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Feedback on plans for Italy trip, please

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My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in October -- the first for both of us. We have only 9 nights there, so I am trying not to try to do too much, but I also think the chances of our being back any time soon are pretty slim, so I do want to feel that we saw as much as we reasonably could. We are flying in and out of Venice (open jaw was not an option for us since we are using miles), have a daughter who will be studying in Florence whom we want to see, and we want to visit the place where another daughter studied several years ago (Perugia). We will be 51 and 58 when we go, are active but not rock climbers, enjoy culture but don't feel a need to see every piece of art in person, are hoping to see the countryside, and my husband is a history buff and I am a cooking/food type.

With all that as background, I'd love feedback on the options for itineraries I am considering.

Day 1: arrive in Venice; overnight there Day 1 and Day 2

Day 3: train to Cinque Terre; overnight there Day 3 and Day 4

Day 5: train to Florence; overnight there Day 5, 6, 7, and 8 with day trips to Spello, Chianti, Perugia (perhaps not all -- thoughts on which?)

Day 9: train to Venice; overnight there for next day flight home


I was considering modifying for one night in Venice at outset, then train and two nights in Cinque Terre, train and two nights in Spello, train and three nights in Florence, back to Venice for last night, then flight back.

My husband will want to scrap all this and drive, but I get stressed out with that and want to see what we can see from the train instead. Thoughts on that?

Any help is much appreciated!

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