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Last minute trip to Italy in January

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My husband's company just announced the location for their annual kickoff meeting - Rome, Italy. I plan on flying over mid-week to meet up with my husband and for us to spend the following week together touring Italy.

We plan to spend a couple days after the meeting visiting sites in Rome but are not sure where to spend the next week of our trip. We were looking at Florence, Cirque Terre, and Tuscany but a travel agent said nothing will be open in any of those places but Florence. I've been to Florence previously and loved it, but was hoping to visit some places I have not been before.

So we are considering Sicily as we have heard great things about that area. It might be warmer that time of year as well. Our thoughts were to fly from Rome to Sicily, rent a car, and stay in Airbnbs.

Looking for suggestions on what to see, where to go, etc. Is renting a car a good idea or most places walkable or accessible via public transportation?

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