Itinerary of Italian Backpacking Trip


A year ago today Hubby and I were arriving home after a long sleepless flight from Italy. It was sad to say goodbye to Europe but I was more than ready to see my little munchkin, Mochito. I missed my comfy bed, my makeup, and straightener. I know it sounds vain but when you backpack for a vacation you give up a few little things. Well many!

In love in Venice

It has been a year since our adventurous Italian trip. When we started with the plans for our trip and for me to do a study abroad in Italy, the research nerd (ME) was glued to the computer for days. This was not just a major opportunity for me to study art but for a vacation with my hubby, after the I completed the school trip of course. I mean I would already be there and all we had to do was buy another ticket to get him to Italia. So a lot of research and TripAdvisor is always your friend. It was just not fair for me to fly across the ocean to a beautiful destination and Mr. Husband stay behind just taking care of my puppy. Yup, we decided to make this our second honeymoon, especially since our first one was just OK.

Last Day School
Last day of school goodbye dinner

I still can’t believe it has been an entire year since we walked the adorable streets in San Marino, took in the breathtaking views in Venice, ate amazing pizza in Salerno and had mass at the Pantheon in Rome. Time goes by so fast, actually, that’s how life works so you should do exciting and fun things as much as possible.

Hubby arrived two days before my study abroad program was over. While I was finishing up he toured Florence on his own. He got the very rushed version unlike me, who had been there almost a month, I was a local already! But we had a mission, to see as much as possible of Italy as we could see. Why do it this way? Well back to the previous paragraph, life is short, you never know what will happen. I make my entire life an adventure, and in the event that we don’t return to Italy, hey at least we saw plenty. If life gives us the opportunity to see it again at least we know what areas we want to return to explore.

Our first train
Our first train ride


Leaning Tower of Pisa


Pisa was one of those places that has been engraved in our minds since we first study about the famous leaning tower. So it was a must stop for us. We knew it would only be a small trip, my true destination that day was Genoa. Well, it was a small trip, but not as simple as we thought. It is quite a walk from the train station to the tower. Normally it would be a piece of cake but remember we were being backpackers. This explains why we ate a lot of carbs (pizza & pasta) and actually lost close to 10 pounds!



  • Leave Pisa and head to Genova
  • Train Station Pisa Centrale to Genova Principale or Brigole
  • Map
Coffee in Genova
Coffee in Genova


Our silly mistake, we took the first train from Pisa to Genova. It ended up being the furthest from our hotel. But it was a happy accident because we walked through the middle of the city, seeing so much that we may have missed if we would have arrived the other to other train station. The other train station was right by our hotel but a distance away from the middle of the city. Genova to me is one trip I want to go back to and stay in a really nice hotel overlooking the water. Hubby and I were being typical tourists, one with a map (to understand what we were looking at) and the other (me) with a camera snapping away. There was so much beautiful architecture and history written all over the city.



  • From Genova to Milan
  • Train Station Genova Principale or Brigole to Milan Centrale
  • Map
A quick snap at the Milan train station with all our gear

Our original plan included a stop in Milan. For me, it was to see Da Vinci’s last supper and to shop. But the more I read about how the lines were and knowing we wanted to see so much we decided to skip it and make it back on our next stop to Italy. We still had to make a quick stop to catch the next train to Verona, which had more to see. Yet our family back home thought they knew our itinerary, thought we were in Milan when the earthquake happened. We missed it by one day.


  • From Milan to Verona
  • Milano Centrale to Verona Porta Nova
  • Map
Verona Date
Verona Date


I did my research and Verona was a place both of us wanted to see. We even had plans of staying two days there and contemplated on a third because there was so much. It was nice but to us not a place but as backpackers we didn’t want to spend an extra day or even two. It’s beautiful, lots of history and plenty of touristy things to see and do, we just need to return with the right attire. It was more of a snooty crowd than what we care for and not to mention when you are backpackers you are limited on your stuck up attire. So we decided to head out to Venice early.



  • From Verona to Venice
  • Verona Porta Nova to Venezia Santa Lucia
  • Map
You just can’t help falling in love with Venice

I personally loved Venice, I spent 2 days with our study group and couldn’t wait to show my hubby this gorgeous place. Santa Lucia train station dumps you off literally in front of the Grand Canal. I wish I would have taken a picture of him when he saw it for the first time. So it’s safe to tell you that the day we cut off in Verona got used in Venice. We spend 2 1/2 days in Venice and still didn’t see everything we wanted to see. We know we will be planning a trip to Venice, maybe for one of our anniversaries, but definitely worth a 2-3 week stay.

He was amazed by Venice’s beauty

I booked a hotel near the train station, remember we were doing the whole heavy backpack thing. There was no way we could go across Venice with so much on our backs. I had stayed in a small hotel with my school, of course, they were completely booked. But I booked an even better hotel on the same street, not to mention that the staff was so friendly they gave us tips and suggested places to go. We will give you all our in detailed Venezia adventure in another post.


  • From Venice to Rimini
  • Venezia Santa Lucia to Rimini Train Station (Then bus stop to San Marino)
  • Map
San Marino
He turned into an Italian man midway through our trip

I know Rimini is supposed to have a pretty beach, but to me, San Marino was calling my name. The artist in me was telling me how I could take amazing pictures for my artwork. My inner voice was right, but it didn’t tell me that I was going to really work for it.


  • Rimini Train Station to Bologna Train Station
  • (Final destination Salerno)

This was not planned, I didn’t think we would have been at Rimini that late after San Marino. We assumed we could get an overnight train and just sleep our way to Salerno. Being that we were winging some things based on if we liked where we were, being spontaneous with the train didn’t work in our favor. We took the train to Bologna. Where we eventually got a train to Salerno. We will discuss our interesting San Marino trip in on another post.


  • From Bologna to Salerno
  • Bologna Train Station to Rome Train Station to Salerno Train Station
  • Map


Salerno was the Hubby’s choice and after experiencing it I enjoyed it as well. It reminded me of Genoa. It was by far not touristy at all, I think that’s why we liked it. The typical tourist stays in the main major places in Italy and we like to mix with the locals. I booked a hotel the night before in walking distance from the train station. Remember by now we are exhausted with our backpacks.
We arrived pretty early that we got to really take our time and sightsee. If you ask Senor Foodie he will tell you that Salerno was the best Pizza he had in all of Italy, he wanted to order another to take with him. Make sure you stop by and taste and let us know, it is called La Madegra. We had gelato in the park with all the locals and saw brides and grooms getting their pictures taken. It was like being in a small town in my country (Guatemala). It was so relaxing compared to some of our other stops. Salerno is another place we would like to return and explore with more time.


  • Salerno to Rome
  • Map
My handsome husband in Rome
My handsome husband in Rome

Rome is a place that everyone no matter their religion wants to go to. We were not the exception, but I was willing to give it up to stop somewhere else, but the Hubby really wanted to stop here. I figured he had carried my bag along with his in San Marino that I figured it was the least I can do for him.
Maybe this was a trip we should have done earlier on our trip and maybe we would have had more energy and patience. I booked a hotel again in walking distance of the train station, thank God since Rome is not the easiest city to walk around in. We saw so many things, I’m sure all major things to see, it’s hard to miss when they are everywhere. But at the end of our first day of Rome and we had scheduled 3 days in Rome, one of us had enough, and it was not me. We only did 2 days in Rome and I think that is cutting it really short. There was more for us to see but the body was close to exhaustion. So we contacted our friends at the hotel we used for Hubby’s stay in Florence and told them we were arriving a day earlier.

Day 9

  • Rome to Florence
  • Map
So tired from our backpacking adventure
So tired from our backpacking adventure

We felt like we arrived HOME when we got to Santa Maria Novella Train station. To me, it had been home for almost a month, but I was surprised Mr. Husband felt the same way. One he was completely tired and two people in Florence are super friendly to tourists unlike other places on our backpacking adventure.

Day 10

  • Florence
Can you tell how much we love Florence?
Can you tell how much we love Florence?

This was the original day that we were supposed to be arriving in Florence and we didn’t have anything planned. We decided to take it super easy. We went shopping for us and we spent the day being little food bees, tasting here and there. I finally had my gelato on a waffle! I had been eyeing it since day one of my trip. It was not that great, I guess I waited too long and the anticipation killed it.

He was addicted to Italian pizza
He was addicted to Italian pizza

Day 11

The day we go home, a bittersweet goodbye to Firenze. I loved this place, I could walk around and actually not be lost. Back home to Mochito!!!

Good Bye Italia
Good Bye Italia

Leslie M. Guzmán is a Guatemalan artist best known for her creative explorations of world cultures. Her works capture the untold stories of people, objects and the places from which they come.


  • mamasewcrafty

    Loved reading this! Fantastic itinerary! I lived in Italy for several years. Love Rome and Florence! Looks like you had the trip of a lifetime!!!

  • Suzanne Hines

    Wow! That is fabulous! You did so much with the time you had! My husband and I want to backpack Europe one day! Since we are so young and already have so many kids, we will probably wait until the kids are either old enough to go with us, or out of the house so we can go alone! Haha!

  • kikidavies

    Thanks for taking me back! We did 10 days in Italy last summer and I LOVED it! We did Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Siena and Rome!

  • Janine Good

    Great piece! I was sad to read that you thought the people in Verona were snooty, my hubby and I loved it so much there 🙂 Italy is a lovely place full of culture. Makes me want to go back for a fourth trip 🙂

  • Euge Nia

    I adore Italy, my fav towns are the eternal city (Rome), romantic Venice and magic Florence and Pisa! I am so glad you enjoyed your trip in this wonderful country! Your itinerary is simply great!

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    I see it being a little harder to backpack with kids. That’s why we made it happen before we got pregnant. Husband swears we will still be adventurous with our little one.

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    See I missed Cinque Terre, having to do school work. I plan on going back soon, I have to finish my Italian series so I will make a stop at Cinque Terre.

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    Maybe it was the season we were there. It was not tourists, seemed like it was other Italians and Europeans. Businesses were not as friendly as Florence in comparison. I think you can add 10 trips to Italy and still not see enough.

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    Thank you. I need to break it down and show the gorgeous photographs that I took in each region. I agree with romantic Venice, I want to go back and stay a week or two, I can get lost in the architecture.

  • mamasewcrafty

    Rome is hard because there’s so much to see that you don’t want to miss. A lot of the charm lies outside the major tourist draws in the neighborhoods in the outskirts. Going back is always a fantastic idea! Can’t wait to read about it!

  • Garth

    Incredible itinerary you did so much! I loved Florence and Venice, would really love to go to Bologna next time, heard a lot of good things about that city, thanks for sharing!

  • Leslie M. Guzman

    Even though that was not our favorite place we would go back because you’re so right there is so much to see. We were just tired and so little time at the end. Just need months to spend there not just weeks.

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