Land vacation packages in Italy to combine with your cruise

Many cruise guests choose to extend their vacation further by focusing on visiting different regions in Italy that have long been on their bucket lists. We have two great suggestions for land vacation packages in Italy before you start a cruise from Rome.

Visiting the Greek Isles and Italy on a Mediterranean cruise is a combination hard to beat. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a stunning 10-day itinerary that takes you to many of your bucket list destinations in one trip. In addition, you start and end the cruise in Rome, giving you plenty of time to explore the Eternal City for as long as your budget and time allow.

1. Venice – Florence – Rome

Our first choice for one of Italy’s best land vacation packages is a trip combining Venice, Florence, and Rome. Plan to fly into Venice and home from Rome. This type of flight ticket is called open jaw – that is, into one city and home from another. Some good flight deals can be found when you combine airlines for this journey.

Venice

  • Airport: Venice Marco Polo airport (VCE)
  • Best transport options: from the airport to Venezia Piazzale Roma, the central transport hub on Venice island. Bus: ACTV Line 5 or Line 35 ATVO VENEZIA EXPRESS service, 10 euros per person. Taxi: 40 euros one way.
  • Best hotels: Visit our Venice page for information on where to stay in Venice.
  • Top sights: St. Marks’s Square, Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), Basilica of St. Mark, Campanile; Bridge of Sighs, Rialto Bridge, Gondolo ride on the Grand Canal, the Venetian lagoon: Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Visit our Venice page for the ultimate 3-day guide before your cruise from Venice.
  • Train: Book tickets online or at the train station from Venice (Venezia S. Lucia) to Florence (Firenze Santa Maria Novella). The fast train, Frecciarossa, goes direct to Florence and the journey time is just over 2 hours Prices are from around 50 euros per person depending upon when you travel.

Florence

  • Best transport options: From the train station in Florence, you can walk 10 -15 minutes to the city center. It is also from this train station that you will find buses for trips to San Gimignano, Fiesole, and Sienna.
  • Best hotels: Hotel Brunelleschelli, NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi, Mercure Firenze Centro, Morandi alla Crocetta. We like the NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi. It takes under 10 minutes to walk from the train station to the hotel, right in the heart of Florence.
  • Top sights: The Dumo, Michelangelo’s David statue at Galleria dell Academia, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio Palazzo Strozzi, Wine tasting at Tuscan vineyards, a half-day trip to St. Gimignano.
  • Train: Book tickets online or at the train station, Florence (Firenze S. M. Novella) train to Rome (Roma Termini). The direct fast train from Florence to Rome, Frecciarossa, takes 1.5 hours. The price of a ticket starts at around 20 euros per person.

Rome

  • Best transport options: The underground Metro from Termini station connects to areas such as The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and the Colosseum. Buy your ticket from the vending machine; it’s quicker than queuing at the ticket office. Alternatively, opt for an official taxi outside the train station; never accept a ride from someone who offers you transportation inside the train station.
  • Best hotels: Visit our Rome page for information on where to stay in Rome.
  • Top sights: The Dumo, Michelangelo’s David statue at Galleria dell Academia, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio Palazzo Strozzi, Wine tasting at Tuscan vineyards, a half-day trip to St. Gimignano. Visit our Rome page for ways to see the best of Rome before your cruise from Civitavecchia cruise port.
  • Train: Book tickets online or at the train station, Florence (Firenze S. M. Novella) train to Rome (Roma Termini). The direct fast train from Florence to Rome, Frecciarossa, takes 1.5 hours. The price of a ticket starts at around 20 euros per person.
  • Cruise Port: Most cruise ships depart from the port of Civitavecchia, 80km northwest of Rome. For information on how to get to the port, click here. If you would like to spend one night in Civitavecchia before you start your cruise from Rome, read our tips and information on how to spend one day in Civitavecchia.
  • Airport: Rome-Fiumicino International Airport also known as Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

2. Milan – Lake Como – Florence – Rome

Next as a winning vote for land vacation packages in Italy is the combination of our favorite destinations in Italy – Milan, Lake Como, Florence, and Rome.

Plan to fly to Milan and home from Rome. There are some excellent flight deals to be found when booking this type of open-jaw ticket, where you can combine airlines for this type of journey.

An outstanding Italian city and the heart of European fashion, Milan is a busy, livable and exciting city.

Milan

Spend a few days in Milan before heading to the dream-like Lake Como. This alternative is best with a rental car if you want to stay in the destinations of Menaggio, Bellagio, or Varenna at Lake Como.

However, there is a direct train from central Milan to Como S. Giovanni train station in the town of Como. The journey is only 40 km, taking around 40 minutes. Ticket prices start at just 5 euros per person. You can take a taxi from the train station to your Como hotel on the shore of the lake. We recommend the beautiful Hilton Lake Como with its spectacular views. The Hilton is 2 km from the train station, and the taxi takes around 15 minutes.

  • Best transport options: Two airports serve Milan. Most international flights land at Malpensa, 40km northwest of Milan. Milan’s other airport, Linate, is closer, just 9 km west of the city. Either way, you will need transport from the airport to your hotel in central Milan. Choose an official taxi outside the arrivals lounge or the train into the heart of Milan. The Malpensa Express train leaves from terminals 1 and 2 and takes you into Milano Centrale. It is also from here you can collect a rental car.
  • Best hotels: Hotel The Square Milano Duomo, Hotel Milano Scala, We like the NH Collection Milano President. Each of these hotels is within walking distance of the incredible Duomo.
  • Top sights: Milan Cathedral (The Dumo), Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Train: Book tickets online or at the train station, Milano Centrale, to Como S. Giovanni train station. Alternatively, organize a car rental for your trip to Lake Como. You can leave the car at Como Train Station in time for your train journey to Florence.
  • Car Rental: Hertz offers car rentals with pickup from the train station in Milan. We recommend you pick it up at Milan train station and return the car to Como train station.

Lake Como

  • Best transport options: Get around quickly with a rental car. A car allows you more flexibility on where to stay in Lake Como. If you opt to arrive by train instead, we recommend staying in the town of Como and visiting other towns around the lake by boat.
  • Best hotels: Hilton Lake Como, Grand Hotel Victoria in Menaggio, and Hotel du Lac in Bellagio.
  • Top sights and places to stay: The lake is best explored by boat and easily bookable while you are there from any of the small towns surrounding the lake. The four main towns we recommend you see are Como, Menaggio, Varenna, and Bellagio.
  • Train: Book tickets online or at the Como S. Giovanni train station to Florence, Firenze S.M. Novella. Opt for the shortest journey time, a little under 3 hours. You will ride a regional train to Milan and switch to a fast train for the rest of the journey to Florence. Tickets price start at around 50 euros per person.
  • Car Rental: Hertz offers one-way car rentals with a pickup in Milan and drop-off close to the train station in Como.

Florence

  • Best transport options: From the train station in Florence, you can walk 10 -15 minutes to the city center. It is also from this train station that you will find buses for trips to San Gimignano, Fiesole, and Sienna.
  • Best hotels: Hotel Brunelleschelli, NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi, Mercure Firenze Centro, Morandi alla Crocetta. We like the NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi. It takes under 10 minutes to walk from the train station to the hotel, right in the heart of Florence.
  • Top sights: The Dumo, Michelangelo’s David statue at Galleria dell Academia, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio Palazzo Strozzi, Wine tasting at Tuscan vineyards, a half-day trip to St. Gimignano.
  • Train: Book tickets online or at the train station, Florence (Firenze S. M. Novella) train to Rome (Roma Termini). The direct fast train from Florence to Rome, Frecciarossa, takes 1.5 hours. The price of a ticket starts at around 20 euros per person.

Rome

After enjoying the splendor of Florence, the train journey to Rome’s central Termini station is just 1.5 hours. Choose the direct, fast train Frecciarossa for around 20 euros per person.

And if this is your first visit to Rome, allow at least three nights to discover this ancient city. Visit our Cruise from Rome page for detailed walking itineraries and tips on what to see and do and where to stay.

And after your cruise, if you have an afternoon or evening flight home from the airport, we have the best 3 best ways to spend the day in Rome before traveling to the airport.

  • Best transport options: From the train station, Termini, in Rome, you can walk to a nearby hotel, use a taxi, or hop on the underground train, which stops at the major areas of the Vatican, Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navone and the Pantheon. Fares start at just 1.50 euros per person.
  • Best hotels: Hotel Brunelleschelli, NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi, Mercure Firenze Centro, Morandi alla Crocetta. We like the NH Collection Palazzo Gaddi. It takes under 10 minutes to walk from the train station to the hotel, right in the heart of Florence.
  • Top sights: The Jewish Quarter, Trastevere and Vatican City, Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese, Vittoriano, and the Colosseum.
  • Train: Book a train ticket online or at the train station to take you from Termini to Civitavecchia train cruise port, so you arrive in good time for your cruise, or ideally, the day before your cruise starts. The journey takes under one hour and costs around 5 euros per person.
  • Airport: Rome-Fiumicino International Airport also known as Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO)

Cruise port Civitavecchia

Follow our guide on how to spend 1 day in Civitavecchia to make the most of this Italian town before you start your cruise. You will find more information on how to get to the port and where to stay here.

If you choose to stay in Rome again after your cruise, find the best and fastest way to transfer from your cruise ship in Civitavecchia to central Rome here.

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Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.