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Please help me with an Italy/Croaia Itinerary

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Hi,

I'm planning my first trip to Europe for me and my husband. We would like to visit Italy and Croatia. In Italy, we will visit Rome, Florence, and Venice. In Croatia, we'd like to visit Hvar. I would also like to see Dubrovnik, but I don't think we really have the time. Our trip will be about 15 days in the beginning of September, 2012. I would love to travel for more time, but unfortunately we aren't able to leave our jobs for extended periods of time. In Italy we would like to see some of the major sights, soak up the culture, and enjoy good food. In Hvar, we would like to enjoy the water (sail, snorkel, etc), experience the nighlife, and take day day trips to other islands. Of course we also want to experience the culture, meet people, etc. We will be staying at small aparments. We are beach people, which is one of the reasons we'd like to incorporate Croatia into our Italy trip. We likely won't be back to Europe for a least a few years after this trip. We are in our early 30's.

I'm looking for a bit of advice to see if this itinerary looks good and makes sense. Thanks in advance for your help! Of particular concern is the flight from Rome to Split. I've done a lot of reseach, and this flights seems to be the best way for us to get to that part of Croatia. There is one per day, from what I can find. It's around $250USD per person and the open-jaw flight from LAX-Rome, Venice-LAX is about $1500 per person. The total for all flights is $3500 for 2 people. This seems expensive. Do those prices seem normal?

Day 1, Friday, August 31st: Fly from SNA or LAX to Rome, arrive Saturday
Day 2, Saturday, September 1st, Rome
Day 3, Sunday, September 2nd, Rome
Day 4, Monday, September 3rd, Rome
Day 5, Tuesday, September 4th, Rome
Day 6, Wednesday, September 5th, Fly from Rome to Split, Split to Hvar via ferry
Day 7, Thursday, September 6th, Hvar
Day 8, Friday, September 7th, Hvar
Day 9, Saturday, September 8th, Hvar
Day 10, Sunday, September 9th, Hvar
Day 11, Monday, September 10th, Hvar to Split via ferry, Split to Rome
via plane, Rome to Florence via trian
Day 12, Tuesday, September 11, Florence
Day 13, Wednesday, September 12th, Florence
Day 14, Thursday, September 13th, Florence to Venice via trian
Day 15, Friday, September 14th, Venice
Day 16, Saturday, September 15th, Venice to SNA or LAX

THANK YOU!

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