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Northern Italy Travel Guide

A woman in front of the Milan Duomo during a summer day.

It’s no secret that Italy is one of the leading European summer destinations. Because this country has so much to offer, from its leading cuisine to astonishing landscapes and historical cities to beautiful coastal areas, it’s sometimes hard to decide which places to visit when you have two weeks or less for your vacation. I believe that more than one Italian summer vacation is needed to get a taste of the country. That’s why following a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days is one of the best starts to exploring one of the world’s most favorite destinations!

During a trip to Northern Italy, you can see a lot of historical wonders like the Duomos in Florence and Milan; experience some of Italy’s most iconic activities like taking a gondola ride in Venice; taste the best food in Bologna; wander through some of the most romantic villages in the world along Lake Como and I can go on.

A woman exploring Varenna on Lake Como during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

I visit Italy every summer and have traveled through most of the northern part of the country. Discover the best Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days in this article.

Don’t forget to also check out this 10-day Northern Italy and Switzerland itinerary.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


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Northern Italy Summer Itinerary for 14 Days

Traveling to Northern Italy

A woman admiring the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy.

The best way to visit Northern Italy for a 14-day vacation is to fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport. For this specific itinerary, the best airport to fly home from is Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola, also known as Florence Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Even though renting a car in Italy is the best way to get off the beaten path, the easiest way to get around the country is by taking public transportation, preferably the train. Italy’s state-run rail network is operated under Trenitalia. To save time when purchasing train tickets, I recommend downloading the Omio app.

If you plan to rent a car in Italy, you must have an international driver’s permit in addition to your regular license. If you live in the U.S., you can easily obtain one by visiting your local AAA office.

Northern Italy Weather by Month during the Summer

Milan's canals

The best time to visit Northern Italy is during the warmer months. Below are the average Northern Italy temperatures by month: (The below information is based on the average weather for Milan, Italy.)

  • May: Average highs are in the mid 70s°F, and average lows are in the mid 50s°F, with around 10 days of precipitation.
  • June: Average highs are in the lower 80s°F, and average lows are in the lower 60s°F, with around nine days of precipitation.
  • July: Average highs are in the mid 80s°F, and average lows are in the mid 60s°F, with around seven days of precipitation.
  • August: Average highs are in the mid 80s°F, and average lows are in the mid 60s°F, with around seven days of precipitation.
  • September: Average highs are in the upper 70s°F, and average lows are in the lower 60s°F, with around seven days of precipitation.

Northern Italy Itinerary: 14 Days by Train

A woman exploring the Piedmont region in Northern Italy.

Since Italy is a popular destination and summer is a high season for visiting, planning ahead is essential when booking hotels, accommodations, transportation, excursions and more.

Whether you’re solo traveling, on a romantic Italian getaway, doing a family vacation or enjoying a girl’s/guy’s trip, discover the best things to do in this perfect Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Day 1: Arrive in Venice – A Jewel of Northeast Italy

A woman in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

One of the most romantic cities in the world that everyone must visit is Venice in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. It’s a timeless city known for its unique lifestyle along the canals.

When arriving in Venice, Italy check into your hotel and settle in. Below are the best hotels in Venice based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: The St. Regis Venice

Boutique Accommodation: Palazzo Veneziano

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Venice Times Hotel

Budget Accommodation: a&o Venezia Mestre

Venice also has a plethora of rental properties.

A woman in Venice, Italy.

Once you’re settled in, one of the best things to do in Venice is to simply walk through the charming canals and get lost. There are plenty of picturesque locations to stop at and admire, from the Byzantine architecture to the bridges that connect each small island. Some top landmarks in the UNESCO World Heritage Site are the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, Saint Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica.

From there, an incredible Italian restaurant to fuel up before either taking a Venetian rowing lesson or a romantic gondola ride is Ristorante Diana.

A Northern Italy travel itinerary for 14 days cannot exclude taking an iconic gondola ride through Venice’s canals. You can either sign up for a private gondola ride or do a group tour. I suggest spending the extra money and booking the private gondola experience.

While you’re on the canals, you will be serenaded while enjoying the peacefulness of the narrow gondolas. You’ll also see all the iconic landmarks from the Grand Canal.

A woman taking a Venetian Rowing Lesson in Venice.

If you’re looking for an active and more sustainable route to enjoy Venice’s canals, I suggest taking a Venetian rowing lesson through Row Venice. This incredible non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of traditional Venetian culture. The employees mainly consist of predominantly females, creating the perfect experience for locals as well as visitors.

Enjoy a lovely Northern Italian dinner at Ristorante Sempione in the evening, where you can get a table overlooking the canals.

Day 2: Explore the Venetian Islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello

Visiting the colorful Venetian island of Burano during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

When visiting Venice during your two-week Italy itinerary, taking the ferry and seeing the Venetian islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello is a must.

Before starting your day, fuel up with a cappuccino and a cornetto at Caffè Florian, the oldest café in the world! It has been said that Antonio Vivaldi, Mozart, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and many other prominent figures have been to this Venetian landmark.

A glassmaking demonstration on the island of Murano off of Venice.

The island of Murano is renowned for its tradition of glassmaking. During a stop on this island, see a glass-making demonstration and stop in one of the many shops to purchase different glass souvenirs.

Visiting the colorful island of Burano is a highlight of a 14-day Northern Italy itinerary. Italian legend has it that Venetians living on the island painted their homes bright colors so fishermen could see them from afar.

A woman exploring the colorful island of Burano, off Venice.

While on the island of Burano, stroll the charming streets, enter one of the lace shops, stop in the leaning Chiesa di San Martino and enjoy a lovely lunch at Trattoria da Romano.

Since Burano is known for its lacemaking, the Museo del Merletto is one of the best places to visit to learn about the production of lace in Venice. Another staple this beautiful island is famous for is bussolai buranei, butter cookies sold at local street stands, which you must try.

A woman on the Devil's Bridge in Torcello, Italy.

Torcello is a peaceful island that is mainly uninhabited. It’s the most northern island of the Venetian Lagoon and is known for agriculture. The top two landmarks to see on Torcello are the Devil’s Bridge and the Chiesa di Santa Fosca.

When you return to the city, relax at your hotel before enjoying a fantastic dinner at Ostaria al Vecio Pozzo, known for its delicious pizza.

Day 3: Stop in the Romantic City of Verona

Seeing Juliet's House in Verona during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

You must stop in Verona on a day trip as you continue your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. This city, also in the Veneto region, is famous for where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet play occurred.

The best way to get to Verona is by taking the train from Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia to Verona Porta Nuova. Getting from Venice to Verona takes around an hour and 15 minutes.

If you plan to stay the night in Verona, below are the best hotels to book based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: Hotel NH Collection Palazzo Verona

Boutique Accommodation: Relais Balcone di Giulietta

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts

Budget Accommodation: The Hostello

Verona also has numerous rental properties to book.

When you first arrive in Verona, visiting Casa di Giulietta is only appropriate. This Medieval tower house was the location for Juliet Capulet’s family home. Over the past several centuries, Verona would be the destination where European nobles and artists would visit to see the iconic sites for the legend of Romeo and Juliet.

During a day trip to Verona, take a tour of Juliet’s House, where a local guide will take you to see The Party Hall, Juliet’s Bedroom, The Attic and The Lovers’ Wall. You’ll also be taken into the inner courtyard, where you can admire Juliet’s statue and see her balcony.

From Juliet’s House, climb up the Torre dei Lamberti and enjoy incredible views of the beautiful city. It’s a Romanesque-styled tower that stands 276 feet (84 meters) above ground. Torre dei Lamberti was built in 1172, but in the early 1400s, lightning struck the tower and it took 16 years to repair.

When you visit Verona for a day, also see the Verona Arena, which the Romans built in 30 AD for gladiator fights and entertainment. Nowadays, the Fondazione Arena di Verona is considered one of the best-preserved ancient structures, and it’s where many concerts and performances occur.

Since Verona is a foodie city, don’t miss out on its incredible eateries. One of the best restaurants to visit for lunch is Yard Restaurant. It’s a Michelin-rated eatery with an earthy and welcoming ambiance.

After lunch, make your way through the charming Città Antica and stop at the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare, otherwise known as Verona Cathedral. This Roman Catholic cathedral is a 12th-century church. It was established as a Romanesque church in 1187 and was restored and enlarged in a Gothic style in 1440.

Views of Verona, Italy.

You must also go shopping, cool off to gelato and walk across the iconic Ponte Pietra. Once on the other side of the river, walk up to the Castel San Pietro, a Romanesque fortress with breathtaking views of Verona.

If you don’t want to trek up the hill to see the castle, there is also a funicular to the Sunset Bar Della Funicolare, where you can watch the sunset over the city and enjoy an aperitivo.

Also located near the bridge is Ai Mascheroni Ristorante Osteria, an incredible Veronese restaurant to enjoy a tasty dinner. You can savor incredible pasta dishes, fresh meats and fish, vegetarian plates and delicious desserts at this lovely spot.

Day 4: Arrive in Como

The beautiful city of Como, Italy.

Located in a fairytale setting against the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como and the charming villages surrounding it are favorites amongst anyone who decides to follow a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Italy!

Overall, Lake Como is an upscale destination in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region filled with celebrity vacation homes, classic wooden motorboats, Renaissance palaces, stunning gardens, picturesque villages, beautiful landscapes and more.

From Verona, the best way to get to Lake Como, Italy is by taking the train from Verona Porta Nuova to Como San Giovanni with a transfer in Milano Centrale. It’s around a three-hour train ride from Verona to Como, with the stopover in Milan.

A woman enjoying a Northern Italy vacation.

The best hotels to stay at along Lake Como are below:

Luxury Accommodation: Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Boutique Accommodation: Palace Hotel

Mid-Budget Accommodation: 73 Boutique Hotel

Budget Accommodation: Ostello Bello Lake Como

There are also plenty of rental properties to choose from along Lake Como.

After settling into your accommodation, stroll through the charming town of Como, one of the main cities along the lake and enjoy an incredible lunch at Trattoria il Solito Posto.

Since you’ve been on the go over the past few days, and Lake Como is a prime vacation destination, take the opportunity to relax at your hotel or rental property, swim in the pool, enjoy a spa day and enjoy the lake.

Three women taking a cooking class in Como, Italy.

A trip to Italy is also incomplete without taking a cooking class with Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn. Paola is a food author and blogger who studied pharmacy at the University of Milan and received a Master’s in Medical and Pharmaceutical research in Brussels. Not only has she written cookbooks and published several articles in international scientific journals, but she welcomes visitors to Lake Como into her home for cooking classes.

During a cooking class experience with Paola, you’ll enjoy an aperitivo and then make a delicious and healthy Italian meal, including a dessert. No matter what meal you make with Paola, you will be amazed!

Day 5: Enjoy a Private Boat Tour Around Lake Como

The beauty of Lake Como in Northern Italy.

If you’re someone whose happy days are spent on the water, Lake Como is the perfect place to book a full-day boat trip for you and your party. For this excursion, I suggest booking a private tour!

During your boat ride, which will be on a handcrafted wooden boat, you’ll sail past the most beautiful mansions and colorful villas. A lot of them are owned by top CEOs, bankers and world leaders. Some of the top spots you’ll see are George Clooney’s Villa Oleandra in the town of Laglio, Richard Branson’s Villa La Cassinella in the town of Ossuccio and Gianni Versace’s Villa Fontanelle (now owned by a Russian restaurateur) in the town of Moltrasio.

As you enjoy some of the best views in Italy, you’ll also come across a hidden jewel. It’s a little stone bridge that features a beautiful waterfall behind it. It’ll be one of the most breathtaking views during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Doing a private boat tour around Lake Como during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

During a Lake Como boat trip, you’ll stop in the idyllic Italian towns of Varenna and Bellagio. Varenna is a small town with fewer tourists and colorful houses. It’s one of the best places to stroll around, get lost and take in all the history around you.

Bellagio is more popular than Varenna, so you’ll find more tourists here. Overall, Bellagio is considered “The Pearl of Lake Como” since it’s a charming town with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

During your time in this picturesque town, I suggest relishing an incredible seafood pasta dish at La Terrazza, which overlooks the lake.

The beautiful village of Bellagio along Lake Como.

When you’re back on the boat, you’ll sail to i Giardini di Villa Melzi, the summer residence of Francesco Melzi d’Eril. Napoleon founded the gardens and villa in the early 1800s, but the Vice President of the Italian Republic now lives there during the summer. It’s one of the most stunning places along Lake Como.

The last part of a boat trip on Lake Como will have you relaxing on Isola Comacina. It’s a secluded island on the lake with walking trails, rustic fishermen’s houses, a church and a bar called La Botte, where you can enjoy an aperitivo before heading back to your accommodation.

When you return to your hotel, relax before dinner or, if you’re in Como, take the Funivia di Pigra to the top of the mountains overlooking the lake. For dinner, a great restaurant to enjoy delicious food and wine is La Cucina di Elsa.

Day 6: Arrive in Turin in Northwest Italy

A woman exploring the city center of Turin.

Another one of the best areas to include in a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days is Turin, otherwise known as Torino. It’s the fourth largest city in Italy’s Piedmont region and boasts the House of Savoy, a royal dynasty. Turin was also home to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

It takes around two hours via train travel to get from Como San Giovanni to Porta Nuova train station in Turin. When you travel by train from Lake Como to Turin, you’ll most likely have to transfer at Milano Centrale station.

The best hotels to stay at in Turin during your 14-day Italy itinerary are listed below:

Luxury Accommodation: Royal Palace Luxury Suites

Boutique Accommodation: Palazzo Del Carretto

Mid-Budget Accommodation: AC Hotel by Marriott Torino

Budget Accommodation: Attic Hostel Torino

There are numerous rental properties to book in Turin.

The Piazza San Carlo in Turin, Italy.

When you first arrive in Turin, the best thing to do is to walk through the city. It features stunning architecture, beautiful parks, bustling piazzas, incredible museums, great shopping and wonderful restaurants.

You must shop along the Via Roma and Via Garibaldi. Afterward, visit the Egyptian Museum, which is the oldest museum in the world and the most visited in Italy. It’s one of the best places to learn about Egyptian civilization in Europe.

An excellent pizza spot for lunch is Sestogusto Mazzini, near the River Po and the Parco del Valentino.

After lunch, tour the Royal Palace of Turin, built for the House of Savoy, the Royal Family of Italy, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palazzo Reale does a fantastic job preserving one of Italy’s most extensive collections of antiques, from archaeological artifacts, tapestries, porcelain, furniture and more.

Located in the same area is the Duomo di Torino, also called the Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista, a beautiful 15th-century Roman Catholic cathedral boasting Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

The city of Turin in North Italy.

Head to the Monte dei Cappucini for sunset, which offers panoramic views of Turin’s historic center and the nearby Italian Alps. It’s the best way to end your first day in Turin.

Regarding dinner, appreciate the best of Piedmontese food. La Piola Sabauda is a cozy restaurant near the beautiful Piazza San Carlo. It’s an excellent spot to savor truffles with pasta and great local wine.

Day 7: Adventure through the Piedmont Countryside

A woman enjoying the Piedmontese wine region during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

One of the most unique things to do during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days is to venture off into the Piedmontese countryside to go truffle hunting and wine tasting. Please note, though, that unless you do a guided or private tour, you’ll need to rent a car to get around the rural areas of North Italy.

If you love truffles, it’s a must to go truffle hunting in the Langhe Wine Region. Located in the rolling hills of Piedmont, which offers the best white truffle hunting spots, a guided tour through Langhe Truffle will provide an unforgettable experience.

You’ll learn all about white truffles, hunt for them with the owner’s dog and enjoy local dishes that include this incredible mushroom! Not only will you taste the best of Piedmontese cuisine, but you’re sure to have the best time with a local guide, along with your friends and family.

A dog at a winery in Piedmont, Italy.

Wine tasting is one of the best parts of North Italy travel, and Piedmont offers some of Europe’s best wine-growing regions! Since this Italian region sits at the base of the western Alps, it mixes Alpine and Mediterranean weather to make good quality wines.

During your time in Piedmont, visit the picturesque commune of Barolo, which is recognized as the planet’s longest-lived and most collectible wine. Some of the villages that make up Barolo are Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello and Verduno. The best place to go wine tasting in this area is Cascina Sòt.

Another wonderful area of Piedmont to go wine tasting is in the commune of Asti. It’s famous for its sparkling white wines like Moscato d’Asti, Asti Spumante, Asti Spumante Metodo Classico and Vendemmia Tardiva. The best place to go tasting in Asti is Criolin.

When you return to Turin, savor one last meal at Capriccioli before enjoying a good night’s rest.

Day 8: Arrive in the Thriving City of Milan

A woman in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Milan is the second largest city in Italy, an international financial hub and a global capital of fashion and design. It’s located in the Lombardy region and holds much of Italy’s history that you can learn more about as you make your way around the city.

Through the high-speed train, you can get from Turin’s Porta Nuova to Milano Centrale train station in an hour.

The best hotels to stay at in Milan, Italy during a trip to Northern Italy are below:

Luxury Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Milano

Boutique Accommodation: Altido Galleria

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hotel Indigo Milan – Corso Monforte

Budget Accommodation: Madama Hostel

Milan has plenty of excellent rental properties like the other destinations in this two-week itinerary.

Upon arriving in Milan, first visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a fascinating 19th-century shopping arcade with high-end designer stores. While in Milan’s Galleria, enjoy lunch at Café Biffi, one of Milan’s first establishments.

From there, go to the Castello Sforzesco, or the Sforza Castle, to do a tour. Then check out the Last Supper painting by Leonardo DaVinci, located at Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Spending an evening at one of the rooftop terraces overlooking the Milan cathedral.

Later in the evening, enjoy one of Milan’s incredible rooftop terraces in the city center. Located in the Piazza del Duomo, you must visit Terrazza Duomo 21, a lively cocktail lounge overlooking the Duomo di Milano. Also near the cathedral is Obicà Duomo, a mozzarella bar, pizzeria and cocktail lounge with beautiful views.

Day 9: Explore One of Northern Italy’s Major Cities

A woman enjoying a morning in Milan, Italy.

Since the Milan Cathedral is one of the most fascinating landmarks to witness during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days, it’s a must to wake up in the early morning hours to snap photos before massive crowds arrive.

A great way to see Milan’s major attractions is to tour the Duomo, where you’ll learn about the cathedral’s history, architecture and significance. You can also purchase a ticket to access the Duomo’s rooftop terrace, where you can admire jaw-dropping views of the city.

During your second day in Milan, take the metro outside the city center and explore other neighborhoods. One of the first places to visit is the Bosco Verticale or the Vertical Forest. Its two fascinating towers feature 800 trees, 15,000 perennials and 5,000 shrubs.

The Bosco Verticale in Milan.

Another beautiful Milanese spot to explore is the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, which boasts a storybook garden, the 17th-Century Palazzo Dugnani and the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, or the Natural History Museum of Milan.

A lovely place to visit for lunch and coffee is Loste Café; it’s a 15-minute walk from the garden and offers freshly baked focaccia, lattes, salads, pastries and more.

After lunch, ride the 1500 series tram to sip a Negroni Sbagliato® at Bar Basso. Maurizio (Mirko) Stochetto started this famous Milanese bar and it’s been a hotspot since 1947. It’s a vintage bar, perfect for an aperitivo, that will bring you back in time.

The most authentic restaurant in Milan to savor one last dinner is Trattoria Torre di Pisa, located near the castle. At this spot, you can appreciate homemade wine and incredible pasta dishes.

Day 10: Stop in Bologna – Northern Italy’s Foodie City

Enjoying a day trip to Bologna during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

From Milan, stopping in Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region, before heading to Florence is a must. Making a day trip in Bologna during your 14 days in Northern Italy is a must if you’re a foodie since it’s famous for having some of the best in the country.

You can get from Milano Centrale to Bologna Centrale station in just over an hour by taking the high-speed train.

Here are great accommodations to stay in Bologna, Italy:

Luxury Accommodation: Hotel Corona d’Oro

Boutique Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Mid-Budget Accommodation: AC Hotel by Marriott Bologna

Budget Accommodation: Dopa Hostel

Bologna also has a lot of excellent rental properties.

When arriving in Bologna, one of the first things to do is climb the Torre Asinelli or Torre Prendiparte. Both of these towers offer spectacular views of Bologna!

From there, check out the 16th-century Cattedrale Metropolitan di San Pietro, which features incredible Baroque and Romanesque architecture.

For lunch, eat at Ristorante Trattoria Oberdan da Mario, near Bologna’s canals, which are worth checking out. If you prefer authentic street food, look no further than the Quadrilatero, the oldest market in Bologna.

The canals in Bologna, Italy.

After your incredible meal, walk it off on the Via dell’Indipendenza, Via Ugo Bassi, Via Rizzoli and Via D’Azeglio, where you can treat yourself to retail therapy and grab a gelato to cool off.

If you have ample time, also rent a Ferrari or Lamborghini for the day. Through Push Start Maranello, you can rent high-end Italian cars for half a day and test drive them through the nearby mountains.

Later in the afternoon, enjoy an aperitivo in the beautiful Piazza Maggiore before savoring a delicious dinner at Trattoria Del Rosso.

Day 11: Arrive in Florence – The Art Capital of Italy

A woman in front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

You cannot visit Northern Italy and not make your way to Florence in the Tuscan region. Famous for being one of the largest Italian cities, Florence is a thriving hotspot that blends history, art, fashion and food.

You can get from Bologna Centrale to Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station on a high-speed train within 40 minutes.

Below are the top accommodations in Florence, Italy based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: The Westin Excelsior, Florence

Boutique Accommodation: Hotel Spadai

Mid-Budget Accommodation: 25hours Hotel Florence Piazza San Paolino

Budget Accommodation: Ostello Bello Firenze

You can find a plethora of rental properties in Florence, Italy.

The Florence Duomo.

It’s no secret that the Florence Duomo, or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, dominates the city center and is one of the major attractions to visit during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. When you visit the Duomo, you will need to book tickets in advance to get inside, and you can also walk up to the Campanile di Giotto, the cathedral’s bell tower.

One of Florence’s best places to enjoy lunch is SimBIOsi, a cozy restaurant with rustic vibes. It’s a wonderful eatery where you can savor local delicacies like truffles, risotto and cured meats, as well as enjoy authentic Tuscan wine.

After lunch, head to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. Please note that you have book tickets in advance to visit the David. If you don’t get tickets, you can still see a replica of the David in the Piazza della Signoria.

While in Florence, go shopping along the Ponte Vecchio, the city’s oldest bridge along the Arno River. Make sure to also grab a glass of wine from one of Florence’s wine windows. You can find Buchetta del Vino throughout the city, so watch for them.

Seeing the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

In the evening, you must watch a sunset from Florence’s most picturesque location – Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s essential to remember that to get to this spot, you’ll need to walk uphill for a while, but the scenery is worth it. You’ll experience panoramic views of the city, the nearby mountains and rural Tuscan villages.

Later on, savor a delicious meal from the iconic Trattoria Zà Zà in the Central Market of San Lorenzo. You can enjoy traditional Florentine dishes at this restaurant.

Day 12: Arrive in Cinque Terre

The beautiful village of Portovenere on the Italian Riviera.

In addition to Lake Como, visiting Cinque Terre is another favorite thing to add to a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. This beautiful area of Liguria consists of five seaside towns with colorful houses, fishing boats and beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. The five seaside towns are Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia and Riomaggiore.

There are a few direct trains that go from Florence to Cinque Terre. The trains that aren’t direct usually will require you to transfer at Pisa Centrale. The best way to get to this coastal gem is by taking the train from Florence Santa Maria Novella or Florence Campo Di Marte to La Spezia Centrale. The travel time from Florence to Cinque Terre is over two hours.

There is a regional train that goes to all the villages along Cinque Terre, as well as famous hiking trails. In that case, you can visit the five seaside towns by public transit or walking.

Summer is the time of year when Cinque Terre, Italy is the most crowded with tourists, so booking accommodations and excursions ahead of time is essential. Below are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre:

Luxury Accommodation: Grand Hotel Portovenere

Boutique Accommodation: Hotel Porto Roca (Monterosso al Mare)

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hotel Marina (Monterosso al Mare)

Budget Accommodation: Ostello Corniglia

You can also find many rental properties to stay at in Cinque Terre.

A woman enjoying a beautiful beach day in Monterosso al Mare during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Since you’ve been traveling nonstop during this 14-day itinerary, it’s best to take it easy on your first day in Cinque Terre. I suggest heading to Monterosso al Mare and enjoying the Stella Marina Beach Club, where you can rent a lounge chair and experience convenient beach service for the day.

A great restaurant in Monterosso al Mare is Ristorante il Gabbiano, where you can savor pasta with pesto sauce, a staple to the Liguria region. Depending on where you book your accommodation, it’s best to grab dinner at one of the restaurants in that specific town.

Below are great restaurants to dine at in each of the five coastal towns:

Manarola: Ristorante Miky

Vernazza: Ristorante La Torre

Monterosso al Mare: Causapersa

Corniglia: Ristorante Dau Tinola

Riomaggiore: Rio Bistrot

Day 13: Explore the Italian Riviera Coastline

The Cinque Terre town of Manarola during summer.

Your second day in Cinque Terre should include exploring the entire coastline by hiking or taking a boat tour. Of course, if you prefer to relax, that is great to do as well!

One of the best and most rewarding ways to explore Cinque Terre during your Northern Italy trip is by conquering the hikes. Overall, there are 48 hiking trails that are 75 miles (120 km) in this beautiful area. Click here to learn more about Cinque Terre’s hikes.

Some of the best things to do in Manarola during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days are to swim at the harbor, take a pesto-making class and eat at the scenic Nessun Dorma, explore and shop around the Old Town.

While in Vernazza, enjoy the small beach, walk around the town, enjoy the breathtaking views, and eat at Ristorante Belforte, located in an 11th-century fortress on top of the harbor.

Visiting Cinque Terre during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

The best things to do in Corniglia are wine tasting, exploring the village and eating at Osteria A Cantina De Mananan.

During your time in Riomaggiore, wander through the old town, go through the local markets, sunbathe on the beach, watch the sunset on the terrace of the castle and eat at A Pie’ de Ma.

Visiting Monterosso allows you to relax at the beach, take a pesto-making class at the Cinque Terre Cooking School, enjoy incredible views and eat local Ligurian food at L’Ancora della Tortuga.

Day 14: Fly Home from Florence

The David in Florence.

When you return to Florence from Cinque Terre, head to Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola to depart home. Since Florence Airport is small, you’ll likely have a layover in another European city to fly back to places like the United States and Canada.


San Gimignano in Tuscany.

Looking to add to your North Italy trip planner? Check out the blog posts below:

Tuscany

Rome

Amalfi Coast

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

In addition, great and secure luggage storage to utilize during your summer Europe trip is Nannybag! It is easy to use; all you do is download the Nannybag app and type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and depart. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. It’s a convenient way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe.

Traveling around Italy want to take a cooking class? Click here to make memories!

Basic Facts of Italy:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Rome, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Italy Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on February 24, 2024 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome blog on beautiful Northern Italy. This guide and photos brought back such fond memories of our family trip! These are my favorite places to travel to in Italy, cannot go wrong ~ great landscapes, architecture, cathedrals, museums, food and wine! Love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo 💖

    • Taylor Deer on February 25, 2024 at 6:26 pm

      There truly is so much in Northern Italy! I love it.

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Northern Italy Travel Guide

A woman in front of the Milan Duomo during a summer day.

It’s no secret that Italy is one of the leading European summer destinations. Because this country has so much to offer, from its leading cuisine to astonishing landscapes and historical cities to beautiful coastal areas, it’s sometimes hard to decide which places to visit when you have two weeks or less for your vacation. I believe that more than one Italian summer vacation is needed to get a taste of the country. That’s why following a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days is one of the best starts to exploring one of the world’s most favorite destinations!

During a trip to Northern Italy, you can see a lot of historical wonders like the Duomos in Florence and Milan; experience some of Italy’s most iconic activities like taking a gondola ride in Venice; taste the best food in Bologna; wander through some of the most romantic villages in the world along Lake Como and I can go on.

A woman exploring Varenna on Lake Como during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

I visit Italy every summer and have traveled through most of the northern part of the country. Discover the best Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days in this article.

Don’t forget to also check out this 10-day Northern Italy and Switzerland itinerary.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


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Northern Italy Summer Itinerary for 14 Days

Traveling to Northern Italy

A woman admiring the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy.

The best way to visit Northern Italy for a 14-day vacation is to fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport. For this specific itinerary, the best airport to fly home from is Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola, also known as Florence Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Even though renting a car in Italy is the best way to get off the beaten path, the easiest way to get around the country is by taking public transportation, preferably the train. Italy’s state-run rail network is operated under Trenitalia. To save time when purchasing train tickets, I recommend downloading the Omio app.

If you plan to rent a car in Italy, you must have an international driver’s permit in addition to your regular license. If you live in the U.S., you can easily obtain one by visiting your local AAA office.

Northern Italy Weather by Month during the Summer

Milan's canals

The best time to visit Northern Italy is during the warmer months. Below are the average Northern Italy temperatures by month: (The below information is based on the average weather for Milan, Italy.)

  • May: Average highs are in the mid 70s°F, and average lows are in the mid 50s°F, with around 10 days of precipitation.
  • June: Average highs are in the lower 80s°F, and average lows are in the lower 60s°F, with around nine days of precipitation.
  • July: Average highs are in the mid 80s°F, and average lows are in the mid 60s°F, with around seven days of precipitation.
  • August: Average highs are in the mid 80s°F, and average lows are in the mid 60s°F, with around seven days of precipitation.
  • September: Average highs are in the upper 70s°F, and average lows are in the lower 60s°F, with around seven days of precipitation.

Northern Italy Itinerary: 14 Days by Train

A woman exploring the Piedmont region in Northern Italy.

Since Italy is a popular destination and summer is a high season for visiting, planning ahead is essential when booking hotels, accommodations, transportation, excursions and more.

Whether you’re solo traveling, on a romantic Italian getaway, doing a family vacation or enjoying a girl’s/guy’s trip, discover the best things to do in this perfect Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Day 1: Arrive in Venice – A Jewel of Northeast Italy

A woman in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

One of the most romantic cities in the world that everyone must visit is Venice in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. It’s a timeless city known for its unique lifestyle along the canals.

When arriving in Venice, Italy check into your hotel and settle in. Below are the best hotels in Venice based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: The St. Regis Venice

Boutique Accommodation: Palazzo Veneziano

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Venice Times Hotel

Budget Accommodation: a&o Venezia Mestre

Venice also has a plethora of rental properties.

A woman in Venice, Italy.

Once you’re settled in, one of the best things to do in Venice is to simply walk through the charming canals and get lost. There are plenty of picturesque locations to stop at and admire, from the Byzantine architecture to the bridges that connect each small island. Some top landmarks in the UNESCO World Heritage Site are the Rialto Bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, Saint Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica.

From there, an incredible Italian restaurant to fuel up before either taking a Venetian rowing lesson or a romantic gondola ride is Ristorante Diana.

A Northern Italy travel itinerary for 14 days cannot exclude taking an iconic gondola ride through Venice’s canals. You can either sign up for a private gondola ride or do a group tour. I suggest spending the extra money and booking the private gondola experience.

While you’re on the canals, you will be serenaded while enjoying the peacefulness of the narrow gondolas. You’ll also see all the iconic landmarks from the Grand Canal.

A woman taking a Venetian Rowing Lesson in Venice.

If you’re looking for an active and more sustainable route to enjoy Venice’s canals, I suggest taking a Venetian rowing lesson through Row Venice. This incredible non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of traditional Venetian culture. The employees mainly consist of predominantly females, creating the perfect experience for locals as well as visitors.

Enjoy a lovely Northern Italian dinner at Ristorante Sempione in the evening, where you can get a table overlooking the canals.

Day 2: Explore the Venetian Islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello

Visiting the colorful Venetian island of Burano during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

When visiting Venice during your two-week Italy itinerary, taking the ferry and seeing the Venetian islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello is a must.

Before starting your day, fuel up with a cappuccino and a cornetto at Caffè Florian, the oldest café in the world! It has been said that Antonio Vivaldi, Mozart, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and many other prominent figures have been to this Venetian landmark.

A glassmaking demonstration on the island of Murano off of Venice.

The island of Murano is renowned for its tradition of glassmaking. During a stop on this island, see a glass-making demonstration and stop in one of the many shops to purchase different glass souvenirs.

Visiting the colorful island of Burano is a highlight of a 14-day Northern Italy itinerary. Italian legend has it that Venetians living on the island painted their homes bright colors so fishermen could see them from afar.

A woman exploring the colorful island of Burano, off Venice.

While on the island of Burano, stroll the charming streets, enter one of the lace shops, stop in the leaning Chiesa di San Martino and enjoy a lovely lunch at Trattoria da Romano.

Since Burano is known for its lacemaking, the Museo del Merletto is one of the best places to visit to learn about the production of lace in Venice. Another staple this beautiful island is famous for is bussolai buranei, butter cookies sold at local street stands, which you must try.

A woman on the Devil's Bridge in Torcello, Italy.

Torcello is a peaceful island that is mainly uninhabited. It’s the most northern island of the Venetian Lagoon and is known for agriculture. The top two landmarks to see on Torcello are the Devil’s Bridge and the Chiesa di Santa Fosca.

When you return to the city, relax at your hotel before enjoying a fantastic dinner at Ostaria al Vecio Pozzo, known for its delicious pizza.

Day 3: Stop in the Romantic City of Verona

Seeing Juliet's House in Verona during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

You must stop in Verona on a day trip as you continue your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. This city, also in the Veneto region, is famous for where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet play occurred.

The best way to get to Verona is by taking the train from Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia to Verona Porta Nuova. Getting from Venice to Verona takes around an hour and 15 minutes.

If you plan to stay the night in Verona, below are the best hotels to book based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: Hotel NH Collection Palazzo Verona

Boutique Accommodation: Relais Balcone di Giulietta

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts

Budget Accommodation: The Hostello

Verona also has numerous rental properties to book.

When you first arrive in Verona, visiting Casa di Giulietta is only appropriate. This Medieval tower house was the location for Juliet Capulet’s family home. Over the past several centuries, Verona would be the destination where European nobles and artists would visit to see the iconic sites for the legend of Romeo and Juliet.

During a day trip to Verona, take a tour of Juliet’s House, where a local guide will take you to see The Party Hall, Juliet’s Bedroom, The Attic and The Lovers’ Wall. You’ll also be taken into the inner courtyard, where you can admire Juliet’s statue and see her balcony.

From Juliet’s House, climb up the Torre dei Lamberti and enjoy incredible views of the beautiful city. It’s a Romanesque-styled tower that stands 276 feet (84 meters) above ground. Torre dei Lamberti was built in 1172, but in the early 1400s, lightning struck the tower and it took 16 years to repair.

When you visit Verona for a day, also see the Verona Arena, which the Romans built in 30 AD for gladiator fights and entertainment. Nowadays, the Fondazione Arena di Verona is considered one of the best-preserved ancient structures, and it’s where many concerts and performances occur.

Since Verona is a foodie city, don’t miss out on its incredible eateries. One of the best restaurants to visit for lunch is Yard Restaurant. It’s a Michelin-rated eatery with an earthy and welcoming ambiance.

After lunch, make your way through the charming Città Antica and stop at the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare, otherwise known as Verona Cathedral. This Roman Catholic cathedral is a 12th-century church. It was established as a Romanesque church in 1187 and was restored and enlarged in a Gothic style in 1440.

Views of Verona, Italy.

You must also go shopping, cool off to gelato and walk across the iconic Ponte Pietra. Once on the other side of the river, walk up to the Castel San Pietro, a Romanesque fortress with breathtaking views of Verona.

If you don’t want to trek up the hill to see the castle, there is also a funicular to the Sunset Bar Della Funicolare, where you can watch the sunset over the city and enjoy an aperitivo.

Also located near the bridge is Ai Mascheroni Ristorante Osteria, an incredible Veronese restaurant to enjoy a tasty dinner. You can savor incredible pasta dishes, fresh meats and fish, vegetarian plates and delicious desserts at this lovely spot.

Day 4: Arrive in Como

The beautiful city of Como, Italy.

Located in a fairytale setting against the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como and the charming villages surrounding it are favorites amongst anyone who decides to follow a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Italy!

Overall, Lake Como is an upscale destination in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region filled with celebrity vacation homes, classic wooden motorboats, Renaissance palaces, stunning gardens, picturesque villages, beautiful landscapes and more.

From Verona, the best way to get to Lake Como, Italy is by taking the train from Verona Porta Nuova to Como San Giovanni with a transfer in Milano Centrale. It’s around a three-hour train ride from Verona to Como, with the stopover in Milan.

A woman enjoying a Northern Italy vacation.

The best hotels to stay at along Lake Como are below:

Luxury Accommodation: Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Boutique Accommodation: Palace Hotel

Mid-Budget Accommodation: 73 Boutique Hotel

Budget Accommodation: Ostello Bello Lake Como

There are also plenty of rental properties to choose from along Lake Como.

After settling into your accommodation, stroll through the charming town of Como, one of the main cities along the lake and enjoy an incredible lunch at Trattoria il Solito Posto.

Since you’ve been on the go over the past few days, and Lake Como is a prime vacation destination, take the opportunity to relax at your hotel or rental property, swim in the pool, enjoy a spa day and enjoy the lake.

Three women taking a cooking class in Como, Italy.

A trip to Italy is also incomplete without taking a cooking class with Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn. Paola is a food author and blogger who studied pharmacy at the University of Milan and received a Master’s in Medical and Pharmaceutical research in Brussels. Not only has she written cookbooks and published several articles in international scientific journals, but she welcomes visitors to Lake Como into her home for cooking classes.

During a cooking class experience with Paola, you’ll enjoy an aperitivo and then make a delicious and healthy Italian meal, including a dessert. No matter what meal you make with Paola, you will be amazed!

Day 5: Enjoy a Private Boat Tour Around Lake Como

The beauty of Lake Como in Northern Italy.

If you’re someone whose happy days are spent on the water, Lake Como is the perfect place to book a full-day boat trip for you and your party. For this excursion, I suggest booking a private tour!

During your boat ride, which will be on a handcrafted wooden boat, you’ll sail past the most beautiful mansions and colorful villas. A lot of them are owned by top CEOs, bankers and world leaders. Some of the top spots you’ll see are George Clooney’s Villa Oleandra in the town of Laglio, Richard Branson’s Villa La Cassinella in the town of Ossuccio and Gianni Versace’s Villa Fontanelle (now owned by a Russian restaurateur) in the town of Moltrasio.

As you enjoy some of the best views in Italy, you’ll also come across a hidden jewel. It’s a little stone bridge that features a beautiful waterfall behind it. It’ll be one of the most breathtaking views during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Doing a private boat tour around Lake Como during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

During a Lake Como boat trip, you’ll stop in the idyllic Italian towns of Varenna and Bellagio. Varenna is a small town with fewer tourists and colorful houses. It’s one of the best places to stroll around, get lost and take in all the history around you.

Bellagio is more popular than Varenna, so you’ll find more tourists here. Overall, Bellagio is considered “The Pearl of Lake Como” since it’s a charming town with spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

During your time in this picturesque town, I suggest relishing an incredible seafood pasta dish at La Terrazza, which overlooks the lake.

The beautiful village of Bellagio along Lake Como.

When you’re back on the boat, you’ll sail to i Giardini di Villa Melzi, the summer residence of Francesco Melzi d’Eril. Napoleon founded the gardens and villa in the early 1800s, but the Vice President of the Italian Republic now lives there during the summer. It’s one of the most stunning places along Lake Como.

The last part of a boat trip on Lake Como will have you relaxing on Isola Comacina. It’s a secluded island on the lake with walking trails, rustic fishermen’s houses, a church and a bar called La Botte, where you can enjoy an aperitivo before heading back to your accommodation.

When you return to your hotel, relax before dinner or, if you’re in Como, take the Funivia di Pigra to the top of the mountains overlooking the lake. For dinner, a great restaurant to enjoy delicious food and wine is La Cucina di Elsa.

Day 6: Arrive in Turin in Northwest Italy

A woman exploring the city center of Turin.

Another one of the best areas to include in a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days is Turin, otherwise known as Torino. It’s the fourth largest city in Italy’s Piedmont region and boasts the House of Savoy, a royal dynasty. Turin was also home to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

It takes around two hours via train travel to get from Como San Giovanni to Porta Nuova train station in Turin. When you travel by train from Lake Como to Turin, you’ll most likely have to transfer at Milano Centrale station.

The best hotels to stay at in Turin during your 14-day Italy itinerary are listed below:

Luxury Accommodation: Royal Palace Luxury Suites

Boutique Accommodation: Palazzo Del Carretto

Mid-Budget Accommodation: AC Hotel by Marriott Torino

Budget Accommodation: Attic Hostel Torino

There are numerous rental properties to book in Turin.

The Piazza San Carlo in Turin, Italy.

When you first arrive in Turin, the best thing to do is to walk through the city. It features stunning architecture, beautiful parks, bustling piazzas, incredible museums, great shopping and wonderful restaurants.

You must shop along the Via Roma and Via Garibaldi. Afterward, visit the Egyptian Museum, which is the oldest museum in the world and the most visited in Italy. It’s one of the best places to learn about Egyptian civilization in Europe.

An excellent pizza spot for lunch is Sestogusto Mazzini, near the River Po and the Parco del Valentino.

After lunch, tour the Royal Palace of Turin, built for the House of Savoy, the Royal Family of Italy, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palazzo Reale does a fantastic job preserving one of Italy’s most extensive collections of antiques, from archaeological artifacts, tapestries, porcelain, furniture and more.

Located in the same area is the Duomo di Torino, also called the Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista, a beautiful 15th-century Roman Catholic cathedral boasting Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

The city of Turin in North Italy.

Head to the Monte dei Cappucini for sunset, which offers panoramic views of Turin’s historic center and the nearby Italian Alps. It’s the best way to end your first day in Turin.

Regarding dinner, appreciate the best of Piedmontese food. La Piola Sabauda is a cozy restaurant near the beautiful Piazza San Carlo. It’s an excellent spot to savor truffles with pasta and great local wine.

Day 7: Adventure through the Piedmont Countryside

A woman enjoying the Piedmontese wine region during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

One of the most unique things to do during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days is to venture off into the Piedmontese countryside to go truffle hunting and wine tasting. Please note, though, that unless you do a guided or private tour, you’ll need to rent a car to get around the rural areas of North Italy.

If you love truffles, it’s a must to go truffle hunting in the Langhe Wine Region. Located in the rolling hills of Piedmont, which offers the best white truffle hunting spots, a guided tour through Langhe Truffle will provide an unforgettable experience.

You’ll learn all about white truffles, hunt for them with the owner’s dog and enjoy local dishes that include this incredible mushroom! Not only will you taste the best of Piedmontese cuisine, but you’re sure to have the best time with a local guide, along with your friends and family.

A dog at a winery in Piedmont, Italy.

Wine tasting is one of the best parts of North Italy travel, and Piedmont offers some of Europe’s best wine-growing regions! Since this Italian region sits at the base of the western Alps, it mixes Alpine and Mediterranean weather to make good quality wines.

During your time in Piedmont, visit the picturesque commune of Barolo, which is recognized as the planet’s longest-lived and most collectible wine. Some of the villages that make up Barolo are Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, Novello and Verduno. The best place to go wine tasting in this area is Cascina Sòt.

Another wonderful area of Piedmont to go wine tasting is in the commune of Asti. It’s famous for its sparkling white wines like Moscato d’Asti, Asti Spumante, Asti Spumante Metodo Classico and Vendemmia Tardiva. The best place to go tasting in Asti is Criolin.

When you return to Turin, savor one last meal at Capriccioli before enjoying a good night’s rest.

Day 8: Arrive in the Thriving City of Milan

A woman in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Milan is the second largest city in Italy, an international financial hub and a global capital of fashion and design. It’s located in the Lombardy region and holds much of Italy’s history that you can learn more about as you make your way around the city.

Through the high-speed train, you can get from Turin’s Porta Nuova to Milano Centrale train station in an hour.

The best hotels to stay at in Milan, Italy during a trip to Northern Italy are below:

Luxury Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Milano

Boutique Accommodation: Altido Galleria

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hotel Indigo Milan – Corso Monforte

Budget Accommodation: Madama Hostel

Milan has plenty of excellent rental properties like the other destinations in this two-week itinerary.

Upon arriving in Milan, first visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a fascinating 19th-century shopping arcade with high-end designer stores. While in Milan’s Galleria, enjoy lunch at Café Biffi, one of Milan’s first establishments.

From there, go to the Castello Sforzesco, or the Sforza Castle, to do a tour. Then check out the Last Supper painting by Leonardo DaVinci, located at Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Spending an evening at one of the rooftop terraces overlooking the Milan cathedral.

Later in the evening, enjoy one of Milan’s incredible rooftop terraces in the city center. Located in the Piazza del Duomo, you must visit Terrazza Duomo 21, a lively cocktail lounge overlooking the Duomo di Milano. Also near the cathedral is Obicà Duomo, a mozzarella bar, pizzeria and cocktail lounge with beautiful views.

Day 9: Explore One of Northern Italy’s Major Cities

A woman enjoying a morning in Milan, Italy.

Since the Milan Cathedral is one of the most fascinating landmarks to witness during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days, it’s a must to wake up in the early morning hours to snap photos before massive crowds arrive.

A great way to see Milan’s major attractions is to tour the Duomo, where you’ll learn about the cathedral’s history, architecture and significance. You can also purchase a ticket to access the Duomo’s rooftop terrace, where you can admire jaw-dropping views of the city.

During your second day in Milan, take the metro outside the city center and explore other neighborhoods. One of the first places to visit is the Bosco Verticale or the Vertical Forest. Its two fascinating towers feature 800 trees, 15,000 perennials and 5,000 shrubs.

The Bosco Verticale in Milan.

Another beautiful Milanese spot to explore is the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, which boasts a storybook garden, the 17th-Century Palazzo Dugnani and the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, or the Natural History Museum of Milan.

A lovely place to visit for lunch and coffee is Loste Café; it’s a 15-minute walk from the garden and offers freshly baked focaccia, lattes, salads, pastries and more.

After lunch, ride the 1500 series tram to sip a Negroni Sbagliato® at Bar Basso. Maurizio (Mirko) Stochetto started this famous Milanese bar and it’s been a hotspot since 1947. It’s a vintage bar, perfect for an aperitivo, that will bring you back in time.

The most authentic restaurant in Milan to savor one last dinner is Trattoria Torre di Pisa, located near the castle. At this spot, you can appreciate homemade wine and incredible pasta dishes.

Day 10: Stop in Bologna – Northern Italy’s Foodie City

Enjoying a day trip to Bologna during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

From Milan, stopping in Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region, before heading to Florence is a must. Making a day trip in Bologna during your 14 days in Northern Italy is a must if you’re a foodie since it’s famous for having some of the best in the country.

You can get from Milano Centrale to Bologna Centrale station in just over an hour by taking the high-speed train.

Here are great accommodations to stay in Bologna, Italy:

Luxury Accommodation: Hotel Corona d’Oro

Boutique Accommodation: Art Hotel Commercianti

Mid-Budget Accommodation: AC Hotel by Marriott Bologna

Budget Accommodation: Dopa Hostel

Bologna also has a lot of excellent rental properties.

When arriving in Bologna, one of the first things to do is climb the Torre Asinelli or Torre Prendiparte. Both of these towers offer spectacular views of Bologna!

From there, check out the 16th-century Cattedrale Metropolitan di San Pietro, which features incredible Baroque and Romanesque architecture.

For lunch, eat at Ristorante Trattoria Oberdan da Mario, near Bologna’s canals, which are worth checking out. If you prefer authentic street food, look no further than the Quadrilatero, the oldest market in Bologna.

The canals in Bologna, Italy.

After your incredible meal, walk it off on the Via dell’Indipendenza, Via Ugo Bassi, Via Rizzoli and Via D’Azeglio, where you can treat yourself to retail therapy and grab a gelato to cool off.

If you have ample time, also rent a Ferrari or Lamborghini for the day. Through Push Start Maranello, you can rent high-end Italian cars for half a day and test drive them through the nearby mountains.

Later in the afternoon, enjoy an aperitivo in the beautiful Piazza Maggiore before savoring a delicious dinner at Trattoria Del Rosso.

Day 11: Arrive in Florence – The Art Capital of Italy

A woman in front of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

You cannot visit Northern Italy and not make your way to Florence in the Tuscan region. Famous for being one of the largest Italian cities, Florence is a thriving hotspot that blends history, art, fashion and food.

You can get from Bologna Centrale to Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station on a high-speed train within 40 minutes.

Below are the top accommodations in Florence, Italy based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: The Westin Excelsior, Florence

Boutique Accommodation: Hotel Spadai

Mid-Budget Accommodation: 25hours Hotel Florence Piazza San Paolino

Budget Accommodation: Ostello Bello Firenze

You can find a plethora of rental properties in Florence, Italy.

The Florence Duomo.

It’s no secret that the Florence Duomo, or the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, dominates the city center and is one of the major attractions to visit during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. When you visit the Duomo, you will need to book tickets in advance to get inside, and you can also walk up to the Campanile di Giotto, the cathedral’s bell tower.

One of Florence’s best places to enjoy lunch is SimBIOsi, a cozy restaurant with rustic vibes. It’s a wonderful eatery where you can savor local delicacies like truffles, risotto and cured meats, as well as enjoy authentic Tuscan wine.

After lunch, head to the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. Please note that you have book tickets in advance to visit the David. If you don’t get tickets, you can still see a replica of the David in the Piazza della Signoria.

While in Florence, go shopping along the Ponte Vecchio, the city’s oldest bridge along the Arno River. Make sure to also grab a glass of wine from one of Florence’s wine windows. You can find Buchetta del Vino throughout the city, so watch for them.

Seeing the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

In the evening, you must watch a sunset from Florence’s most picturesque location – Piazzale Michelangelo. It’s essential to remember that to get to this spot, you’ll need to walk uphill for a while, but the scenery is worth it. You’ll experience panoramic views of the city, the nearby mountains and rural Tuscan villages.

Later on, savor a delicious meal from the iconic Trattoria Zà Zà in the Central Market of San Lorenzo. You can enjoy traditional Florentine dishes at this restaurant.

Day 12: Arrive in Cinque Terre

The beautiful village of Portovenere on the Italian Riviera.

In addition to Lake Como, visiting Cinque Terre is another favorite thing to add to a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. This beautiful area of Liguria consists of five seaside towns with colorful houses, fishing boats and beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea. The five seaside towns are Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia and Riomaggiore.

There are a few direct trains that go from Florence to Cinque Terre. The trains that aren’t direct usually will require you to transfer at Pisa Centrale. The best way to get to this coastal gem is by taking the train from Florence Santa Maria Novella or Florence Campo Di Marte to La Spezia Centrale. The travel time from Florence to Cinque Terre is over two hours.

There is a regional train that goes to all the villages along Cinque Terre, as well as famous hiking trails. In that case, you can visit the five seaside towns by public transit or walking.

Summer is the time of year when Cinque Terre, Italy is the most crowded with tourists, so booking accommodations and excursions ahead of time is essential. Below are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre:

Luxury Accommodation: Grand Hotel Portovenere

Boutique Accommodation: Hotel Porto Roca (Monterosso al Mare)

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Hotel Marina (Monterosso al Mare)

Budget Accommodation: Ostello Corniglia

You can also find many rental properties to stay at in Cinque Terre.

A woman enjoying a beautiful beach day in Monterosso al Mare during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

Since you’ve been traveling nonstop during this 14-day itinerary, it’s best to take it easy on your first day in Cinque Terre. I suggest heading to Monterosso al Mare and enjoying the Stella Marina Beach Club, where you can rent a lounge chair and experience convenient beach service for the day.

A great restaurant in Monterosso al Mare is Ristorante il Gabbiano, where you can savor pasta with pesto sauce, a staple to the Liguria region. Depending on where you book your accommodation, it’s best to grab dinner at one of the restaurants in that specific town.

Below are great restaurants to dine at in each of the five coastal towns:

Manarola: Ristorante Miky

Vernazza: Ristorante La Torre

Monterosso al Mare: Causapersa

Corniglia: Ristorante Dau Tinola

Riomaggiore: Rio Bistrot

Day 13: Explore the Italian Riviera Coastline

The Cinque Terre town of Manarola during summer.

Your second day in Cinque Terre should include exploring the entire coastline by hiking or taking a boat tour. Of course, if you prefer to relax, that is great to do as well!

One of the best and most rewarding ways to explore Cinque Terre during your Northern Italy trip is by conquering the hikes. Overall, there are 48 hiking trails that are 75 miles (120 km) in this beautiful area. Click here to learn more about Cinque Terre’s hikes.

Some of the best things to do in Manarola during your Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days are to swim at the harbor, take a pesto-making class and eat at the scenic Nessun Dorma, explore and shop around the Old Town.

While in Vernazza, enjoy the small beach, walk around the town, enjoy the breathtaking views, and eat at Ristorante Belforte, located in an 11th-century fortress on top of the harbor.

Visiting Cinque Terre during a Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days.

The best things to do in Corniglia are wine tasting, exploring the village and eating at Osteria A Cantina De Mananan.

During your time in Riomaggiore, wander through the old town, go through the local markets, sunbathe on the beach, watch the sunset on the terrace of the castle and eat at A Pie’ de Ma.

Visiting Monterosso allows you to relax at the beach, take a pesto-making class at the Cinque Terre Cooking School, enjoy incredible views and eat local Ligurian food at L’Ancora della Tortuga.

Day 14: Fly Home from Florence

The David in Florence.

When you return to Florence from Cinque Terre, head to Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola to depart home. Since Florence Airport is small, you’ll likely have a layover in another European city to fly back to places like the United States and Canada.


San Gimignano in Tuscany.

Looking to add to your North Italy trip planner? Check out the blog posts below:

Tuscany

Rome

Amalfi Coast

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best Northern Italy itinerary for 14 days. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

In addition, great and secure luggage storage to utilize during your summer Europe trip is Nannybag! It is easy to use; all you do is download the Nannybag app and type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and depart. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. It’s a convenient way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe.

Traveling around Italy want to take a cooking class? Click here to make memories!

Basic Facts of Italy:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Rome, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Italy Look:

Click here to shop my Poshmark closet!

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on February 24, 2024 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome blog on beautiful Northern Italy. This guide and photos brought back such fond memories of our family trip! These are my favorite places to travel to in Italy, cannot go wrong ~ great landscapes, architecture, cathedrals, museums, food and wine! Love you, mom 👩🏻 xoxo 💖

    • Taylor Deer on February 25, 2024 at 6:26 pm

      There truly is so much in Northern Italy! I love it.

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