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Considering change in Mid-Italy itinerary

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Hi all,

I posted an earlier topic that covered whether to stay in Volterra or San Gimignano for the first two days of the Italy portion of our trip. Several Fodorites replied (thank you) including Sandralist who got me thinking.

In a nutshell, the original itinerary is arrive BLQ (from Germany so no jet lag) rent car, then 2 nights San Gimignano with a day trip to Volterra, followed by 4 nights Pienza and a night next to the airport in Rome.

What Sandralist pointed out was that both of my destinations were essentially similar. This struck me because DH was sort of rooked into this trip and is not as keen as I on Medieval sites. It also got me thinking, why not see a different area of Italy for those first two days and save San Gim/Volterra for our next trip.

Where we live is basically completely flat and completely land locked. So I'm looking for suggestions for those first two days that are either near the sea or perhaps dramatic mountain scenery. We enjoy walking and discovering. Archaeological sites are of great interest, pretty pedestrian areas are enjoyed. Cable cars or funiculars are a plus. If we stayed somewhere near the sea, we are not talking going to the beach, but perhaps taking a stroll by the sea (is a waterfront promenade asking too much?), and for DH, eating some seafood.

We are not big art lovers (sin that it is), not that we don't like to look at and appreciate art, it just is not a driving force for us.

We arrive at BLQ at 4PM and would optimally like to drive no more that 2 or 2 1/2 hours to reach the destination.

Places I've looked at and might be considering:
Ravenna
Rimini (with a day trip to San Marino)
San Marino
Brisghella
Lake Garda (This would be perfect except it's the absolute wrong direction)

Oh yeah, the time frame for this trip is 4 weeks from now - we arrive in BLQ on Aug 1.

I have kept my reservations for San Gimignano, so keeping with the original itinerary is still an option.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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