22 days in Northwest Italy & Switzerland Itinerary

22 days in Northwest Italy & Switzerland Itinerary

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Rome, Italy
— 3 nights
Florence, Italy
— 4 nights
Venice, Italy
— 3 nights
Colico, Italy
— 3 nights
Zermatt, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Drive to Verbania,Intra, Ferry to Laveno, Drive to Lugano
Lugano, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Zurich, Switzerland
— 2 nights


Rome, Italy — 3 nights

Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
Explore hidden gems such as Villa Borghese and Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica. Popular historic sites such as Colosseum and Piazza Navona are in your itinerary. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rome: Castello Orsini-Odescalchi (in Bracciano) and Necropoli della Banditaccia (in Cerveteri). The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Palatine Hill, explore the activities along Lago di Bracciano, stroll the grounds of Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Vatican Museums.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Rome using our trip planner.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Rome is an approximately 9-hour flight. Traveling from Dubai to Rome, you'll gain 3 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Dubai in July, plan for little chillier days and colder nights in Rome: temperatures range from 37°C by day to 24°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 11th (Mon) before leaving for Florence.
Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks
Side Trips

Florence, Italy — 4 nights

Considered a cultural, artistic, and architectural jewel of Italy, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
Get some historical perspective at Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and San Gimignano 1300. Discover out-of-the-way places like Centro Storico and Comune Di Certaldo. Venture out of the city with trips to Centro Storico di Siena (in Siena), Poggio Amorelli (in Castellina In Chianti) and Montefioralle Winery (in Greve in Chianti). Dedicate the 11th (Mon) to wine at some of the top wineries in the area. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Baptistery of St. John, examine the collection at Synagogue and Jewish Museum of Florence, don't miss a visit to Piazzale Michelangelo, and steep yourself in history at Basilica of Santa Croce.

To find maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Florence trip builder site.

You can take a train from Rome to Florence in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Traveling from Rome in July, Florence is slightly colder at night with lows of 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Venice.
Historic Sites · Wineries · Tours · Museums
Side Trips

Venice, Italy — 3 nights

Virtually unchanged for the last six centuries, Venice is actually a group of islands made famous by a series of canals, bridges, monuments, piazzas, and narrow pedestrian lanes.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Piazza San Marco and Bibione Lighthouse. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Centro Storico di Venezia and T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi. When in Venice, make a side trip to see La spiaggia di Pluto in Bibione, approximately Bibione away. The adventure continues: admire the landmark architecture of Basilica di San Marco, take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, stop by Mater Domini, and pause for some serene contemplation at San Giorgio Maggiore.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Venice trip itinerary maker site.

Traveling by car from Florence to Venice takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. July in Venice sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to travel to Colico.
Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks · Outdoors
Side Trip

Colico, Italy — 3 nights

Colico is a city in the province of Lecco, Lombardy, Italy. Step out of the city life by going to Sentiero Valtellina and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Explore hidden gems such as Castello di Corenno Plinio and Santuario Della Madonna delle Grazie di San Martino. Explore Colico's surroundings by going to Chiesa di Santa Marta (in Bellano) and Via Spluga (in Chiavenna). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Molino Maufet, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Monte Grona, pause for some serene contemplation at Chiesa Santa Maria del Tiglio, and explore the stunning scenery at Orrido di Bellano.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read Colico day trip tool.

Getting from Venice to Colico by car takes about 4 hours. In July, daytime highs in Colico are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Thu) to allow time for travel to Zermatt.
Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Nature
Side Trips

Zermatt, Switzerland — 3 nights

Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Thu): deepen your understanding of the past and present with Hinterdorfstrasse. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Intercontinental Church Society, take in panoramic vistas at Gornergrat, then see the winter wonderland with Sunnegga, then don't miss a visit to Riffelsee, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Kapelle Gornergrat "Bernhard von Aosta".

To find reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Zermatt online sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Colico to Zermatt takes 4.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sun) so you can travel to Lugano.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Lugano, Switzerland — 3 nights

Located in the popular holiday region of Ticino, Lugano is the largest Italian-speaking town in Switzerland.
Popular historic sites such as Monte San Giorgio and La Chiesa Di San Giovanni Battista are in your itinerary. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Monte San Salvatore and Centro storico Gandria. Explore Lugano's surroundings by going to Airolo (Funivie Airolo-Pescium & St Gotthard Pass), Cascate di Santa Petronilla (in Biasca) and Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie (in Bellinzona). There's still lots to do: walk around Parco Ciani, trek along The Olive Grove Trail, enjoy the sand and surf at Lido di Lugano, and stop by Laderach Chocolaterie Suisse.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Lugano trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Zermatt to Lugano takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and tram. July in Lugano sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 20°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Zurich.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Zurich, Switzerland — 2 nights

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Wed): step into the grandiose world of Munot, get to know the fascinating history of Altstadt Schaffhausen, then take some stellar pictures from Rhine Falls, then take a stroll through Bahnhofstrasse, and finally take a stroll through Schanzengraben Canal. Here are some ideas for day two: wander the streets of Old Town, look for gifts at Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland, take a stroll through Niederdorf, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Limmatquai, and finally wander the streets of Lake Zurich, Eastern Bank.

For maps, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Zurich online trip maker.

Getting from Lugano to Zurich by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. Traveling from Lugano in July, things will get slightly colder in Zurich: highs are around 30°C and lows about 17°C. You will have some time to spend on the 29th (Fri) before leaving for home.
Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Shopping · Nature
Side Trips

Lake Como travel guide

Gardens · Architectural Buildings · Churches
A favorite vacation spot for more than a century, Lake Como was once an exclusive retreat for local aristocrats and wealthy people. It is not only one of Europe's most beautiful lakes, but also one of the deepest at more than 400 m (1,300 ft). Surrounded by elegant villas, the lake has become a popular holiday destination for tourists because of its range of attractions, from landscapes, wildlife, and spas, to activities like sailing, windsurfing, and kite-surfing. The area has been an inspiration for artists since Roman times. English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, "This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty…It is long and narrow and has the appearance of a mighty river winding among the mountains and the forests."

Switzerland travel guide

Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.