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Two week Italy trip with 3yo

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My wife and I had such a great trip last year (http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/two-weeks-in-italy-umbria-tuscany-piedmont-itinerary-help.cfm) for our 10th anniversary we are headed back with our DD in tow.

Unfortunately due to hectic work schedules the only open window for our travel was the first two weeks of August. I am well aware of all of the downsides to this - i.e. heat, crowds and the closure of some sites, hotels and restaurants. The way I view it there is no way it will be hotter in Italy than it is in Kansas City during that time period (usually 100+ that time of year) and when you get the chance to go to Italy you go.

The basic skeleton of our itinerary is as follows:

4 Nights in Venice
1 Night in Verona
2-4 Nights in Lucca
1-2 Nights in Florence (or skip staying all together and do a day trip)
2-4 Nights a hotel with pool - ideally restaurant / breakfast on site
1 night may be necessary prior to our Rome departure

I know lodging is booking quickly and so I am working to outline our itinerary exactly.

I already have our Venice lodging booked, a lovely apartment through Views on Venice.

I also have one night in Verona on hold where we will be seeing the Opera that evening (cheapest seats so we can leave as dictated by a three year old's temperament.)

Last time this board really came through on lodging recommendations and would love to seek your help out in this regard.

If you have any fabulous recommendations in any of the cities above but especially with regards to an agriturismo or family friendly hotel with pool / restaurant that would be great. Also for those of you who have traveled Italy with small children is there anything you would recommend / avoid or suggest.

Ideally I would love to do this itinerary without a car though I have no problem renting and driving if needed for a great hotel.

Basic necessities for any lodging will be AC (for obvious reasons) and two beds. Open to all types - hotels, apartments, agriturismos, etc. Would ideally like to keep our nightly lodging at an average of $200 or less for the trip and will need to chip off some of the cost of our Venice lodging to do so.

Thanks for your help - will post replies here as we iron out the details.

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