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First Italy Trip: tour versus independent?

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Hi all! My husband and I are planning our first trip to Italy. This is something that I have dreamed of for years and means a whole lot to me. I have done a tour of the UK and Ireland in the past but I was really thinking about setting my own itinerary for this. The itinerary I have in mind:

2 nights in Sorrento
2 nights in Rome
4-5 in Florence or Tuscany area- am debating the merits of staying the nights in Florence and doing day trips to other areas in Tuscan versus staying in a more rural Tuscan location- thoughts??
3 in Venice

I am really interested in making sure that we do the following things:
Sorrento- day trip to Capri
Rome- Sistine Chapel
Florence/Tuscan area- Uffizi, Accademia, bike tour of Tuscany, vineyard tour, possible day trip to Siena, and in between Florence and Venice hit Pisa for half a day
Venice- St Marks, Dodge's, going to Burano.

I want to make sure that I don't feel really rushed and have the ability to follow my whims a bit. Ie, if we find that we want to spend more time at the Uffizi, we have the ability to do so, ect. I'd also like to have the opportunity to really explore each place and get less of a "cruiseship" experience.

I guess my question would be, which way is the most bang for my buck? Independent travel or a tour? Also, those that have done both: which way did you find a more fulfilling way to travel?

Also, I speak a very small amount of Italian but am planning on learning more before going. How much is language an issue particularly when you get away from some of the cities in the Tuscan area?

Tons of questions! I know! Thanks in advance for the help!

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