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First Time in Italy 12-14 Days

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Hey!
My wife and I are starting to plan a trip to Europe September 2016. We first wanted to visit as many cities as possible and see it all, but have learned that that's simply not possible. We are especially interested in Italy to spend our first trip together in Europe. We love local food, red wine, coffee shops, history and art (my wife very into art, me willing to expand my horizons) and think Italy will fit the bill.

We are interested in Rome, Venice, Florence as the main hubs (although that could change based on your recommendations), but are just as interested in smaller day trips and towns to visit as well. I love cities along the sea so would like to spend a day or two doing that. We have been reading through a lot of "Top Cities" Lists which is nice, but feel the advice from experienced people not writing top ten lists would do us better good. Any suggestions on time spent in each cities, smaller cities to travel to, hidden gems, best spots for food, itinerary suggestions, day trips, and anything else for first time Italy travelers, would be much appreciated. If you have a link to a past forum or site with an itinerary that might help us, that works also!

Also, to cure our desire to see it all, would anyone suggest maybe flying into a neighboring country and spending a day or two in maybe Barcelona or Dubrovnik or Brussels or am I getting ahead of myself. OR, if anyone would suggest maybe doing 6 days in two cities in Italy and 6 days in another country or two, we'd love to hear it. (I know I'm not taking into account the travel so it might be too much, but it's so hard to narrow it down!! We want to see it all!!! so hardddd)

Thanks for any piece of advice you can share. Much appreciated.

-Josh and Mal

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