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Advice for Venice/Rome Trip

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Planning a trip for 8 nights in May in Italy, starting in Rome and ending in Venice. Family of four, two kids - 22 YO son (this is a college graduation present) and 19 YO daughter. We have been to Florence for one day - in the course of a longer trip to Tuscany - but never to Rome or Venice.

Our original thought was to do 5 nights in Rome, one night somewhere between Rome and Venice (convenient to one of the high-speed trains) and then finally two nights in Venice. Now I'm wondering whether we should just do an extra night in Rome and forget the intermediate stop.

Any thoughts? Are there any places that are truly worthwhile for a group like ours to stop over in? Padua and Bologna are the most obvious choices but I have spent a fair amount of time in Bologna and I don't think my family would find it that interesting.

(To give you some insight into our proclivities, we were originally thinking of stopping in Perugia to do the chocolate factor tour, but then we decided not to drive).

Thanks all.

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