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Italy for 16 days!!

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Hi All,

I am going with my family (myself, husband and two daughers (20/21) for 18 days to Italy!!! It is our first trip abroad so I am a bit overwhelmed. I have tried to plan this trip for three years and each time, I have to stop! This time, I purchased my airline tickets so there is no turning back!!

We fly into venice and back to Georgia/USA from Rome.
My thoughts were as follows:

May 14th - land in Venice around 11;00am
May 14th - 16th - stay and see Venice
We do not have a place to stay here yet and I am open to hotels, B&B's or apartments. Something nice (maybe 4 star) and convenient. We do like pretty nice hotels but we usually travel off season so we can get them for great rates! Not so sure about that in May! We would like to stay in something authentic to the region.

From what I am hearing, we can see Venice on our own? But if you think a tour would be easier and can suggest one, that would be great!

May 16th - Travel to Florence
May 17th - Day trip (maybe Pisa, Lucca and surrounding area?) With a guide?
May 18th - See Florence

May 19th - See more of Florence and then Travel to countryside by train and rent a car?
May 19th - 21st - stay and see countryside - Suggestions on a nice place to stay in this area where we can day trip to Siena, San Gimignano, other suggestions? Again we would like an authentic place with pretty nice rooms or apartments/villas. A friendly place, nice but not snobby. Should we have a guide in this area? If so, any suggestions?


May 21th - Travel to Amalfi coast (not sure where to stay yet) Ideas?

May 21 - 27th We could stay in two locations and see Positano, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii, ??? Other suggestions. Do we need a guide?

May 27th - 30th - stay and see Rome - I have found an apartment here which is great and so much less than the hotels!!
Morning of May 30th fly home.

Thanks for any suggestions!!

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