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3 weeks May 2016 prob Italy and France

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I am completely new to Fodor's, and have already read many forum posts from more seasoned European travellers. This has helped shape my query already.

To celebrate 25 year anniversary, hubby and I - pretty fit 58 and 52 years - hope to travel from Calgary, Canada, to 2 or 3 European countries, preferably by train. Arrival and departure cities - we are open minded about flying in and out of the same or different cities but we get the value of not having to backtrack. My reading here has nudged me towards probably reducing our travel to 2 countries. Likely France and Italy.
Hubby backpacked all over Europe as a young man, saw practically every country. I have only been to Germany and Austria in 1996 over an 11 day trip with hubby. We loved train travel at that time.
We like to see the famous sights, but also don't linger a lot. After we see what we should see, we like to grab a taxi driver and ask him for a spontaneous tour of where he would go - this has taken us to some wonderful, serendipitous restaurants, shops and sights in our travels.

I'd love to see Paris. I'd like to see Rome and do a decent Vatican tour as I am pretty Catholic. Hubby will care less about this, so I am open to a reasonably lightweight tour for this trip with the idea in mind I can do more of a pilgrimage another time.

I look forward to any and all advice, thanks!!

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