It was a very nice trip, and was made remarkably easy by our travel agent, Alessia. Our guides were well informed and tailored the events and information well for adults and children. Having been to Italy several times prior, I will say that I prefer September to November. It was a vacation we'll never forget, for my wife and I, and our two living sons (ages10 and 9).
Siena, Spoleto and Venice were the highlights. Siena is a wonderful town with an incredible center, and Venice is unlike any other place in the world. Spoleto gives you a sense of how the old towns were structured, with many layers. Our boys loved seeing the leaning tower, so it was worth a drive through Pisa. Wherever we were, I will always remember watching my boys play football (American, not soccer) while receiving odd looks from the locals (and often times being reprimanded by the carabinieri). Every day our mission was to find a piazza quiet enough to allow us to play a football game. Along the way my wife and I would steal time to scout out stores and restaurants. Our daily adventures.
We would skip Rapallo in the off-season. Our only reason for going there was to hike Cinque Terre but the trails were closed due to mud slides. This was highly frustrating as it felt like 2 of our only 9 days were wasted (my perspective only, as the boys loved the very nice hotel excelsior palace and it's swimming pool). But we would have had more fun and less time in a car if we skipped it and spent more time in the smaller towns. I also would end in Rome rather than start there. We were still getting acclimated and it was difficult for my boys to absorb the greatness of Rome in that state.
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