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Rome and Venice apart from art / museums

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DD and I are leaving for Italy next week - 1st time. We will be spending a week in Rome (Trastevere), then 3 nights in Venice, on to Verona (2 nights), Mennagio at Lake Como (week) and Florence (3 nights). I am not good with crowds, but must just make peace with all the other people who also want to be there! This is the only time of the year that I can travel. I do love art and history, but am not really in the mood for 'doing' one museum or famous sight after the other. I guess what I really need is for a seasoned traveller to point me towards the quieter areas, smaller churches, simple places where good food and a nice glass of wine can be enjoyed. I am an early riser, and am planning to be walking the streets just after sunrise, be there when the doors to what we want to see are opened, and disappear when it gets too hot or crowded. Please - any other suggestions will be highly appreciated.

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