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puglia or amalfi coast

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Planning a 3 week trip to Italy next September with my husband. We're early 60's and relatively fit. The first week will be spent in Venice (a few nights waiting for friends to arrive) and then hiking in the Dolomites. The last 3 days will be spent in Rome from where we depart.. My question concerns where to spend the rest of our time. I was planning to head to the Amalfi Coast but having just read ekscrunchy's report, I think I have to go to Puglia. Questions: Is nine full days too much time to spend in Puglia? Is Puglia preferable over the Amalfi coast? (seems there's more to see in Puglia and easier to get around by car). Would I be totally remiss to skip Tuscany and AC for Puglia? By the way, if Puglia is the destination, we would fly from Verona to Brindisi (Ryan Air) and rent a car. Any input, comments, encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

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