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Help with itinerary to Emilia-Romagna October 2014

3 adults - my boyfriend, my 29 year-old son and I - are in the midst of planning our first trip to Italy, specifically the Emilia-Romagna region, in October 2014.

The main cities and towns we hope to visit are:
1. Bologna - the home of my great-grandparents
2. Maranella - for the 2 automobile fans
3. Modena - for the Luciano Pavarotti fan
4, Parma
5. Florence or Milan or Lake Como

Interests:
1. Food
2. Scenery
3. Architecture/museums/churches
4. Cars/Motorcycles
5. Opera

We would like to stay in only 1 or 2 hotels or B&Bs while there, using Bologna and possibly another city as a base, and preferably a place that is more quaint than ultra-modern.

We want to experience train travel and will probably rent a car for part of the trip - both guys want to experience driving in Italy. We are all physically fit, so will also want to take advantage of walking tours.

We don't want to be part of tour group and want to be able to come and go at our leisure. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thank you!

Kathleen

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