REQUEST Planning Italy Trip in 2018

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Next year is me and my wife's 15th wedding anniversary, and it's always been our dream to travel to Italy together.  I was lucky enough to spend a couple weeks there in college, and it was my favorite country that I've ever visited!  Here's the info if anyone can offer suggestions on where to look/book!

Dates of Travel: Our anniversary is in March 2018 but we'd be open to traveling January through August.
Departure City: Raleigh, NC; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta
# of People: Just 2 of us (I'm 38 and the misses is 37) kids
# of Nights: 7-10 nights
Trip Budget: 3-4k
Activities of Interest:  Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Pompeii, Florence, Venice, etc. (My wife is a historian)

Any help in making our dream come true is GREATLY appreciated!  Thanks!  

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Really just looking for recommendations for good value/reliable travel deal websites or companies. Any help is appreciated!

I've seen some pretty good US-Europe deals come through Secret Flying lately. Since your travel dates are pretty flexible I'd try to hit shoulder season and avoid going during the summer.

There are many sites which are providing great travel deals. Just explore your options to get the best offer. The places you mentioned are great; few more must visit destinations are Rome, Pisa, Capri, and Milan. These places are just perfect to go with your partner. For hotel ideas, I would recommend you to visit sites providing hotel reviews. Make sure to choose hotels with good ratings and reviews.
Happy Anniversary in advance

Best advice is to plan well in advance. You can book your train tix here in the US 60 or 90 days in advance for large discount. 1st class trains are awesome in Italy. You will want to reserve as much as you can for sightseeing in advance. (i.e. Vatican, Uffizi, tours, Coliseum, etc.) If not you risk waiting hours in line. Even airport transfers etc. can be booked in advance. We ended up taking a 3 ring binder for our trip with all info and it made it super easy.

This might be advice that doesn't suit your budget, but I strongly recommend taking a tour. I did all of those cities 2 yrs ago, and the best decision I ever made was to spend a little more and do the guided tour. I didn't have to worry about a thing except having a great time. Accomodations, flights, transfers, some meals... all included and taken care of by the tour company.

Italy can get really hot in the summer, and most places have no A/C.  The usual summer crowds will show up in late June, so I would limit the travel dates to JAN through MAY. 

I really like Sicily too.  We climbed Mt Etna this past January, when it was covered in snow.  Had to use snowshoes, and it was an awesome day.  If you have time, fly down to Catania and spend a couple of days in Sicily (we stayed in Taormina. 

I'd spend 3 or maybe 4 days in Rome, and include an afternoon there in Tivoli as well.

cheapmot said:   You can book your train tix here in the US 60 or 90 days in advance for large discount. 1st class trains are awesome in Italy.
  This is the old way to get around, unless it's not a long distance.  Cheaper and faster way to travel is via RyanAir.  I have no complaints after using them over a dozen times in the past 18 months.  Just be sure to print your ticket before you get to the airport.  Much cheaper than Trenitalia.

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