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6 weeks in Italy... where to go?

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I am in the initial stages of planning a 6 week trip to Italy for my wife and me and, likely, another couple. Parameters are as follows:

1) Was thinking along the lines of 2 weeks each in northern, central, and southern Italy, but this isn't set in stone;
2) Have been to the "Big 3" + Milan and do not want to include these on this trip;
3) Have also been to the Veneto, Umbria, Piemonte, and Lombardia. Would prefer different regions but wouldn't rule out a return to Piemonte and/or Umbria;
4) Willing to go at any time of year but prefer spring or fall;
5) Anticipate 4-10 nights in each locale but wouldn't want more than 6 total bases;
6) Willing to train and/or drive. I realize driving will be essential in some of the less populated areas, and it may work best to have a car for the entire time;
7) Prefer to stay in small (not tiny) or medium-sized cities which would be good bases for day trips but convenient for walking to evening meals and not having to drive after drinking wine;
8) Interested in a diversity of geography, culture, food, etc. Would love to be able to attend local festivals. Little or no interest in churches or museums, though a smattering of interesting art/architecture would be OK.

With the above in mind, where would you suggest? Any and all comments are welcomed and appreciated.

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