Want to plan a trip rounding up Italy’s greatest hits –– Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Venice?
Well, it just so happens that we’re in a pop-the-Prosecco mood, and we wanna celebrate these gorgeous cities with you this week.
Here’s the skinny: anyone can Google what to do, see and eat in any of these spots…
But we only serve up fresh-out-the-wood-fired-oven insider intel, because our experts live and breathe these cities.
In fact, some of them are probably sipping espresso on a jasmine-scented sidewalk in Rome right now or dipping into the sea in Riomaggiore.
So if you’re planning a trip to Italy and want the hot-focaccia tips from locals that love to live there, bookmark this post –– and look out for a special bonus that will help you plan your trip like a pro.
Even if you haven’t been to Rome yet, you just know it will be an incredible city. We’ve traveled a lot, and we still think it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The Eternal City is a gorgeous mix of stylish and chic, rooted in ancient history but thriving in modernity. That’s why there’s always something for everyone in Rome –– whether you’re a history buff, art lover or foodie.
- Must-sees in Rome: The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Villa Borghese, the Catacombs and the Colosseum. Explore Rome’s distinct neighborhoods, too –– from hipster Monti to tasty Testaccio.
- Must-eats in Rome: Caffe Propaganda, Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto, Roma Osteria, Cantina e Cucina, Mimi e Coco. Find more of our top restaurant choices in Rome here.
- Must-dos in Rome: Visit the National Museum of Pasta. Prepare for jaw-dropping pieces at The National Museum of Antique Art in Palazzo Barberini, where Italian royals have donated paintings. Score a sweet pair of shoes at the Via Sannio market in San Giovanni. Go for a run in Villa Ada. And of course, eat all the cacio e pepe you can stomach!
Florence is the kind of place that makes you fall in love with it, on repeat. In fact, if we only had Florence to visit every year, we’d probably find something new and romantic about it each time. Whether you’re strolling on Ponte Vecchio at sunset with your sweetie or pinching yourself taking in the city on a panoramic rooftop bar, Florence seeps into your freshly tanned skin in the best way. It’s small, friendly and gorgeous –– and an ideal first stop to introduce you to Italy.
- Must-sees in Florence: The Duomo, obvi (walk the 463 stairs to the top of Brunelleschi‘s “La Cupola”). The Medici Villas outside Florence and Lucca. Palazzo Vecchio at night. The Baptistry Doors. All the bridges!
- Must-eats in Florence: Antica Trattoria “Da Tito” dal 1913, Trattoria La Casalinga, Il Santo Bevitore, L’Osteria di Giovanni. More of our fave restaurants in Florence here.
- Must-dos in Florence: Stroll through the shops in Oltrarno-Santo Spirito for handmade Florentine goods. Hop in a Fiat 500 and cruise through Chianti, a short drive from the city. Climb Palazzo Vecchio’s tower for the best view of the city. Take a cooking class at Desinare. Have a cocktail at La Terrazza, our fave rooftop bar.
The Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is where we happily meander through one-way streets, drink home-brewed vino on stone steps at the marina and dive into crystal turquoise water. The Cinque Terre is made up of five main villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. They’re all connected by a short train ride. Most of our team is hunkered down here because it’s hard to give up sunset aperitivi with pastel pink hillside houses for neighbors!
- Must-sees in Cinque Terre: All the villages –– they’re easy to explore over a couple of days. The castle in Riomaggiore. The view from Nessun Dorma in Manarola. Any focacceria you can find.
- Must-eats in Cinque Terre: La Cantina del Macellaio in Riomaggiore, Trattoria Dal Billy in Manarola, Ristorante Belforte in Vernazza, Enoteca da Eliseo in Monterosso. Grab our definitive list of the best restaurants in Cinque Terre here.
- Must-dos in Cinque Terre: Hike the trail linking all the villages. Enjoy a glass of sciacchetrà (a local specialty) + aperitivo at Fuori Rotta. Book a few days’ stay to enjoy the best of the villages. Snorkel in Riomaggiore. Day trip to Portofino or Portovenere.
Venice is teeny-weeny compared to Florence and Rome, but that’s why it’s so darn easy to explore. With canals instead of streets to boot! Venice is where you succumb to slightly cheesy gondola rides, get cozy with a glass of €2 wine on a quiet sidewalk, and eat cicchetti at taverns on repeat… All on a floating city. If you love fab festivals, fashion and bustling food markets, Venice is the gorgeously improbable place that has it all.
- Must-sees in Venice: Piazza San Marco and Ponte De Rialto at sunset. A festival, if you’re in Venice between March and July or during Carnevale in February. Murano Island, for its famed hand-blown glass.
- Must-eats in Venice: Cantina Arnaldi, Le Bistrot De Venise, Pizzeria Novecento, Basego, Osteria Da Mariano. More Venice restaurant picks here.
- Must-dos in Venice: A gondola ride because you gotta try it. Kayak the canals. Enjoy a classic prosecco ‘n’ cicchetti combo in a tavern. Get lost in the calli. And honestly, just wander around! It’s the best way to explore.
So –– you know where you gotta go and have an idea of a couple of things to see, eat and do in Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Venice.
And if you want to take your pre-planning one step further…
We’re serving up a special deal that will help you *seriously* plan this trip.
How? By making it sooo much easier for our very own Italy city guides to cozy up next to your passport!
For a limited time, we’re knocking 50% off all of our Gigi Guides products. Yes, we said HALF OFF.
Seriously. It’s happening.
That means you get to score a sweet discount on our insider intel-filled city guides for Rome, Florence, Venice, and Cinque Terre… AND our City Guides Bundle too, if you like the idea of trying gelato in all four spots (who doesn’t?).
AKA it’ll help you take your trip from Google-searching to local-expert status, real quick.
When you have Gigi Guides in your back pocket, you get:
- Lifetime access for you.
- Secondary access to share with your travel partner.
- A “before you go” chapter to help you plan your trip that includes sections on planning your itinerary, how to pack, managing your money, how to order a meal, getting around on trains, and renting a car.
- Your chosen city guide (Florence, Venice, Rome or Cinque Terre) which includes chapters on the lay of the land, how to get around, where to eat and sleep, things to do, and our fave tips and tricks.
- All delivered digitally — available instantly.
- Updated monthly with “must know” things for the month you’re traveling.
That means you can get decades’-worth of experience figuring out how to squeeze the best out of your trip to Italy in one convenient place — all for as low as $30.
And if time = money, we gotta say that’s a pretty groovy deal.
If you want in, get 50% off when you use the code GGSUMMER here.
Got questions? Pop ‘em in the comments below! We want to help you plan the most epic trip ft. Italy’s Greatest Hits.
Here are the links to our city guides again –– get 50% off when you use the code GGSUMMER:
- Gigi Guides: City Guides Bundle
- Gigi Guides: The Complete Rome Guide
- Gigi Guides: The Complete Florence Guide
- Gigi Guides: The Complete Cinque Terre Guide
- Gigi Guides: The Complete Venice Guide