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Rome and Venice in December

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Here is my current working itinerary:
Depart dec 9th from SEA
10, 11 Iceland
Land in Munich and train to Dresden 12, 13 Dresden
14 Seiffen
15,16, Nuremburg
17, Rothenburg
18, 19, 20 Munich (maybe steiff factory?)
21, train to Venice., 22 Venice
23, 24, 25, 26, 27 Rome.
Fly to Paris. 28, 29, 30, 31, 1 Paris (30th is the louvre!!)
Eurostar to London 2, 3, 4, 5 London
6 fly to NYC
6, 7, 8, 9 NYC
Fly back 10th of Jan

Mostly wondering about Italy this post, but let me know if something above really doesn't work.

Random Germany question: if I buy Christmas ornaments at the markets, how much of a hassle is it to find packing materials and ship them home? Anyone done this?

Is 2 nights doable for Venice? I really don't want to cut it entirely but I'm not sure if I want to take another night away from Rome. Especially since I've gathered weather can be unpredictable. Gondola ride, yes or no? Assuming that is not just a summer thing. I realize it's touristy but I think it would be an interesting POV of Venice.

Should I take a train from Munich to Venice or fly? I'm thinking of buying a German rail pass which looks like it would cover my train to Venice but only if I take a certain train. Haven't quite figured it out yet. There are so many domestic flight companies- are there any that I should definitely avoid?

Is Florence doable somewhere? I really wanted to see Michelangelo's David as that's one of those iconic artworks I studied in high school, but I'm not sure if it's advisable to try to fit it in.

Do you have any recommendations for any companies that do excellent walking tours of Rome or Venice in English?

Should I try to eat out on Christmas Eve and Day or should I count on cooking at my hostel? Would the Jewish quarter be a good bet for either/both days?

Are there any historical sites or museums that I should have advance tickets for other than the Vatican and the coliseum? If so, how far in advance should I do that?

Right now I really don't have anything definitive in mind except Christmas Mass and wandering around. Not a fan of Rick Steves but the library had his European Christmas book and I rather liked the idea of seeing all the different nativity scenes. Il presepe? Are there any particular ones I should definitely see? Where are they generally in the churches?


Any things unique to Italy that I haven't mentioned and should be aware of?

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