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Help with planning European vacation for foodie with kids

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Hi,

We are planning a vacation to Europe with our two kids next summer but we're looking for some suggestions from other families on where/what might work. By the time we go our kids will be almost 12 and almost 9. I am a (healthy) foodie who likes to travel around finding great places to eat and going to food markets, art museums/kid-friendly museums (though we're not big on religious art/churches... more of impressionism, expressionism, through to modern art), local artisan shops (of both artists and artisan food producers), open squares, bicycling, light hikes, perhaps a wine tasting, maybe some light canoeing (if my little one can take the paddling, we may need to build him up for this! LOL!). My husband loves history. We're not quite sure of where to go. We had the opportunity to travel with my husband on business two years ago to London, Florence, and Rome. We don't necessarily need to do Rome or Florence again as we've seen much of the major sites there. We were in London at a time when it didn't rain the entire time we were there so we just strolled around Portobello Market (where I had to go eat at Ottolenghi) and walked along the Thames and didn't go into one single museum. I'm sure there'd be plenty for us to see if we went back and it would be easy to get to Paris from London if we wanted to spend one week in there; one in Paris (though my hubby said he will stay in France for a week, tops and then he's out, hence then need to pair it with another country if Paris or somewhere in France is our pick).

We'll have about 2 weeks traveling from the East Coast of the US. I'd personally love to go to Italy for the entire time but it's up to me to sell my family on it. There's so much that I haven't seen there and I adore Italian food and we had such a good time when we went last. I would love to visit Bologna, the foodie capital of Italy, and the hill towns of Tuscany but I don't know if it's feasible to do with kids (or if I'm imagining a vacation that I'd be better off taking with just my husband and me when the kids are older and on their own(!?!). Is there enough to do without all the must-see touristy things that kids tend to love?

Other thoughts are spending the entire two weeks Spain (though I heard mixed reviews on whether this is hard to do if you're vegetarian, as I am. Though 1/2 of my family is omnivorous.)

Would it make more sense to try to get an apartment so that we all have some space and have a place to bring food home or prepare some meals? I don't want to be packing up every night or two, to move on to other accommodations and would prefer to have "a place to call home" that has enough room for us so that the kids can sleep in one room and we can sleep in the other.

Any thoughts on where to go and possible itineraries are appreciated.

Thank you in advance!!

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