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Reggio nell'Emilia advise for Itinerary

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For our April trip, here is how our Itinerary is shaking out: (DH & I... his 2nd trip to Italy, my 4th):
- Florence - 4 nights
- Manarola - 1 night
- Reggio nell'Emilia - 2 nights
- Venice - 3 nights.

Right now I am thinking that from Florence we will go to Manarola and stay 1 night at La Torrettas. I realize that rain may be a major issue in mid-April, but my DH really wants to visit the 5Terre... The hotel looks lovely, is it? It is is raining, at least we can enjoy the hotel and experience some of the views.

From there, we will head to Reggio nell'Emilia and spend 2 nights at the Hotel Posta. Would like to go to Parma, Modena and Bologna. Thoughts? advise?

Question about transportation. On previous trips, we've rented a car for certain smaller towns (i.e., Tuscany). We plan to travel via train from Florence to La Spezia/5Terre. Would it make more sense to rent a car from La Spezia to head toward Reggio nell'Emilia? and then of course return it before heading to Venice?
Where to rent and return?
thanks!!

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