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Italy itinerary (first international trip)

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I am planning a trip to Italy for my husband and I. The dates of our trip are not solid yet, but we have 21 days to play with and are looking at May 2015. This will be our first international trip. I have been studying several guidebooks and forums like this one for a couple years in preparation. Until now I've been a forum spectator. I've decided to share what I have so far of my itinerary and hopefully get your thoughts and advice.

Let me give you a bit more info about what we want from this trip... Italy has always been my dream trip, so I naturally have a pretty hefty wish list. The trip below is the minimum, the must haves. I don't want such a crammed, fast paced trip that we can't stop and really enjoy it. My goal is to plan a trip with a good balance of city (museums, churches, and art) history, country, and beach. A few more fast facts. My husband are both around 30. We are active people and we aren't afraid of walking. We plan to get around Italy by train mainly, and would like to avoid (but haven't completely closed the door on the option of) renting a car if possible. I am aware that I will have to watch out for closures when it comes to museums etc and will adjust accordingly when finalizing dates.

So here goes:


1. Depart Sea-Tac
2. Sleep in Venice....... Arrive in Venice. Rest/Settle in
3,4,5. Sleep in Venice....... Explore Venice. St. Marks square, Murano/Burano etc.
6. Sleep in Cinque Terre........ Train to Cinque Terre*
7,8,9. Sleep inCinque Terre........ Hike, explore, beach time etc.
10. Sleep inFlorence........ Train to Florence**. Stopping in Pisa
11. Sleep in Florence...... Florence: Uffizi, Accadamia, Ponte Vecchio
12. Sleep in Florence....... Day trip to Siena
13. Sleep in Florence...... Day trip to hill towns
14. Sleep in Florence..... Florence or Tuscany
15. Sleep in Rome........ Train to Rome
16,17,18. Sleep in Rome........ Explore Rome: the colosseum, forum, Vatican etc
19. Leave Rome
20,21. Arrive home. Extra day to recoup.

* I have read comments on similar itineraries that say to put the Cinque Terre after Florence. It doesn't seem right to travel so far south (into the Florence, Siena, Tuscany leg of the trip) to just go back up to Le Cinque Terre before a long shot to Rome...?
**I am not sure about where to stay on this section of the trip. Florence, Siena, or maybe an agriturismo. I am open to staying a couple places during this few days. Maybe a couple days in Florence then move on to stay in one of the hill towns or an agriturismo for a night or two. I would like some more info on my transportation options in Tuscany if we don't rent a car. Are there any?

I am very excited to be sharing this with you all. Thanks for checking it out!
Ciao!

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