My husband and I are planning our third trip to Italy this July, and are trying to decide on locations.
Some background - our first trip to Italy was our honeymoon in 2011, which included Rome, Pompeii, and a week at the most amazing hotel on the Amalfi coast. We said at the time that we'd come back to that same hotel for our fifth anniversary, which is coming up this summer! So, we've already booked that hotel - July 17-23 (http://www.villascarpariellorelais.it/en/, for anyone interested).
Our second trip to Italy was November of 2014. We stayed five nights in Montepulciano, exploring the hill towns around Tuscany (Montalcino, Pienza, etc.), with a day trip to Siena and two nights in Florence.
So, that brings me to our question - what do to with the other week in Italy?
We LOVED Tuscany, and could happily do another week in the region (maybe at an Agriturismo this time, since we stayed in town last time? Definitely somewhere with a pool, since July will be hot), but we have already seen the main "highlights" of the Val d'Orcia... (I know it's not about "collecting places", but I feel like there are so many amazing parts of Italy that we haven't seen yet, so is it worth repeating Tuscany when we were there so recently?) An Agriturismo would be relaxing, but we'll be doing a lot of relaxing in Amalfi too.
The other "big" place in Italy I still really want to see is Venice. My husband was there as a backpacker years ago (around 2000, I think), and he found it smelly and crowded. That be as it may, our budget will be rather higher than his was, so I'm sure we can find a nicer play to stay (with air conditioning!), and we'll plan to explore during the mornings and evenings when day trippers are gone and crowds are thinner, with long lunches/naps in the middle of the days.
Option 2b is to split this week in half and spend 4 days in Venice and 3 in Bologna. We've heard wonderful things about the food scene there, and its "less touristy" nature.
We considered staying in the south of Italy and planning our second week down there, either Sicily or another region in the southern mainland, but we would be doing that for convenience rather than because that's what we really want to see. I'm sure all areas in Italy have wonderful things to offer and I would actually love them all, but the parts of Italy I really WANT to see are in the north...and compared to how far they are from home in Canada, they're still not that far away! So, we've pretty much ruled out this option.
So... Venice because it's so unique, and it's something I really want to see, or Tuscany, which I already know I loved? I know it's mostly just a personal preference, but I'm so torn between these, so I thought I would reach out for help.
Thanks so much in advance for any tips!
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What to pair with a week in Amalfi? (Venice? Tuscany? Bologna?)