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Tuscany/Lake Garda/Venice 15-day honeymoon in March 2014--where to stay?

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A big THANK YOU to everyone who responded to my previous thread. Thanks to you guys I've hunkered down, researched a lot, and rebooted the itinerary -- I decided to cut Rome for this trip in favour of Lake Garda (love lakes and mountains!)

So we're going to do Tuscany (5 nights) - Lake Garda (5 nights) - Venice (4 nights).

Found that Air France allows us to do an open-jaw trip -- fly from Singapore to Florence, and fly out of Venice instead -- for the same price as a return ticket to Venice. It's around SGD $1,299.

It's Carnivale in Venice until 4 March, which we want to avoid (we are really averse to crowds and noise and chaos), hence we will start in Florence and end in Venice.

We are not into art or museums, so have decided to stay in the Tuscan countryside (we love natural beauty) and make Florence a day-trip.

Here's our revised itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive at Florence 11.55am
Travel to Tuscany accommodation from Florence

Day 2-5 - Four full days in Tuscany
Include day-trip to Florence and one more town in Tuscany (suggestions please?)

Day 6 - Leave Tuscany for Lake Garda
Leave early and go to Florence main train station, switch train in Bologna. Have lunch at Bologna. From there take the train to Desenzano or Peschiera del Garda, both located along the southern coast of Lake Garda.

Day 7-10 - Four full days to explore Lake Garda including Northern Shore (Riva del Garda) and day-trip to Verona (nearer than from Venice)

Day 11 - Travel from Lake Garda to Venice

Day 12-14 - Three full days in Venice with day trips to Veneto, Murano (any other suggestions?)

Day 15 - Depart Venice

As it stands, we are spending 5 nights in Tuscany, 5 nights in Lake Garda and 4 nights in Venice.


Where we should stay in:
- Tuscany (Siena? San Gimignano?)
- Lake Garda (Garda? Malcesine?)
- Venice?

Our preferences:
Somewhere beautiful, not crowded with tourists, romantic. (Seems to rule out Sirmoine in Lake Garda, from what I've read)

We will not be driving, so need to stay somewhere reasonably well-served by public transport.

Our budget is mid-range -- it is our honeymoon but we can't splash on luxury accommodation for 14 nights.

We like cosy boutique hotels or B&Bs! We actually want to soak up the local atmosphere and not be excessively touristy.

The Tuscany/Lake Garda lodging research has become really muddling -- so would really, really appreciate any advice on where to stay, especially from travelers who have actually visited stayed in Tuscany, Lake Garda and Venice.

Thank you in advance!!

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