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Advice needed on 4-week central europe itinerary

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Hi, my wife and I are planning to travel to Europe this May (everything needs to be booked and we work best with last minute deadlines!). This is our first trip (except I've been to Paris before). Below is a very broad outline of the itinerary we are thinking about, with cities to visit still to be finalised:

France (Paris) 4 days
Italy (Rome-Florence-Venice) 7 days
Austria (Vienna-Salzburg) 5 days
Switzerland (Geneva-Interlaken-Zurich) 6 days
Germany (Munich-Stuttgart) 4 days
Total 26 days + 2-4 days of travel time or other places that could be included
Fly back from Frankfurt or Paris

We like to cover scenic places and those of historical significance in our holidays (some world war heritage would be good to cover), and don't mind being on the go. We also like to have a good mix of popular tourist spots and relatively less known places (as they are likely to be less crowded).

Need the following inputs from you:
1. Assuming we travel in the order of the places mentioned above, any suggestions on spots to include / exclude (based on the preferences noted above)?
2. In order to witness some of the exciting but relatively less known places, if we were to hire a car for any part of the above itinerary (so as to be able to stop along the way as we please), which part of the itinerary would offer the best opportunities? I was thinking of doing that in Austria and Switzerland, and may be also Munich
3. The reason why I have Stuttgart in the list is primarily for the Mercedes-Benz museum, but can also cover what else the city has to offer. Does it make sense or could I swap it with another place?

Any comments would be appreciated. Many thanks in advance!


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