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Help with planning a trip to Italy

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I've barely finished my report from my last trip to Italy and now I am planning again!

My husband and I were going to go to another European country but we had some dear friends ask us to go with them to Italy. It has been their dream and they have asked me to take the lead in trip planning - although we will all have input. We have traveled with this couple before and it has gone well so I think we will have a great time.

The trip will be in May. We will have 11 days on the ground. Our friends are not art people. They like history and they LOVE food and cooking and wine. (so do we)

Questions:

Where would you go? They mentioned Rome and Tuscany. We are thinking three locations.

Where would you base in Tuscany?

Got any suggestions for cooking/food related things to do? I'm considering Minchelli's food tour in Rome that someone recently wrote about in a trip report. It sounded great. Other ideas? Suggestions for cooking classes? I want to really think through restaurants, etc. more than I have before.

My friend is crazy about fountains. Does anyone know of a fountains of Rome walk anywhere on the internet? I thought that would be a fun thing to do for her and an interesting way to see Rome. I can come up with one myself, but if one is already out there floating around I'd prefer not to reinvent.

I'll start there, but any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks!

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