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Can anyone on this board offer suggestions on how to approach planning this trip? Must see places?

I think you've gotten some great tips but I have another tip.

Even if you don't plan on taking a guided tour of Italy, I suggest that you get a brochure from Perillo Tours. They used to specialize in just Italy and have some wonderful trips. (I took a Perillo tour many years ago and the value was great but I don't know if it's the same today.)

Also look at other tour brochures as they will help you see the "hot spots" and how close they are to each other. Then you can decide if you want to see those "tourist" locations or go off the beaten track.

Whenever I plan a trip to a "new" area, I pick up a couple of brochures of tours run by "named" companies (e.g. American Express, some of the airlines, etc.) just to see where they go and the proximity of the cities.

Have a great trip and have fun planning!

Christina
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