A week in Italy: what to do and see in 6, 7 or 8 days?
Have you decided to go to Italy for a week ?
Very good choice!
To help you prepare for your stay, I have concocted a one-week Italy itinerary. On the program for these 7 days Northern Italy itinerary, discover the places of interest and the unmissable cities of Milan, Turin and Lake Como.
If you want to visit another region of Italy on your trip, you can read one of our other articles (click on the following links):
In this article, find all the things to see every day and all my advice for visiting Italy in 6, 7 or 8 days. I also give you the list of the best hotels to stay at each stage.
So, what to do and see in 1 week in Italy?
Day 1-2: Milan
To visit Italy in a week, I suggest you start with Milan.
It is the most practical because the city has a very well served international airport, the second most important in Italy behind that of Rome.
The airport being 50 km from the city center, the best way to reach your hotel is then to take the train or the bus. I do not recommend taxis, which, even if they all charge a fixed price, will take you 95 euros for the race!
For this week-long Italy itinerary, car rental is not mandatory. Milan and Turin can be visited very well on foot or by public transport and you can go from one stage to the other by train.
Arrived in Milan, I suggest you start with the essential place to see in town: the Duomo of Milan.
Located in the historic center, depending on the location of your hotel, you can walk there or take the metro to the Duomo stop, which ends directly opposite.
Milan Cathedral , the third largest in the world, is a true masterpiece whose construction spanned 500 years.
From the outside, you can admire thousands of statues and the 136 spiers of its roof. You will better understand why it is nicknamed “the marble hedgehog”.
And its interior, including the sarcophagi and the tombs of the archbishops is also worth seeing.
During your visit, you will also have the possibility of going up to the terrace of the Duomo (by a staircase or by elevator) to enjoy the panorama of the whole city.
After the cathedral, head for the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery, which is located right next door.
The place is home to several luxury boutiques, but even if you’re not a fan of shopping, you absolutely have to go there to admire its architecture.
Its arcades and its glass and iron dome have contributed to making it one of the most beautiful galleries in Europe!
Exit the gallery by the North corridor and you will fall directly on Piazza della Scala where the Milan Opera is located .
Don’t stop at the rather banal facade, the interior of the building houses one of the most prestigious rooms in all of Italy. Here, mythical works have been performed and the famous singer Maria Callas has also sung there.
Continue this first day of your week-long Italy itinerary, reaching the Sforza Castle, 1 km on foot from the Opera.
Built in the 14th century, it notably housed the workshops of Leonardo da Vinci during the Renaissance and now includes many different museums:
- The Museum of Ancient Art
- The museum of prehistory
- The Museum of Decorative Arts
- The Egyptian Museum
- The Art Gallery
- The Museum of Musical Instruments
- The furniture museum.
You are of course not obliged to visit them but you can enter the vast interior courtyard for free to admire the building.
Crossing it from one end to the other, you will then come out in Sempione Park, the main green space in Milan. Take a leisurely stroll to the Arco Della Pace, to the north of the park.
You will then be only a few minutes walk from Chinatown, which includes small inexpensive shops and traditional restaurants.
Spend the night in Milan.
For the second day of your week-long Italy itinerary, I suggest you continue your visit to Milan.
I advise you to start with a rather unusual discovery, that of the monumental cemetery. Don’t worry, nothing creepy here but many very original tombs constituting a real open-air museum.
Tombs in the shape of a pyramid, an immaculate tower or even a marble canopy, audacity and creativity await you! And so as not to miss the most important ones, I recommend that you take the map of the cemetery at the entrance.
Some practical information:
- The cemetery can be reached by metro (Monumental stop) or a 20-minute walk from Piazza del Duomo.
- It is closed on Mondays.
- Free entry.
After your visit to the cemetery (allow approximately 1h to 1h30), I recommend that you take the metro to go to the Leonardo da Vinci science and technology museum .
Take the Monumental – Garibaldi line and change lines for the Ambrosio stop. From there, you will be right next to the museum.
If you want to walk there from the cemetery, it takes 40 minutes.
The Leonardo da Vinci museum exhibits numerous models of Italian genius and is also interested in various fields: aviation, rail and naval transport, automobiles, space and communications.
It is huge and it takes at least 3 good hours to go around it, even half a day.
On leaving, I advise you to pass by the Saint-Ambroise Basilica, less than 5 minutes away on foot.
It is one of the oldest churches in the city and its exterior, with its 2 asymmetrical towers, is rather atypical. The crypt inside the church houses the relics of several saints, including that of Saint Ambrose, the city’s patron saint.
For the rest of the day, I suggest an optional visit: that of the church of Santa Maria della Grazie, which is only a few minutes walk from Saint-Ambroise.
You can admire one of the most famous paintings in the world: “The Last Supper”, which we owe once again to Leonardo da Vinci.
I specify that it is an option because you will have to reserve your time slot in advance. It’s up to you to see if this can fit into your program.
At the end of the day, it will be time to conclude your discovery of Milan with a stroll in the Navigli district. Very picturesque, the canal district is also very lively in the evening.
Here you will find bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Spend a second night in Milan.
For more information about Milan or organizing your own schedule, you can also read my other article: What to do in Milan?
Tips for your Italy itinerary:
To visit Milan in 2 days, you can take the Milan Pass.
It includes all the entrances to the sites that I propose in my schedule: the ticket for the terraces of the Duomo, the free entrance to La Scala and the Leonardo da Vinci museum.
When purchasing your Milan Pass, you will also be able to choose between 2 transport options:
- A 48h ticket for the City Sightseeing bus
- A ticket to use public transport (metro, tram and bus) free of charge for 48 hours.
To buy your Milan City Pass now, just click here.
Do not hesitate to study its profitability according to the visits you wish to make.
Otherwise, you always have the option of taking your skip-the-line tickets on a case-by-case basis here:
- The Cathedral of Milan
- Guided tour of the Duomo
- Access to the roof of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery
- La Scala in Milan
- da vinci’s last supper
- The Leonardo da Vinci Science and Technology Museum
- The Hop-On Hop-off tourist bus
Accommodation in Milan
- Hostel Colours : Youth hostel, located in the Citta Studi district, 5 minutes walk from a metro station. Dormitory bed from €20, breakfast included. Most: quiet, clean, reception open 24 hours a day.
- Hotel Da Vinci : Located away from the city center but only 10 minutes walk from a metro station. Huge double room with modern and bright decoration from €54 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: quiet, spacious rooms, free parking, very generous buffet breakfast. Our big favorite for its price/performance ratio in Milan!
- 43 Station Hotel : 2 steps from Milan Central Station. Modern and spacious room from €89 per night, breakfast at €8. Pros: Brand new and well-equipped hotel, hearty breakfast, ideal location.
- Suite Milano Duomo: 5 star hotel located 5 minutes from Milan Cathedral. Spacious and design room from 325€ per night. Most: location, hospitality, staff. This is our recommendation for a luxury romantic stay in Milan.
Tips for your Italy itinerary:
If you have not found the hotel corresponding to your expectations or if it is already full at the time of your departure, I advise you to read my other article including a wider selection of hotels, classified by districts and depending on your budget.
You’ll find it here: The best hotels to stay in Milan.
Day 3: Excursion around Milan
For the second leg of your one-week itinerary in Italy, I suggest you take a day trip around Milan.
From Milan, you will have the choice between 2 easily accessible places : Lake Como or the city of Bergamo.
Option 1 – Lake Como
Lake Como is really a must for a 1 week Italy itinerary.
To get there from Milan, you have several options:
- By car: 1 hour drive.
- By train: 1 hour for less than 10 euros round trip.
Whether you are driving or arriving by train, I advise you to start by visiting the pretty village of Como, located on the edge of the lake.
Stroll through the historic center and then reach Piazza Caviour. From there, you can embark on a mini cruise of about 2 hours on the lake. The best way to contemplate the villages and the splendid villas.
The boat will then drop you off at the village of Bellagio, which is one of the best known on Lake Como. Take time to explore it on foot.
For the return, you can leave by boat or take the bus to Como which is still faster (45 minutes).
At the end of the afternoon, once back in Como, I advise you to take the funicular which is at Via . It will take you to the top of the Brunate hill overlooking the village and which offers a splendid view of the lake and the surrounding area.
At sunset, it’s even more beautiful!
Return to Milan for the night.
3) With an organized excursion with transport and guide included.
From Milan, you can opt for an excursion to spend the day at Lake Como without having to worry about organizational issues.
All you have to do is go to Duomo Square to be picked up. Transport is by luxury coach and you will be accompanied by a professional guide for the visits.
During this day, you will have the chance to visit the city center of Como and then embark on a cruise to Bellagio. The visit of the latter as well as the village of Varenna are also on the program!
This all-inclusive outing to Lake Como can be booked directly here.
Option 2 – Bergame
Visiting Bergamo is another idea of things to do on your 7 day Northern Italy itinerary.
As with Lake Como, you can reach Bergamo very easily from Milan:
- By car: 1 hour drive
- By train: count a little over 1 hour.
- By choosing an organized excursion with transport included.
In Bergamo, you can discover the part of the old town located up high: the Città Alta. It is accessible on foot by going up Viale Roma or by funicular (much less tiring!).
To see in the Città Alta of Bergamo:
- The Church of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco which houses beautiful frescoes
- The old square where you can find the Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo della Ragione
- Piazza del Duomo where you can visit Bergamo Cathedral and the Baptistery
- The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, renowned for its magnificent vaults
- The castle di San Vigilio offering beautiful views of the city and the surrounding hills.
If you prefer to visit Bergamo with an organized tour, no problem, I recommend this one. You will discover all the places that I mentioned to you previously while being accompanied by a guide.
Transportation is included from Milan.
To book by clicking here.
Spend another night in Milan.
Day 4-6: Turin
After visiting Milan, Lake Como or Bergamo, the next stage of this 1-week Italy itinerary takes you to Turin.
From Milan, it takes about 1h45 by car or 1 hour by train to go to Turin.
For your first day in Turin, here is the itinerary to follow:
- Passage through Place San Carlo, very photogenic with its 2 twin churches and the equestrian statue of the Duke of Savoy which sits in the center
- Go up to Piazza Castello bordered by many historical monuments
- Visit of the Royal Palace. This is clearly my favorite place in Turin. One can discover the king’s apartments, the library, the gardens and the royal armory with an impressive collection of armor and stuffed hair. This is really well done!
For the afternoon, I recommend that you visit a second museum: the cinema museum . It is in the Mole Antonelliana.
Here too, I was more than pleasantly surprised by its modernity and the quality of the exhibits. Being a big Star Wars fan, I even got to see helmets from the saga.
The Cinema Museum is also known for a unique attraction: an indoor panoramic elevator that takes you to the top of the Mole to take in the view.
After the visit, reach the other beautiful square to see in Turin: Piazza Veneto.
Then cross the river passing by the Emanuel I bridge and you will arrive in front of the Gran Madre de Dio church. It is said that the Holy Grail is hidden there…
Finish the day by taking the climb located behind the church and which leads to the Mont des Capucins. The place offers one of the most famous views of Turin.
Spend the night in Turin.
The next day, we continue this 7-8 day Northern Italy itinerary, staying in Turin.
In the program:
1) Visit of Saint Jean Baptiste Cathedral.
This church is a must because it is supposed to house the Holy Shroud, the shroud that wrapped the body of Christ. It is exposed inside but you will not be able to see it because it is protected by a waterproof casing.
2) Passage through the Palatine Gate, one of the 4 entrances to Turin in Roman times
3) Go to Piazza della Republica which hosts one of the largest open-air markets in Europe every morning . More than 1,000 merchants offer fruit and vegetables, cheeses, charcuterie, clothing and other accessories.
4) Discovery of the Consolata sanctuary, a very old church in Turin.
5) Passage through the Carignan Palace.
You can (optionally) visit the Risorgimiento museum dedicated to the history of the unification of the states of Italy. Interesting from a historical point of view but the presentation is a bit dusty.
6) Then go to the Egyptian Museum of Turin.
It is the second largest of its type in the world behind that of Cairo. Recently renovated, it brings together countless statues, sarcophagi and of course mummies.
Sleep a second night in Turin.
For the penultimate day of your week-long Italy itinerary, devote the day to Turin.
You still have to visit:
- The automobile museum and its 200 cars, ranked among the 50 best museums in the world by The Times
- Valentino Park and the medieval town of Turin recreating a typical 15th century district and its fortress where you can discover the arms room, the kitchens or the prison.
Then take the funicular to reach the Basilica of Superga. Built at the top of a hill at an altitude of 670 meters, the place allows you to contemplate the city and the peaks of the Alps.
Not to mention that the basilica, with its large circular facade surmounted by a dome is also worth a visit. Inside are the tombs of the kings, princes and princesses of Savoy.
Don’t forget to take the spiral staircase to access the roof and enjoy an even more unobstructed view.
Spend one last night in Turin.
If you want more details on things to do in Turin, it’s in my article: What to see in Turin?
Tips for your Italy itinerary:
To visit Turin in 3 days, I strongly advise you to buy the Torino Piemonte card.
It’s very simple, it allows you free access to all the museums and visits I have told you about. Great savings to be made knowing that the smallest museum in Turin costs around 10 euros.
What’s great is that the validity period of the card does not begin when you buy it but when you present it to the first museum (if you visit your first museum on Monday at 2 p.m. you can use it until Thursday 2 p.m. for a 3-day card).
You must get the card for 3 days by clicking right here.
Accommodation in Turin
- Attic Hostel Torino : Youth hostel located about fifteen minutes on foot from the Royal Palace. Bed in dormitory from 24€. The pluses: the welcome of the managers, the location, the cleanliness and the comfort of the facilities.
- Torino 1854 Affittacamere : Located 700 meters from the Egyptian Museum, this hotel is brand new. Colorful and comfortable double room from 65€ per night. The pluses: its excellent quiet location close to the city center, the modernity of the hotel. It is our favorite for its performance/price ratio.
- Matteotti 25 : Located 10 minutes walk from the Egyptian Museum. Large, modern and bright room from €95 per night, breakfast included. Most: its location, the hearty breakfast.
- NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina: Located right in the historic center of Turin. Elegant and comfortable double room from €200 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the decor and the soundproofing of the rooms, the quality of the breakfast, the ideal location for visiting Turin on foot, the friendliness of the staff, the view from the terrace. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay in Turin.
Tips for your Italy itinerary:
If you prefer to have an entire apartment to have more space and to be able to cook, I strongly recommend that you book accommodation at the Apart Hotel Torino.
They are located 500 meters from Valentino Park. The apartments are modern, fully equipped and the decor is just beautiful! From 100€ per night.
Day 7: Return to Milan
This is where your one-week vacation in Italy ends.
From Turin, drive back up or take the train back to Milan airport.
Tips for your Italy itinerary:
For a stay in Italy of 6 days, I advise you to delete the day at Lake Como/Bergamo or to spend one day less in Turin.
For an 8 day Italy itinerary, you won’t have to choose what you want to do around Milan. You can spend a day at Lake Como and a day in Bergamo.
Do not hesitate to give us your opinion and suggestions on our one week Italy itinerary!
And if you have any questions about visiting Italy in a week, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments.
Are you going to Italy? Read also
- Discover all our articles about Italy: all our articles about Italy are listed here.
- What to do in Italy? The TOP 20 places to visit in the country
- Itinerary: A week in Italy – Visit Milan, Lake Como and Turin in 7 days
- Itinerary: A week in Tuscany – The ultimate itinerary to visit Tuscany in 7-8 days
- 3 Days in Florence: Itinerary with Top 27 Things To Do
- Milan: Top 15 things to do and see absolutely
- Rome: the 25 things to do and see
- Turin: Top 20 must-do things