.


Day 7: Exploring the cultural hub of Florence

Welcome to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage. Today, prepare to be immersed in art, history, and the vibrant atmosphere of this magnificent city.


Start your day by visiting the iconic Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo. Marvel at the grandeur of its dome, designed by Brunelleschi, and admire the intricate details of the Gothic facade. Climb to the top of the Dome for a panoramic view of Florence’s breathtaking skyline.


Next, make your way to the Uffizi Gallery, home to one of the world’s most important art collections. Admire masterpieces by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo as you explore the halls of this prestigious museum. Be sure to book tickets in advance to avoid long queues.


After indulging in the artistic riches of the Uffizi Gallery, take a leisurely stroll along the Arno River and cross the iconic Ponte Vecchio. Stop to admire the jewelry shops that line this historic bridge and take in the views of the river and the city.


For lunch, seek out a traditional trattoria and savor authentic Florentine cuisine. Feast on a mouthwatering bistecca alla Fiorentina, a succulent Florentine-style steak, paired with a glass of local Chianti wine.


Continue your exploration of Florence with a visit to the Accademia Gallery, where you can admire Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the statue of David. Marvel at the incredible detail and the perfect proportions of this iconic sculpture.


Take some time to wander through the charming streets of Florence’s historic center, exploring the Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and street performers, and visit the outdoor sculpture gallery in the Loggia dei Lanzi.


In the evening, reward yourself with gelato from one of Florence’s famed gelaterias. Indulge in the creamy and flavorful concoctions that the city is renowned for as you watch the sunset over the picturesque rooftops.


As the day comes to a close, take a moment to reflect on the rich cultural treasures and the artistic legacy of Florence. Tomorrow, you will continue your journey through Italy, venturing to the culinary delights of Bologna.


Day 8: Indulging in the culinary delights of Bologna

Welcome to Bologna, the gastronomic capital of Italy. Today, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and immerse yourself in the culinary delights of this vibrant city.


Start your day by exploring the historic center of Bologna, renowned for its beautiful architecture and medieval charm. Admire the Two Towers, Asinelli and Garisenda, iconic symbols of the city, and climb to the top for panoramic views of Bologna’s skyline.


No visit to Bologna would be complete without indulging in its most famous specialty: pasta. Head to one of the traditional pasta shops and sample fresh handmade tortellini, tagliatelle al ragù, or lasagna bolognese. Pair your meal with a glass of local Sangiovese wine for the perfect culinary experience.


Continue your culinary adventure by visiting Mercato di Mezzo, a bustling food market where you can explore the stalls filled with local produce, cheeses, cured meats, and other delicious delicacies. Take your time to admire the displays, interact with passionate food vendors, and perhaps even indulge in a quick snack.


For a deeper understanding of Bologna’s culinary traditions, consider joining a cooking class or a food tour. Learn from local chefs as they teach you the secrets of traditional recipes and take you on a gastronomic journey through the city’s culinary history.


In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk through the Quadrilatero, Bologna’s old market district. This lively area is filled with charming shops, delis, and bakeries offering a plethora of local products and specialties. Sample mortadella, torta di riso, or one of the many varieties of cheese that Bologna is famous for.


As the sun begins to set, head to Piazza Maggiore, the main square of Bologna, and relax at one of the outdoor cafes while sipping on an Aperol Spritz. Observe the vibrant atmosphere of the city and watch as locals and visitors gather to enjoy the evening.


For dinner, indulge in a traditional Bolognese meal at one of the city’s trattorias. Enjoy dishes like cotoletta alla bolognese, filled pasta such as tortelloni or tortellini, and finish off your meal with a delicious dessert like the famous Zuppa Inglese.


Reflect on the gastronomic delights and culinary traditions you’ve experienced during your day in Bologna. Tomorrow, you will continue your journey through Northern Italy, discovering the historical treasures of Ravenna.


Day 9: Discovering the historical treasures of Ravenna

Welcome to Ravenna, a city steeped in history and renowned for its exquisite Byzantine mosaics. Today, prepare to be transported back in time as you discover the historical treasures that have made Ravenna a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Begin your day by exploring the famous Basilica di San Vitale, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Marvel at the intricate mosaics that adorn the interior, showcasing scenes from the Bible and depicting various saints and rulers. Take your time to admire the exquisite craftsmanship and the mystical atmosphere that pervades the basilica.


Continue your journey through Ravenna’s art and history with a visit to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. Step inside this small yet magnificent structure and be captivated by the stunning mosaics that cover its walls and ceilings. The vibrant colors and intricate details of these ancient artworks are truly awe-inspiring.


Stroll through the charming streets of Ravenna’s historic center and make your way to the Neonian Baptistery. Admire the beautiful baptistery’s octagonal shape and be amazed by the mosaics that depict scenes from the life of Christ, as well as the baptism of Jesus.


For lunch, savor the flavors of authentic Romagna cuisine at one of Ravenna’s traditional trattorias. Indulge in local specialties such as piadina, a delicious flatbread filled with cured meats and cheeses, or delicate passatelli, a type of pasta made with breadcrumbs, eggs, and Parmesan cheese.


After lunch, expand your exploration to the Arian Baptistery and the Archiepiscopal Museum. Admire the mosaics of the Arian Baptistery, which reflect the Arian branch of Christianity, and delve into the rich history and artistry of Ravenna at the Archiepiscopal Museum.


In the afternoon, take a leisurely walk along the ancient city walls of Ravenna, which offer stunning views of the surrounding area. Enjoy the peacefulness and serenity as you stroll through the lush gardens and soak in the history that envelops the city.


Before leaving Ravenna, make sure to pay a visit to the nearby Mausoleum of Theodoric, an impressive burial monument dating back to the 6th century. Marvel at the striking architecture and ponder the historical significance of this ancient site.


As the day comes to an end, reflect on the historical treasures and the significance of Ravenna’s mosaics. Tomorrow, you will conclude your journey through Northern Italy in the artistic delights of Turin.


Day 10: Ending the journey in the artistic delights of Turin

Welcome to Turin, a city renowned for its rich history, elegant architecture, and vibrant art scene. As your journey through Northern Italy comes to an end, spend your final day indulging in the artistic delights that Turin has to offer.


Start your day by visiting the iconic landmark, the Mole Antonelliana. Admire the majestic structure, originally built as a synagogue and now housing the Museum of Cinema. Take a ride to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Turin, from the Alps to the city’s sprawling roofs.


Next, make your way to the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world. Marvel at the ancient statues, mummies, and exquisite jewelry as you step back in time and explore the fascinating world of ancient Egypt.


As you wander through Turin’s historic center, take a moment to visit the impressive Turin Cathedral, which houses the famous Shroud of Turin. Learn about the mysterious history and mythology surrounding this religious relic.


For lunch, indulge in the gastronomic delights that Turin has to offer. Sample traditional Piedmontese dishes, such as agnolotti al plin (a type of pasta filled with meat) or bagna cauda (a warm dip made with garlic and anchovies), paired with a glass of fine Barolo wine.


In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the city’s rich art scene by visiting the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli. Here, you can admire a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art while enjoying panoramic views of the city from the art-filled rooftop terrace.


Continue your art exploration at the GAM – Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. Marvel at the impressive collection of works by renowned artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, and Warhol, as you delve into the world of modern and contemporary art.


Round off your day by taking a leisurely stroll along the elegant Via Roma, Turin’s main shopping street. Indulge in some retail therapy, browse through designer boutiques, or simply enjoy the beauty of the city’s architecture.


As the sun sets on your last day in Northern Italy, take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey you’ve had, filled with vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural experiences. Cherish the memories and the beauty of Italy as you bid farewell to this extraordinary country.