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Best guided tours to take on a modest budget?

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Hi Everyone,

Hoping to get some more great advice from you all! Background- family of 5 with 3 teens (14, 14, 15) visiting Italy in July on a modest budget. Since Italy is filled with history (and I'd like to take a break here and there from looking in my guide book), I am considering booking guided tours--- 1 in each city we are visiting (Venice, Rome, Florence-- we will day trip to Siena, Pisa/Lucca (love the idea about biking the walls), but I'll use my guide book and just enjoy those). I don't think we need a guide for Sorrento/Amalfi (we'll use the SITA bus and figure it out on our own).

So- what's the 1 guided tour you'd recommend we take in these cities (and are there others that are free?)?

Rome- Vatican?? (or the Colossium)? I need to choose one.
Venice- I've read about the Secret tour in the Doges Palace?
Florence- someone mentioned a "free" walk of Florence tour. "Free" (with tip at the end) sounds divine :-) Would love to give my kids a quick history of the Renaissance (my girls will probably study it next year).
If our budget allows-- should we also consider a tour of Pompeii? (or would our guide book suffice?).

Many thanks in advance!

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