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richnaz: I've never been to Rome. I think I was turned off of southern Italy by a business trip to Naples in the 1990s, which I detested for its crowds, pollution, and the worst traffic (in terms of volume and lack of following any traffic rules) I've ever seen.

I had avoided Italy overall due to that, which wasn't fair. I did finally make it to Milan, Bergamo and Lake Como and enjoyed all of those cities and would go back.

I was stationed in Vicenza, Italy (35 miles NW of Venice) when I was in the army. I never made it to Rome. Similar thought process to yours. I went to Venice twice. It was very dirty. By now I regret not going to Rome. I did tour much of northern Italy (Some of it in a jeep - on maneuvers - Cortina d'Ampezzo was great.)

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