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A little help requested in planning Italy trip

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In Spring 2017 I plan to spend four weeks in Italy traveling with a friend. We will start on a two-week tour, then a week to travel independently, then a one-week cooking school near Pisa. I have been to Italy five times and have been to most of places we will visit--this will be the first time for my friend. We are both in our late 60s--walking is fine, but strenuous hiking is not what we want.

I am wondering what do to with our free week. We will be taking trains during this time, starting in Venice where the tour ends, and ending in Pisa where the school starts. We will add a few nights in Venice (with Burano/Murano) following the tour. Looking at high speed trains, Bologna seems an appropriate stop between Venice and Pisa (at least on the map). Is there enough to do in Bologna for three or four nights? Excursions outside the city that you would recommend? Any thoughts of alternatives to Bologna for us to consider? We are interested in art/architecture, shopping, wandering and maybe getting lost, Italian food, gardens. My hobby is photography. I do not want to rent a car--been there, done that.

Our tour will stay or stop at the following (cities where we sleep are in caps): ROME (1 night), Orvieto, FLORENCE (4 nights), San Gimignano, Siena, SANTA MARGHERITA (3 nights), Cinque Terre, Portofino, BOLZANO (4 nights), Innsbruck, Lake Garda, VENICE (1 night), Verona. The cooking school will take us touring in the afternoons to Lucca, Viareggio, and Pisa.

I should be able to add to my kitchen magnet collection with all these cities.

I know we're cutting Rome with only one night, but I don't want to add any more nights to this trip. We are confirmed for both the tour and the school.

We would welcome your advice.

Diane

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