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Itinerary recommendations for 8 full days in Italy?

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Hello there,

I'm new here. I've just booked my flights for the last week of March. I'm flying into Venice and out of Rome. I'd love some recommendations for itineraries that suit my interests. We will have 8 full days plus a half day on our day of arrival (landing in Venice @ 2pm). We were thinking Venice -> Florence and/or Surrounding Tuscany Region -> Rome.

Note: I'm not super stressed about seeing the "famous sights" and/or every single historical museum. Please don't ask me why. The colosseum seems cool and all but it doesn't get me that excited. I would be miserable and bored waiting in a line for a museum or sight everyday-- seeing one is fine, seeing all of them isn't necessary for me. I'd love to try and see a more authentic side ( and yes I understand that I am visiting highly touristy and visited areas....I fear I will get myself in trouble for saying this so please--don't jump down my throat, thanks). What I mean is that I am from NYC and I generally am more fascinated by natural landscape, food, culture, and historic architecture-- things that will make me feel like I am actually in a different place. I want to walk around, eat a lot of food, and visit local shops.

I've considered bypassing Rome other than the one night stayover before our flight (also because it will be Easter weekend and I've heard it will be a crazy time) and trying to see some more southern areas...but that seems like it might be a stretch.

Thoughts and recommendations?

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