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Family Trip to Italy - North or South? April, July or October?

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Who’s Traveling: My husband and I with our two daughters, 7 and 9 at time of travel
When we’re going?: 2018 trip – first half of April, anytime in July or first half of October
How long?: 14 nights in Italy
Budget: $7,000 budget for expenses (lodging, food, train/car, etc.) + $5,000 for airfare
Priorities:
• Would like to get the kids introduced to Italian culture
• Maybe check one of the areas where my husband’s family is from (options include areas within the Provinces of Calabria, Abruzzo , L’Aquila or Brescia)
• Would like to spend 3 to 4 nights at each overnight destination to avoid feeling like we are moving around too much and keep the trip low key and relaxed
• Don’t want to spend tons of time traveling
• As much as my husband (engineer) and I (architect) love architecture, art and history, we realize the kids will likely get bored if we are only touring churches and art museums so we are open to other adventures.
Where to go?:
Northern Italy: Milan, Venice may be with Lugano, Verona or Bologna (flying into Venice and out of Milan)
Southern Italy: Venice, Florence/ Tuscany, Rome, etc. (flying into Venice and out of Rome)

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions you all have particularly on the "when" and "where" aspects of this trip. This will be the first trip to Italy for the kids, but hopefully we will return a few years after this trip to see more. Thank you!

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