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Germany - Poland - Italy itinerary help requested

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So after nine nieces the first of the nephews age up this year for their HS graduation trip to Europe. (Yes, parents were good Catholics in the time prior to cable TV.) Previous niece trips have been Paris plus add on of London, Amsterdam, or Madrid/Barcelona. All were delightful but thinking of changing that pattern. These guys' maternal heritage is purely Polish and Italian, respectively, so thinking about Poland and Italy. One of them has been studying German (and great grandparents on our side were Swiss German) for a couple years and is apparently pretty competent with it and is interested in WWII history.

I have a contact in Mainz who is an expert on military history, thought about beginning the trip by flying into Frankfurt and taking advantage of that, then moving on from there. Would appreciate hearing your suggestions for how to construct a roughly two week itinerary starting late June. (Trying to mesh with SO's academic session in Salamanca which begins July 11/12. He would go on to that while I and nephews return to US.) Thinking open jaw flights from US into Frankfurt and back from Rome would work well. Could also do return leg from Warsaw. Typically enjoy staying in an apartment in one city for a week or so, willing to consider shorter durations but not into the "Tuesday must be Belgium" style of travel.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions about places to visit as well as practical info about what to see where and options to transit between cities (train vs. fly, etc.)

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