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Need advice please!

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Hi everyone, I am new to this forum but have read some of the posts and comments.

I am currently planning a trip for September/October 2013 and am in need of some advice.

Here is a basic itinerary:

18 Sept: Fly from Australia to Rome
Spend 4 nights in an apartment

23 Sept: Train to Florence
2 nights in a hotel

25 Sept: Train to Venice
2 nights in a hotel

27 Sept: Train to Milan
3 nights in a hotel

30 Sept: Fly to Paris
6 nights in an Apartment

6 Oct: Fly home

It is a short trip but is all the time we have unfortunately.

It may be useful to know that I am a young woman travelling with my mother. Neither of us have been overseas before and so are very excited but also a bit nervous and worried about a few things.

1. Getting from the train stations to our hotels, particularly in Venice. Do we take a water taxi/ferry? And will it be difficult as we will have 2 suitcases? Does this need to be booked in advance?

2. Our safety is a bit of a concern as we aren't experienced travellers and do not speak Itallian. I do speak basic French. Obviously we need to take precautions to avoid pickpocketers, but do you have other advice? We will be doing a lot of walking around and I am a bit worried about being targeted, especially if it gets dark and we are still out.

3. The trains. Are they particularly bad for thieves etc?

4. Is it relatively easy to get around these cities on foot? We are trying to avoid public transport where possible to see more of the city.

I would really appreciate any advice!

Thanks in advance :)

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