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Help with Northern Italy & Surrounding Countries Itinerary!

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Hi Everyone,

I traveled to Italy for my first trip to Europe about a little over a month ago, and had the most amazing time of my life. My trip report is still in the works, but studying this forum and the recommendations that I received here are a large part of why my trip was such a success.

Now I have another task - I will be returning to Europe this summer with my great aunt. She will be 71 and I will be 29. We are very close and traveling with her is an amazing opportunity. I am just beginning the planning process and am finding it difficult to come up with a general idea of where to go.

We have about 3 weeks, a mid-range but flexible budget, and some timeshares to trade. We have both been to Italy once.

We have super different interests, I love to be outside and to hike, bike, and do anything crazy and athletic. For example, in Positano alone, I rented a scooter for a day and also hiked the Path of the Gods in the middle of August. I am a history freak and love the arts, she is ok with some, but is not a history fan.

We both love the beach, beautiful places, and good food, and we both have aspirations to see the world and experience new cultures.

Neither of us want to waste TOO much time traveling crazy distances, but we have no interest in staying put for too long either.

The one definite is that we will spend time in Brescia and Garda in Northern Italy. We have family there and this is where our family is from - basically the reason for our trip, so this is not flexible.

For everything else we are very open! Last year I saw Brescia/Garda, Positano, and Rome.

This year we were thinking maybe start in Switzerland or Austria, work our way down, then after Brescia/Garda, to Florence, Portofino/Imperia, Monaco, Nice?

If you think this is no good, what do you suggest? RIght now we are very open.

I am looking for specific suggestions of towns and cities, and what to do there! Where have you all been and what would you suggest?!

Thank you in advance!

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