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Italy in August with Teens

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I am interested in going to Italy this summer with my 2 daughters who will be 14 & 12. Our main goal will be to visit family (2 hours south of Rome) but we also want to do some travel since last time we were in Italy was 10 years ago and they were too young to see anything.

Here is what I was thinking...
- Spend a total of about 2 weeks with the first part visiting a few places and then heading to our family to have some relaxation time before going home.
- From reading some posts I think it best to limit our transitions so was thinking Venice and Rome for cities to visit
- Thinking best to fly into Venice and stay a few days and then take train to Rome for another few days and then head south to visit my family for some relaxation before flying out of Rome

I would be very interested in any tips for planning and transportation.
- Would it be better to use a tour or plan on our own?
- Better to stay in apartment vs. hotel? Suggestions for convenient accommodations
- Best sites to see based on ages of my kids - thinking Colosseum, Vatican at minimum
- Should we try to stop anywhere in between Venice and Rome?
- Will we be able to see the Italian countryside while on the train?
- Maybe do day trip to Pompeii while at family house since it is 1.5 hr from Naples.

We do not speak Italian and will need to depend on public transportation during our sightseeing days.

I appreciate any ideas.

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