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Italy April/May 2013 timeframe help needed

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Hi Fodorites,

I have been enjoying this forum for weeks. I've also been reading the big name travel books...Fodor's, Frommer's and Steve's. My husband and I are planning our first trip to Italy next spring. We are 50 somethings and celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. After much thought we have decided to go for 3 weeks (20 touring days)and spend all of the time in Italy. We'd considered combining with a cruise and our son thinks we should visit another country on the way home just because.

Right now I am thinking begin in Rome (4 nights or so), then travel to the Amalfi Coast. I'm thinking of Sorrento for a home base with a 1 or 2 night stay on Capri. We love hiking and any outdoor pursuits. Let's say 5-6 nights total. Next north to Tuscany possibly based in Siena. I'm still reading about Tuscany and Umbria. We would end our trip in Venice and fly home from there.

My itinerary is not at all etched in stone. I'd like to leave around April 13 and return on May 4. This time suits both our jobs well. My concerns are the weather being too cool to enjoy the coast and the fact that we will be in Italy for 2 national holidays. April 25 and May 1. We certainly can shift the date. One week earlier is the Saturday after Easter. If we left earlier we would miss the May holiday.

I'm anxious for the opinions of all you experienced travelers. Once I pin down the dates I can start to look for bargain airfare. Then I can really fine tune my length of stay in different areas. I am a second generation Italian in the States and I love my heritage. I'd like to have a chance to savor our experience and not rush here and there.

Thanks in advance for any help you can be.

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