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Itinerary help: Paris - Bruges/Amersterdam - Rome (15 nights)

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My husband and I have booked flights for late Spring 2016 - flying into Paris and out of Rome for a total of 15 nights.

We are looking for some ideas/help with putting together an itinerary for our trip. We have done some travelling in Europe - Italy (Rome & Amalfi Coast) & Portugal (Porto & Lisbon) and prefer to travel at a more laid-back pace spending at minimum 3 days in one place rather than trying to cram in a bunch of destinations in a single trip. Highlights of our trips have been getting to meet other travelers & locals, trying a variety of foods + taking local cooking classes, seeing the architecture & sights and visiting some museums/galleries. We do a lot of walking on our trips and enjoy a combination of bustling cities and more laid-back nature hiking.

It's our 1st trip to Paris so we are thinking of spending at least 5-6 nights in the city (typically day 1 is a bit of a write-off due to jet-lag) & we could use some recommendations for either 1-2 additional destinations before we fly to Rome giving ourselves at minimum 3 nights there for the last part of our trip.

Some initial thoughts are:
- Travel to Belgium via. train and spend 2-3 nights in either Bruges or Ghent (or Brussels?) and then continue to Amsterdam via. train and spend 2-4 nights (then fly to Rome)
- Fly (or train?) to Milan and then continue South to Florence before continuing to Rome
- Stay in France and visit other parts of the country such as Normandy, Bordeaux and Provence before travelling to Rome

It's quite difficult to decide what would be the best option - at this time, we are leaning more towards visiting Belgium/Amsterdam (reasons: food, culture, sights, museums & short travel distances between cities) but are open to any suggestions/recommendations from fellow travelers.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated - thank you!

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