The Ultimate Italian Road Trip - Dolomites, Tuscany & Cinque Terre

If you are looking for a two week road trip itinerary in Italy then look no further! We have compiled an extensive 14 day itinerary around the Northern part of Italy including places to visit, attractions and activities on offer, and suggestions of where to stay overnight. We did this Italian road trip and put a lot of research into how it would be best to see the sights. Travelling in a campervan around Italy can provide a lot of flexibility, and can also give the ability to change the route easily and spend more or less time at a particular place.


We have put together the Ultimate Italian road trip itinerary, that pretty much centres around the love for Italian landscapes, delicious Italian food, the historic sights and the beautiful buildings there are to visit.

Tuscany Sunset

This time frame can be entirely modified to suit how quickly or how slow you would personally like to travel, but we have given an indication into how many days we spent in each place to help give you a guide on what is possible to achieve. Don’t forget to check out our Detailed packing essentials for your road trip to help you with knowing what to pack.


You can also check out our ENTIRE Italian road trip, and what it is like to travel Italy in a campervan on Youtube here.

We had booked our last minute flights leaving London into Milan and cost 70 GBP/person including 30 kg of luggage (we were flying internationally after)


Picking a campervan

It is possible to use compare websites such as Budget Campervans that will bring up a list of campervan hire companies. We hired from Indie Campers which were relatively basic but suited our budget for what we needed.


One thing to note is it can sometimes be a little trickier to find a decent campervan parking spot in Italy, particularly near to the bigger cities. We will list every parking spot we utilised that we felt comfortable to leave our campervan for the day while went out exploring.


Driving in Italy

The majority of car and campervan rentals will be manual transmission in Italy, which can be pretty tough to navigate when you aren’t used to driving on the right hand side of the road, with a left hand steering wheel.


Wow, does Italy have a lot of toll roads! Prepare to factor this into your budget, you can’t escape it. The tolls range from just a few euros right up to 25 euros being our most expensive journey.


Let’s get into the itinerary.


Milan to Lake Como

Day 1

Leaving London and arriving into Milan Malpensa International airport, many campervan depots are very close by to the airport. There are two Milan airports, be mindful when booking which one you would like to land into. As we would be hiring a campervan for the two weeks in Italy, the Indie campervan depot is just a 10 minute taxi ride from Milan Malpensa airport which makes it a nice and easy pick up in the morning.

Lake Como views in Bellagio

Head straight for Lake Como and don’t forget to make a pit-stop on the way to pick up a food shop for the week. Luckily, the drive from Milan to Lake Como is a short 1.5 hours which will give you chance to get comfortable with driving your campervan.

Lake Como itinerary

Overnight stop: We stayed at Camping Clarke, a really beautiful site, relatively small with lovely owners. They have hot showers and very clean toilets with a place to wash up your kitchenware and fresh drinking water. 35 euros per night (with electricity)

Lake Como - Bellagio

Day 2-3


I Giardini di Villa Melzi

Explore what Bellagio has to offer by taking a stroll down into the town, from Camp Clarke it is a 20 minute walk along the main road to I Giardini di Villa Melzi; a beautiful lakeside botanical garden very close to the main centre of Bellagio. Take a wander through the gardens and soak up the views of Lake Como, there are many photogenic spots here, take some photos and enjoy relaxing on the shoreline.

Cost: 6.50 EURO per adult

Bellagio in Lake Como itinerary

Restaurant Splendide

Enjoy a pizza by the water and watch the boats come in. Sit down at Restaurant Splendide, the service is quick and the pizzas are very good. (33 EUR for two pizzas & beers)

Lake Como restaurant

Walk the town

The best part about Bellagio is the beauty, just taking a stroll around the narrow back streets in fantastic, Bellagio is certainly packed full of Italian character we could have got lost around the narrow paths for hours. Enjoy views of the Basilica of St. Giacomo, a Beautiful Romanesque church in the heart of Bellagio which sounds the bells for the town, a very Italian vibe! For our full time in Lake Como, click here.


Dolomites

Day 4 – 8

The most breathtaking scenery in all of Italy. You will enjoy some of the best drives of your life here, with rugged mountains, beautiful churches and German influenced buildings; it has a completely different feel to the rest of Italy, but just as spectacular!

Val di Funes Church

One of the best parts of the Dolomites is simply the views on the drive, but there are also many, many hikes that are possible to do. There is so much to cover in this large span of land in the Northern part of Italy, but here are some suggestions on what is achievable across the 5 days we had here in the Dolomites.


Note of Parking

Parking the Dolomites was relatively easy with a campervan. You are likely to see a lot more campervans and motorhomes in this area than you will in the rest of Italy. The roads are also a lot more forgiving, they are wide and straight and very easy to navigate for a larger car making the drive very enjoyable!


Day 4

Lake Como to Ortisei

Today will be a driving day, it takes 4.5 hours (on average) to reach Ortisei from Lake Como. It is possible to do it in one hit, or you may want to break up the journey, we suggest stopping at Lago di Garda (Lake Garda) or Bolzano. Ortisei is the perfect base for multiple hikes, these include Alpe Di Siusi, Alpe Di Seceda, and Rasciesa High Alp.


Overnight parking: Outside the Krippeland building. (Do so at your own risk, we left it all day with no issues) Type these co-ordinates into Google Maps: N46°34'26" E11°39'22"


Day 5

Ortisei and Seceda

Seceda 2500m dolomites in italy

Get up early to visit Seceda, 2500m above sea level. From the overnight spot it takes 25 minutes to walk to St Ulrich (Ortisei) in Val Gardena, this is the cable-way station. From here, you can purchase the return (or one way) tickets to ascend to the top of Seceda - 2500m. You will be asked whether you want to purchase to Furnes (the middle station) or to Seceda Mountain station, which is the top station.

Ticket cost is 34 EUR/person

cable car in Seceda, Dolomites Italy (Dolomiti)

As soon as you leave Seceda Mountain station, you are greeted with an incredible view of the dagger peaks. There are many trail options that are signposted once you reach the top. We opted to head towards the Fermeda peaks along trail number 1. It is an easy, flat trail to follow which gives some incredible views as you get closer to the serrated pinnacles.


Other trail options are longer and will take you down close to the mountain huts that you’ll be able to see in the distance from trail number 1.

Seceda itinerary, dolomites italy dolimiti
Seceda 2500m, dolomites italy
Itinerary for Seceda 2500m in Dolomites Italy

Spend the afternoon enjoying Ortisei. It is a gorgeous setting, with the mountains above, colourful houses and beautiful town to take a wander through and find some late lunch. Ortisei has an entirely different feel to what you would believe Italy to have, it is heavily influenced by Austria and Bavaria which you can see in the architecture and food around all of the Dolomites, although, without a doubt you’ll still find an Aperol Spritz!

Seceda Dolomites, Italy

Pick up the campervan and head for Lago Di Braies, the insta-famous lake is about 1.5 hours from Ortisei. On the way take a stop at Val Di Funes and the church of San Giovann. This beautiful lone church sits in the middle of a field with the Dolomites as it’s backdrop, it really is breathtaking!

San Giovann church Val di Funes

Continue the drive to Lago Di Braies and stay there for the night. We took a walk around the lake around sunset and it was the best time to visit. Less visitors and wonderful lighting for photographs.


Overnight stop: Lago Di Braies car park. (20 EUR for the night and the following day)


Day 6

Lago Di Braies, Lago Di Landro and Cortina D’Ampezzo

Wake up early and visit Lago Di Braies (before 7am) we loved visiting Lago di Braies at both sunset and sunrise as the lighting is completely different. From around 9am the boat dock and the lake in general gets extremely busy.


Leave by 9am and head to another lake – Lago di Landro (30 mins drive) Lago di Landro is a lake we stumbled on by complete accident and became one of our favourite stops. It is easily accessible, right by the side of the main road with a ton of parking spaces. The sandy spot is a short walk from the parking area, there isn’t really a path but it is pretty easy to find the opening to the lake once you’re there. The Dolomites backdrop is beautiful, the water is beautiful and the bottom is made of clay and a bit of fun to slip and slide around in! Stay here for a while and have some lunch.

Lago Di Braies
Lago Di Braies

Spend the afternoon in Cortina D’Ampezzo (30 mins drive) Park up at the campsite and take a walk into town. This beautiful town is surrounded by mountains and well known for skiing. As we were here just for the afternoon, we recommend taking a nice stroll around town, shop, eat and indulge in gelato before heading back to the campsite to watch the sunset.


Restaurant recommendation: Il Vizietto di Cortina, right in the heart of town

Overnight stop: Camping Rochetta, 33 EUR for 2 persons/ campervan including power

Day 7

Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, Cadini di Misurina

Wake up before sunrise and drive to Tre Cime Di Lavaredo for a day of hiking! There are more convenient camping options that are closer to the start of Tre Cime should you not want to stay in Cortina, check out the options on the park for night app.

Tre Cime Di Lavaredo National Park - Car park
Tre Cime Di Lavaredo National Park - Car park

Enter the national park (45 EUR per campervan) and drive the winding road up to the parking area. Try and get a parking spot that sits on the edge, facing the road as the view is incredible. We were able to open up our back doors and have an incredible view while we enjoyed a coffee and breakfast in the van the following morning. We decided to do the Cadini di Misurina hike first, as we knew most people will head and start Tre Cime Di Lavaredo first.


Cadini di Misurina


Time taken: 1 hour one way (including stops for photos)

Terrain: There is a proper path the whole way, parts of it do become relatively narrow and hug the side of the cliff, if you’re afraid of heights parts of the hike may make your legs wobble!

Difficulty: Easy

Cadini Di Misurina hike in the Dolomites

The Cadini di Misurina hike was empty, we saw only 3 other couples attempt the hike besides us. To get to this hike, from Rifugio Alonzo turn right instead of left, and pretty much head in the opposite direction of where everybody else is going. You’ll see an un-marked path emerge that takes you away from the Tre Cime di Lavaredo walk, and you will see the stunning Cadini pinnacles in the not too far distance. For full details on this hike, click here.

Cadini Di Misurina
Cadini Di Misurina

This is a short, but extremely photogenic hike. The rugged landscape is in all directions and becomes more impressive the closer you are to the peaks. We returned to the car for a lunch stop, re-fuel with coffee and some food before heading for a second hike in the afternoon – the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike.


Tre Cime di Lavaredo


Time taken: 4 hours 30 mins (including stops for photos, we also took the long way round and did the entire 360 around the three peaks)

Terrain: Most of it is paved, however we took a bumpy path towards the end which was rocky underfoot

Difficulty: Easy (depending on path taken)


Tre Cime is definitely not a ‘hidden gem’ in the Dolomites. It is one of the most photographed hikes, but for good reason. This is why we decided to tackle this hike later in the day as most hikers arrive early and finish before it gets too hot at midday. Start the hike just after 3pm, the sun is cooler and most of the hikers are already finished or heading in the opposite direction which meant by around 5pm, there's a possibility you will pretty much have the hike to yourselves!

Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Dolomites

The path will take you in a full circle around the magnificent peaks that sits at the centre, although you will find sign posted options with more challenging pathways should you wish to take them. Otherwise, the path is relatively wide and very well-sign posted the whole way. For full details on this hike, click here.

Tre Cime Di Lavaredo

There are plenty of places to stop and catch your breath at one of the rifugios along the way, there are three in total offering all sorts of snacks, food and beverages and enjoy the view.

We arrived back to the campsite after 4 + hours of walking, around 7.45pm as the sun was beginning to set over the mountain.


Tip: Pack plenty of water and some snacks, and pack for all weather. We had mainly sun but the weather was very changeable at times.


Overnight stop: Tre Cime di Lavaredo parking lot within the National park. (where the hike starts) included within entry price as long as you leave within 24 hours of ticket purchased.


Tuscany

Day 8

Bologna

We went to Bologna for one thing only, pasta! Bologna is pretty much a foodie heaven, it is on the way to Florence and so it is an easy overnight stop. Stop at Osteria Del’Orsa to try their spaghetti bolognese, and wonder Bologna's Piazza Maggiore which is full of medieval buildings, and beautiful cafes and restaurants that line the cobbled streets.

Bologna city centre
Bologna City Centre
Bologna city centre church, Itinerary

Day 9

Florence


There is plenty to do in Florence to keep you busy, it feels like a mini Rome, most likely down to it once being a Roman city. Florence is known to be one of the most historical and cultural cities in the world, and is home to some of the most incredible museums and art galleries. Places like the Duomo di Firenze and Uffizi gallery attracts over 13 million tourists each year.


Visit the Duomo di Firenze

It is impossible to miss the sensational cathedral in Florence that towers right smack bang in the middle of the city. It is absolutely breathtaking from every angle, and in our personal opinion, it has to be our favourite Duomo of Italy. You can take a walk around inside for free, however there is often a line during the summer to enter. For the other attractions including the dome, bell tower and museum, you will need to purchase a ticket which costs 18 EUR per person and will be valid for 72 hours.

Duomo di Firenze, Florence Catherdral Italy
Duomo di Firenze, Florence Catherdral

To climb to the top of the Duomo in Florence – all 463 steps, you will need to purchase a Duomo Complex ticket and ask for a reservation which will be given at a specific date/time – this will be at a different entrance.


Enjoy an Aperol Spritz

It is a wonderful city to relax and enjoy an Aperol Spritz, there are many gorgeous cobbled streets not far from the main square where it is possible to find cheap spritz during happy hour (3 EUR) It is a perfect afternoon to grab a cheese board and just watch the world go by.


Other worthy spots to take a few snaps include the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and the Piazzale di Michaelangelo also made famous in the Eat, Pray, Love movie.


Overnight stop: Poggio ai Pini campground, 30 EUR/night for 2 persons including electricity


Day 10

San Gimignano, Siena

Leave the campsite and drive to San Gimignano (45 mins drive). San Gimignano feels like a movie set, it’s cobbled streets, gorgeous alley ways and stone architecture is perfect. The town itself is pretty small, and can easily walk around in under an hour. For our full day in San Gimignano and Siena click here.

San Gimignano centre
San Gimignano centre

Stop at Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Experience La Rocca for views over Tuscany, you can even do a little wine tasting here or just take a seat and bask in the landscape. The church bells are a dream, and slices of calzone pizza were mouth-wateringly delicious, at only 3 EUR a slice. Bargain!

Head to Siena for the afternoon, we felt it had a similar feel to San Gimignano but on a bigger scale. The town is larger and parking is a little harder in a campervan, park just 1 min walk from the Vista Panoramica de Siena only a 15 minute walk to the Duomo di Siena. Parking co-ordinates: N43°19'10" E11°19'23" (copy this into google maps)