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Italy with kids for 8 days: Sardinia or Amalfi?

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Going to be in Italy for 8 days in July 2012. Of course, we'd love to see it all; Venice, Florence, Tuscan villages, etc., but with two kids (ages 11 and 15) I just don't want to run them ragged. We will have already spent 7 days in Paris prior to arriving in Italy, so the kids will be ready for some swimming and beach time. We were dead-set on Amalfi, but I explained to my family that the beaches there are tiny and rocky. I am also concerned about the crowds, traffic and the like in July. As an alternative, I suggested Sardinia, specifically Villasimius or Cala Gonone. I am interested in any input/opinions about Sardinia as a viable alternative to Amalfi when traveling with kids. My thought is that there are better beaches and hiking trails, which will be welcome after a week cooped up together in a small flat in Paris for a week. We are flying out of Rome, so we are planning to spend the last two days of our trip there in order to get some city life in Italy, as well as see the Vatican and other attractions.

The downside is that the kids really wanted to see Venice, but that is pretty far away, and I am conceded about eating up time by traveling across the country just for a couple of days in Venice? Should I just save Venice for another trip?

Thanks!

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