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14-16 days Starting in Rome and then south or north?

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Planning a trip, our 2nd, to Italy in mid to late Sep. We have been to Venice, Florence and a large part of Tuscany. (Although could do it all over again.) We would like to spend a total of 14-16 days beginning in Rome. My question is do we navigate south towards the Amalfi Coast, Poisitano, Sorrento etc......OR do we go north and do Portofino, Lucca and the Cinque Terre? Where is a good choice to be on the coast to use as base? Conversely, where to stay in the north to use as a base and take day trips? Love to explore small towns, art, culture, history, architecture but especially good food and wine. We learned the hard way last time that we can't do it all - we're better off to slow down and enjoy what we can. Any suggestions for lodgings, sites, restaurants, wineries would be most helpful. Thanks in advance.

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