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Honeymoon in Italy - Round 3

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Hello All,

I’m back at it again, looking for your critique. This is a long one, thank you in advance to everyone that takes the time to read. I’ll be owing you all personal thank you notes in hand calligraphy with baskets of chocolates and fanciful things by the time I am done.

September 2014 honeymoon trip to Italy. I started planning early because I make use of pockets of time where my work & social schedule allow, and my goal is to have this totally buttoned up by mid- autumn. (before the busy holidays are here followed by wedding planning)

The honeymooners: He is an urbanite that is into history, business/industry, sightseeing & sports. She (me) is into scenery, local culture & food, the great outdoors, music, writing and history. Trying to strike a balance for both of us on this trip.

I have gone back & forth and back & forth on how to spend our time in Tuscany. Do we rent a car, base in Val d’Orcia with just a short stop in Florence before departure? Or do we skip the car, base in Siena and take a guided tour into the valley before a stop in Florence for departure? Or do we hit Montepulciano and make our way towards a Pisa departure via Lucca? This has been such a difficult thing to weigh. I am currently leaning again towards skipping a car rental and basing Siena/Florence with some guided tours. This will be our third week of travel together, we could be getting irritable with each other. Letting a professional show us around will maximize our experience and minimize travel stress. (Maybe?)

Here goes-

Sat 09/13 Arrive Naples airport, private driver to Praiano
7 nights Praiano http://www.summerinitaly.com/eng/rent/property1436!italy_.htm
Sat 09/20 Morning – private driver from Praiano to Pompeii
Sat 09/20 Afternoon – train from Pompeii to Rome
6 nights Rome http://www.altheainn.com/
Fri 09/26 Morning – train (or bus?) from Rome to Siena
3 nights Siena (accommodations tbd)
Monday 09/29 – Bus from Siena to Florence
3 nights Florence (accommodations tbd)
Thursday 10/02 departure for home

Activities:
Praiano – attend a concert at Villa Rufolo, visit to Minori & Positano. A few trips to the beach. One half or whole day boat excursion. Enjoy some meals at home on our terrace.

Rome – St. Peter’s Square. Guided tour of Colosseum & Forum. Day trip to visit the museum & cemeteries in Anzio. Some leisure time wandering and relaxing in cafes/people watching. Maybe day trip to Orvieto.

Siena – one day exploring Siena, and eating/drinking. One day spent on an 8 Hour Brunello wine tour http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187902-d1528690-Reviews-Wine_Tour_in_Tuscany-Siena_Tuscany.html

Florence – arrival day spent leisurely wandering, next day on 8 hour Chianti Vespa Tour and last day Acedemia & Uffizi. Vespa tour: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187895-d2702701-Reviews-Tuscany_Vespa_Tours-Florence_Tuscany.html

Anywhere – we’d like to take a cooking class and we’d love to go to a football match. Does anyone know if the Serie A football field is easier to get to in Rome vs Siena vs Florence? If once the schedule is posted we find more than one opportunity over the course of our stay I’d like to choose the easiest. Any recommendations for cooking classes in any of our locations?

I usually don’t go for tours, but my fiancé is a bit high strung and I’m afraid that driving that late in the trip could cause some unpleasant hiccups. Plus, with those two tours we will likely be spending time with another 6-8 people on the tour which would also be good for us at that point. And one more bonus is that if we do make a day trip to Orvieto + the two tours = we’ll have gotten into the Val d’Orcia, Chianti and Umbria regions and that seems efficient to me. And we still get a bit of time in both Siena and Florence. This way we will have an idea of where to base on our next trip to Tuscany/Umbria. The tours are very highly reviewed and the photos look good to me. Touristy they may be, but I am a tourist after all and sometimes it’s nice to take a break and just be lead by someone else, especially if they lead to wine & bread.

I can add one more night to the trip somewhere. I thought day tripping to Assisi might be a possibility but in my research so far it does not seem so easy from any of our locations. Am I wrong?

I hope I'm not being obnoxious by going and posting in so many different directions, and I apologize if I am. But your advice has been leaps & bounds better than pages of guidebooks and hours of internet browsing. I am extremely grateful for all your help.

I hope everyone has a good weekend and a good holiday weekend for the Americans.

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