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Surprise Italy trip for my wife

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My wife is graduating from graduate school in March 2015 and I want to surprise her with a trip to Italy in April 2015. She is the one who always plans our vacations and she always does such a great job so I want to do a great job planning this one (even though I am at a complete loss, this will be our first trip to Europe). We will have three weeks to travel and I would prefer to keep the trip under $7,000 (NOT including airfare). The only place I know for sure we want to go is Rome and we would be interested in pompeii. We love history, museums, hiking/outdoor activities, tours, and trying local cuisine. We aren't really big into art but I know there are some great pieces to see in Italy and we would like to see some of it. My wife also loves castles and we enjoy seeing and doing things off the beaten path.

I have been reading a lot of the forums on here and I know you guys can help me plan an amazing trip for my wife to celebrate her accomplishment. Where to go, what to see, tours to take, hotels to stay in, places to eat, tips for getting around, itineraries or advice on how long to stay in each location

Also, neither of us speak a word of Italian, any advice on that front?

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