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First trip to Europe, suggestions please

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We are planning our first visit to Europe in early summer 2013. We will take about 15-18 days.

We have traveled a lot in the US and usually plan our trips based on guide books and internet information. That usually works out very well but I am not sure I could do that effectively in Europe.

The cities/areas I would like to see are:

Amsterdam
Munich/Rhine River area
Venice
Rome
Florence (?)
Lucerne
Paris

Currently, we are looking at escorted tours, as we thought that might be the best since it is our first time. My husband is not keen on this trip; so my reaction is to see as much as possible in case he does not want to return.

However, some have suggested that this itinerary we would be spending a lot of time on the bus. This particular tour is 14 days, with two nights in Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, Paris and one night in Rhineland, Munich, Florence, Lugano & Lucerne.

For a first trip, would it be better to focus on fewer cities, maybe Rome & Paris, with Lucrerne in between, and focus on that.

We enjoy beautiful scenery, would enjoy seeing a castle, The Coliseum, St Peter's Square, the fountains would be great to see in Rome. In Paris we would like to see the Eiffel Tower, Louver, and the other "top attractions" of these cities.

Based on your experiences, any suggestions would be most welcome.

Sandy

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