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30 Days in Italy - Where to Go?

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I have been researching destination options for our first trip to Italy and I am overwhelmed! We will be traveling (we are in our mid-late 40's) for part of the time with our older parents (aged 70). We plan to arrive in Italy around September 10th, leaving around October 10th, 2012. I'd like to present a proposed month-long itinerary to my Dad and then he can choose which parts of the trip (or all) he'd be interested in and then firm up our accommodations once we have those details sorted out.

We enjoy art, history, architecture, food, wandering, some light hiking (probably not too much hiking for our parents), beaches, shopping, museums. My Dad thinks he'd be interested in most of the same things, but I also know as a car buff, he'd probably love the idea of renting a car for part of the time to do some scenic driving/sightseeing (if this is plausible).

We like to stay in one place for a few days (no "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" kind of trip), so we don't really want to try and fit in TOO much, but would rather spend some quality time in one location/area as much as that is possible. We also prefer to rent apartments, although staying in a hotel for a few nights is OK too, particularly if we're changing locations after a couple of days.

We're thinking that our itinerary might include Rome (for one week or so), Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Florence and Venice, but don't know if this is too much geography to cover.

Can't wait to hear some suggestions for all the Italy specialists here! Thanks in advance for your help!

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