Travel itinerary: One week in Italy

Only have one week left of annual leave and have your eye on Italy? Here’s how you can enjoy Tuscany, Umbria, and Rome in just a few days. One week in Italy is not the ideal travel itinerary – the more time, the better! But, it’s definitely still worth the trip, so here is the travel itinerary I followed when I was in your shoes.

I live in Edinburgh, in Scotland. We have direct flights to a few locations in Italy, mostly served by Ryanair, but they don’t run every day. In order to make the most of my trip, I booked a flight in to one airport, travelled around, and then flew out of a different city. It means two separate itineraries and trips, but I think it’s worth it to get to see more of the country.

One week in Italy travel itinerary: Pisa -> Florence -> Perugia -> Rome

Tips on travelling to and around Italy

My flight: EDI-PSA, FR3264, departing at 8:20AM, arriving 12pm

If you’re in Europe, Pisa is a great choice to fly into, or out of. There’s loads of Ryanair and Easyjet flights. The airport is easy to access from the city centre with a little monorail type train directly connecting the train station to the airport. It’s cheap and convenient, and the train station has a left luggage desk so you can enjoy the leaning tower unburdened by your bags!

We opted to just spend the day in Pisa, see the leaning tower have lunch, and then hop on a train to Florence. Trains are a fantastic way to travel around the country, and how we travel around to see as much of Italy as we can. This itinerary travels from Pisa, to Florence, to Perugia, to Rome. It uses only direct trains with less than three hour long journeys. The train between Pisa and Florence is less than an hour!

What to do in Florence

Florence is one of my favourite cities to visit. Forget one week in Italy, I could write a whole one week in Florence itinerary. Between the food, the views, the galleries, and the museums: there’s no shortage of things to do. While you’re here, make sure you visit some of the museums and galleries. If you only have a few days, I’d pick between the Palazzo Vecchio and Brunelleschi’s Duomo. Both have towers you can walk up to enjoy stunning views. But, one has a museum, the other has some stunning architecture and is one of the more famous Catholic churches. If you’re afraid of tight spaces, I’d recommend the Palazzo Vecchio! Plus, that way you get to see the Duomo from your viewpoint. That said, the Duomo does tend to be more of a “classic” tourist spot.

The Uffizi Gallery is the gallery to visit, but you have to book in advance and make some level of a plan for what you want to see because there’s no way to see it all in one day! I had my eye on Donatello’s David though, rather than Michelangelo’s. So, we headed to the Museo Nazionale del Bargello. If you’re a sculpture fan, this is the museum for you. Floors upon floors of sculptures in all varieties will greet you.

Other favourites of mine include Michelangelo’s Square at sunset, and the Ponte Vecchio with a gelato in hand. We lean into the tourist thing in Florence and spent a few evenings drinking in the square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. The food is great everywhere in Florence, and this way we got to people-watch and enjoy the sculptures in the square too. One piece of advice I always follow is to pre-book one nice meal on your holiday so you know no matter what, you’re having a great meal. We booked at il Granaio, which serves classic Italian in a classy space off a little street. I’d definitely recommend!

List of tips:

  • Visit and climb to the top of the Duomo
  • Visit the Palazzo Vecchio Museum and climb its tower
  • Explore the Uffizi Gallery
  • Sculpture sightsee at the Museo Nazional del Bargello
  • Walk across the Ponte Vecchio
  • Walk to Michelangelo’s Square for sunset
  • Eat pizza at Gusto Leo (by Museo Nazional del Bargello)
  • Eat dinner at il Granaio
  • Find the small photo booth and take a series of photos – but you need coins and you will have to wait around 10 minutes for the machine to work its magic!

What to do in Perugia

With only one week in Italy it can be hard to find time in your itinerary to actually switch off and relax. Two days in Perugia in the middle of your holiday will do just that! This ancient Etruscan town is nestled on the top of a hill and is the perfect place to spend a few days just eating, drinking, and relaxing. There’s no shortage of restaurants or aperitivo spots, and if the drinks don’t help, the sunsets are sure to help your stress disappear.

In Perugia, you can enjoy the local museum, explore an Etruscan well, visit the factory of the famous chocolate makers ‘Baci’, and sit in the Giardini Carducci to watch the sun set. The hotel Sina Brufani has a stunning restaurant and bar located right next to the gardens. It’s a perfect spot for aperitifs before or after sunset. In the summer, Perugia is used to hosting many tourists, but in the winter it becomes a quieter, softer version of itself. Restaurants and tourist shops are still open, they’re just rather quiet. You’ll mostly run into students and people bustling about their usual day than you will run into tourists. It makes for a nice stop no matter what time of year!

List of Perugia tips

What to do in Rome

Really, a silly heading. What not to do in Rome?! The list of things to do is long. You’ll know which things you want to see most. My preferences are: the colosseum is quite cool to see, but book a guided tour and book in advance. Also, you can get really nice pictures with it from the Giardinetto del Monte Oppio, and nice spots for drinks with a view up there too. You’ll see plenty of Roman ruins while walking through Rome, so I don’t personally feel the need to pay to see them (though I have). The Trevi Fountain is overrun with tourists (myself included). My take is to get in, get a picture, and get out. It’s hard to stop and enjoy because tourists are there at all hours of the night these days.

My main piece of advice? Find some really nice restaurants. Italy has one of the highest percentages of people with Celiac disease, so if you’re gluten free, this is your time to shine.

List of Rome tips

  • Gluten free pizza at Pizza in Trevi (perfect for after visiting the nearby fountain!)
  • Guided tour of the Colosseum
  • Photos with the Colosseum at Giardinetto del Monte Oppio
  • Drinks at Volpe Pasini bistio italiano (or on Via Delle Terme di Tito) have nice views of the Colosseum
  • The usual tourist spots!

One week in Italy itinerary

Pisa, day 1: Arrive in Pisa! Get the airport tram to the train station, drop your luggage at the left luggage in the station. Then, head in to Pisa to see the leaning tower and eat some food. Once you’re satisfied, hop on the next train to Florence. Check in, and then head out to explore and get some drinks! We went to “touristy” spots in restaurants on the main squares and still enjoyed very nice food and wine at reasonable prices.

Florence, day 2: Start your morning with a walk to get your bearings and stop for a cappuccino and pastry. Visit the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, and stop in at Gusto Leo for lunch afterwards. Walk slowly over to the Palazzo Vecchio to enjoy some of the outdoor sculptures at Uffizi, before heading in to the Palazzo Vecchio to go up the tower. Afterwards, stop for gelato on your walk down the river to Michelangelo’s Square for sunset.

Florence, day 3: Up bright and early for a quick breakfast before you start your day at Uffizi Gallery! Spend as much time exploring as you can stomach before breaking for lunch. Afterwards, head over to the Duomo and don’t forget to have booked your tickets ahead of time! Take a walk over the Ponte Vecchio and have a look in all the different gioellerias before stopping for food. Dinner tonight at il Granaio would be a great way to top off a great trip to Florence.

Perugia, day 4: Travel to Perugia via train after breakfast. Don’t forget to grab a sandwich for the journey! You’ll enjoy some gorgeous views of Umbria along the ride. Once you arrive, hop on the cable car to get up into the city – otherwise you’ll be walking uphill for awhile! Check in, kick your feet up, and then head out for some aperitifs before sunset. Afterwards, walk over to Piazza IV Novembre and stop for dinner along the way.

Perugia, day 5: After breakfast, get your bearings with a guided tour of the city, or stop in the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria to explore the medieval artwork inside. Stop for lunch at one of the many little restaurants like Pasticceria Sandri, and then head over to the Etruscan Well to see a piece of history. Make sure you time your visit with one of their tours, they run hourly! Or, book ahead to visit the Baci Perugina factory and see how the chocolates are made. Make sure to hit up the gift shop before you leave, and have a chocolate for me! They’re my favourite. Dinner is at Enoteca di Perugia, a fantastic little wine bar in the old town.

Rome, day 6: Hop on an early train from Perugia to Rome. Make sure to grab snacks ahead of time, this is your longest train journey of the trip! When you arrive, you can safely tuck your bags away at Stow Your Bags by Termini Station, or leave them at your accommodation. Time to wander, and stop for food, and wander some more! Today would be a good day to visit the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps. The nice thing about Rome is everything is super close to each other! In the afternoon, take a guided tour of the Colosseum, and then head over towards the Roman Forum and Pantheon.

Rome, day 7: Leave this day free to do anything you couldn’t do on day one in Rome, or use it to visit the Vatican City. Make sure to eat your fill of gelato and all levels of delicious Italian food before you leave!

Whatever you take from this itinerary, I hope you enjoy your week in Italy! The trip might feel short, but it will be mighty.

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A weekend in Gothenburg (what to do)

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Your guide to the Gothenburg archipelago

In the foreground is the rocky island with low plants, and in the background is the sea

I spent a long weekend on the Gothenburg archipelago, and this is where I stayed, how I got around, and what I did. I found there were few articles that answered everything in one place, so consider this your English guide to the Gothenburg archipelago.

How to get to the Gothenburg archipelago

Getting there is actually quite easy! Do yourself a favour and download the Västtrafik app. You can buy public transport passes and easily plan your trip using the app. The archipelago is considered in Zon A. First, figure out where you’ll get the tram from in the city, and then figure out which island you want to go to (recommendations below). Then, you can plan your travel. You’ll get the tram from the city centre to Saltholmen, and then walk just a few metres to the ferry port. Your app will tell you which platform your ferry is leaving from, and at what time.

Keep an eye on when the boat is leaving from Saltholmen, and only buy your ticket when it’s within 1.5 hours so that you don’t have to buy a second pass. Your Västtraffik ticket gets you on the trams and the boats in one go, so actually quite affordable to get there! But, some ferries only go once or twice a day, so definitely plan ahead.

Where to go for just one day

If you’re short on time but you still want to see the archipelago, fear not! The ferries to and from Brännö run very regularly (every half hour or every hour), and only take 15 minutes from Saltholmen. That means you can get from the city centre to the archipelago in under an hour if you plan ahead!

Brännö has a population of around 800 year round inhabitants. There’s a cafe, and a number of nature walks. You can take a walk up to a lookout that gives a great view of the archipelago, and looks back on Gothenburg. To find the lookout follow the signs to the nature reserve and turn right at the street before the turn up to the nature reserve. Follow the road until you find a path, and then keep climbing until you’re at the Old Pilot Lookout. You’ll see a little red house on top of a rock when you get there!

Getting to Galterö from Brännö

You can also walk to the neighbouring island of Galterö by following the nature reserve signs. Once you reach the path, just stay on it until you reach a little bridge. Once you’ve crossed, you’re on Galterö! Galterö is entirely a nature reserve, so wander at your leisure and enjoy the stunning views. I ran into a little troop of sheep while I was there, but only one other group of humans!

Where to stay on the archipelago?

I stayed for a weekend in an Airbnb on Asperö, the closest island to Gothenburg. The Airbnb was in a cabin on a family’s land and their home was very near. This was a nice place for me to be able to easily get back to the city as the ferries on this route run often, or go further into the archipelago. In the future, I think I would stick to the Asperö/Brännö islands for this reason. Larger islands like Styrsö and Brännö also have Bed and Breakfasts if you prefer that kind of accommodation, but I found it very useful to have access to my own kitchen while staying there as there are few restaurants.

What’s the best time of year to visit the Gothenburg archipelago?

The archipelago really comes to life in summer. The communities are booming and there’s a lot of events and activities. You can go swimming and kayaking and enjoy all that the archipelago has to offer best at this time. That being said, it’s also very enjoyable in the spring and fall, but you would likely stick more to hiking and nature walks at this time. In the winter the weather can be quite cold, so if you’re not used to this kind of weather it’s best to avoid.

And that is your guide to the archipelago! Any questions? Please leave them below and I will try to answer. You may also be interested in…

A weekend away in Gothenburg

It’s so easy to get to Gothenburg for a weekend, and it’s a great city to visit if you want to see Sweden on a tighter budget! I’ve visited twice now, and I’ll definitely be back again. It’s one of my favourite cities to visit, year round. Here’s your guide to Gothenburg for a weekend getaway:

Flights to Gothenburg

Ryanair does a ton of cheap flights between Gothenburg and Dublin, Edinburgh, Milan, and a number of other European cities. From where I live in Edinburgh, I’ve gotten flights for as little as £17 return for a weekend trip! Many people I know have never gone because they think Sweden is super expensive. I’d say Gothenburg is to Stockholm what Edinburgh is to London in terms of prices. I certainly didn’t find it anymore expensive than it would have been to travel within the U.K.

A few weekends ago, I flew out on a Wednesday evening and back on a Monday evening. It was just a long weekend – but it felt like a proper break from work!

Where to stay in Gothenburg

It can be quite expensive to stay in the most central part of the city where most hotels are. Definitely have a look on and see if you can get any deals if you prefer staying in hotels. However, my favourite part of the city is on the other side of the big park called Slottskogen. I’ve rented Airbnbs in areas like Masthugget and Majorna, and absolutely adore it. It’s only a 20-30 minute walk in the morning through Slottskogen to the city centre, and you can easily get the tram in a matter of minutes. The neighbourhoods are so stunning and cosy, and I definitely feel like you get more of the “Swedish” experience to speak staying in these areas, and it’s usually a lot cheaper. If you’re staying for a longer weekend, you can even split your time between the city and the archipelago.

On my last trip I stayed in this Airbnb in Majorna. We walked into the city via Slottskogen every morning, and got the tram to Majvallen every evening. On Friday we even popped back to the Airbnb mid-day for a break, and it didn’t feel like a long trek to do so.

The Gothenburg archipelago

You can get to the archipelago via tram and boat in less than an hour from the city centre. It costs just a few pounds to ride public transport for an hour and a half, and that includes both the tram and the boat so it’s quite affordable. The Gothenburg archipelago will get it’s own blog entirely, and I recommend checking it out if you’re in the city for more than a few days!

What to do in Gothenburg

Years ago after my first visit I wrote 10 Things To Do In Gothenburg, Sweden – it still stands. My absolute favourites from the list include visiting Slottskogen and the cafes and petting zoo inside of it, and going to Haga for fika. You can also easily visit the archipelago even just for the day. Getting to the island Brännö is quite a quick trip. The island reflects much of the rest of the archipelago; around 800 people live there year round, there’s a wee cafe and restaurant, and a number of nature walks. It has a large nature reserve as well, which leads to a bridge to the neighbouring island of Galterö, an island that is entirely a nature reserve.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments below! I’ll definitely be back to Gothenburg for a weekend soon. I think I’ll even plan a bit of a longer trip next time and get the train to Stockholm, or somewhere else in Sweden so I can see a bit more of the country.

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