Table of Contents
- 1 Italy Road Trip – The Best Italy Road Trip Itinerary For Your Next Holiday
- 1.1 The route of the 16-day Italy road trip
- 1.1.1 Day 1-2 | Visiting Lake Como
- 1.1.2 Day 3-4 | A Day in Milan
- 1.1.3 Day 5-6 | The busy streets of Venice
- 1.1.4 Day 7-8 | Relaxing in Rimini
- 1.1.5 Day 9 | One of the smallest countries in the world: San Marino
- 1.1.6 Day 10-11 | Back in time in Rome
- 1.1.7 Day 11-12 | Eating Pizza in Naples
- 1.1.8 Day 13-14-15 | On the movie-set of Gladiator in Tuscany
- 1.1.9 Day 16 | The tower of Pisa
- 1.1 The route of the 16-day Italy road trip
Italy Road Trip – The Best Italy Road Trip Itinerary For Your Next Holiday
During my 30,000 Km. road trip through 41 European countries, I finally arrived in the beautiful country of Italy. Making my way through the stunning Swiss Alpes and racing the famous St. Gotthard pass was definitely a great warm-up for what I was about the experience on my Italy road trip.
I would first start at the beautiful lake Como whilst slowly driving to the fashion capital of the world: Milan! After that I visited the famous romantic city of Venice and did I end up in one of the smallest countries in the world, called San Marino.
Of course, I could not miss the capital Rome and the beautiful city of Naples.
On my way up back North, I drove through Tuscany and finally ended up visiting the famous tower of Pisa.
Only in Rome and Venice did I take a metro and/or bus to get to the city center. I would park the car just outside of the city as traffic can be a nightmare in these cities.
The route of the 16-day Italy road trip
Day 1-2 | Visiting Lake Como
Lake Como is located a few kilometer next to the Swiss border. This famous lake is 46 km long from north to south and has a surface area of 142 km2. It is the third largest lake in Italy and has been used in many Hollywood movies, like: StarWars Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones (2002) , James Bond – Casino Royale (2006) and Ocean’s Twelve (2004) with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
They also say that George Clooney owns a villa here, but unfortunate I did not run into him!
It takes about a full day to drive around the whole lake, but I recommend you go early as possible.
I arrived at 10 AM and the roads were full. This is a very touristic destination, therefore keep in mind that the prices or much higher in the restaurants and café.
Day 3-4 | A Day in Milan
I did not know much about Milan when visiting the city. I only associated the city with being the fashion capital of the world and that all the luxury fashion chains would be present here.
Thankfully, it was that and much more. Milan is a clean and trendy city and spending a few summer days was not a problem at all.
Parking in Venice is an absolute nightmare. I parked my Volkswagen Beetle at Borromeo Parking and it is the perfect location as it just a 10-minute walk to the city centre. Unfortunately, I paid close to 4,50 Euro per hour, which is considered cheap in Milan!
Day 5-6 | The busy streets of Venice
Venice.. the city of love.. the city of Casanova and its romantic little channels. This beautiful municipality is divided by 118 small islands and is definitely a must-see when you are doing a Italy road trip.
The downside? It gets so busy that it will be impossible for you to get even close to the city by car. But let’s be honest here, you should not explore the stunning architecture by car, but by boat of course!
Therefore, I recommend you either park you car by the Garage Communal AVM. Cost for parking are just 25 Euro for the whole day and it is located about 5 minutes from the first ferry point: Pe. Le Roma. Buy a one-way ferry ticket from this point to San Marco Church (30 minutes) for just 12 Euro and you are good to go. This ferry will show you the most amazing buildings in Venice. It is also a lot cheaper compared to the private gondola tours that start at 80 Euro (daytime) to 100 Euro (nighttime) for 2 persons for 30-40 minutes.
Day 7-8 | Relaxing in Rimini
After several busy days in the big city it was time to relax in the beach-town of Rimini. I did not stay down-town as I knew it would be busy, but the beach of Rimini stretches all the way into the suburbs. Here I found a small little family guesthouse for just 25 Euro per night (including breakfast) and free parking. It was located just 100 meter from the beach. Ah.. Just the way I like it! And my neighbour and I had something in common. Our passion for Volkswagen!
Day 9 | One of the smallest countries in the world: San Marino
After spending several days working on my tan it was time to hit the road and visit one of the smallest countries in the world: San Marino! This little country is located nearby Rimini and it will take you less than an hour to get there.
San Marino is a so-called “microstate” in the middle of Italy. It inhabits 33,562 people and has the smallest population in Europe. It receives about 2 million tourists a year, which mostly visit the popular “Three Towers of San Marino” on top of the mountain. This famous attraction can be visited for free, but you do pay a small fee to get in to each tower. Parking the car is very cheap and I paid 1,50 Euro per hour.
Day 10-11 | Back in time in Rome
Rome is a whole different story when it comes to driving your car. It is absolutely true that Italians drive like crazy people, but in Rome they seem to take it to whole new level. Thankfully, I was prepared and decided to park my car at a small family owned parking business called: Garage Central Home. This parking location is the best I have encountered. The owner and his son are very friendly and they explained all about how we should visit Rome and what tourist traps we should avoid. There is also a metro located and for just a few Euro it will take you all the way to the city centre.
Now Rome has a lot to offer. This is the route that I took : I jumped out at the metro station Termini. I then walked to Altare della Patria, Colosseum and metro again to the Trevi fountain and ended the day with a visit to Vatican City.
Day 11-12 | Eating Pizza in Naples
Naples is the second largest city of Italy and is famous for its amazing architecture. I made a short visit to the Teatro di San Carlo and even thought there was no performance I still got a sneak peek in this beautiful place. It helps having a travel blog and one the managers was a big fan. Next stop was the Catacombe di San Gennaro as I had my fair share of fancy buildings already in Rome.
The catacombs were built with three different types of tombs. Based on your wealth and social class you could decide in which section you would be buried. Basically, if you were poor you would be buried at the floor tombs, whilst the middle classes were a level above that. The beautiful chambers were very the rich and important political figures.
In the evening I finally enjoyed a real pizza from Naples. It tastes really amazing, but you will have to find a good restaurant outside of the city centre. In the centre you will notice that most restaurants are not traditional ones, but run and operated by Indian and Chinese managers. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that, but if you want a real Italian chef you need to look around a bit outside of old-town.
Day 13-14-15 | On the movie-set of Gladiator in Tuscany
Visiting two large cities really take a lot of energy from you and it was time to enjoy the country-side of Italy. What better way to do this then a visit to the beautiful Tuscany region. I wrote a separate blog post about my road trip in Tuscany as it was just too much fun.
Day 16 | The tower of Pisa
My road trip in Italy had come to an end. My final stop would be at the famous leaning toward of Pisa. Thankfully, it was already in the low-season as people told me it would get really busy during the summer. The square itself is not very big and if you are not interested to wait for 2 hours in line, you can actually see the whole place in under an hour.
It was a great sight to see and of course everybody was making their original “pushing against the tower” photo. I just kept it with at a big smile, because I was very happy I had such an amazing road trip in Italy.
After the town of Pisa, I came across Cinque Terre. I planned a hike using this amazing guide: Hiking the Cinque Terre paths. Unfortunally, I had 3 days of very bad-weather and decided to continue my journey to Monaco, France.