I posted another post in order to seek help but it was so long that I probably got what I deserved...no responses. This one too is a little long...but broken into numbered questions. First a brief intro....
I want to plan a second trip to Italy for myself and the wife. This trip will have some repeat of the first. How much repeat is a hard question. The trip will be approximately 30 days from early/mid May...lasting into June of 2014. I'm really overwhelmed at the possibilities. We loved Rome and will spend the first 6 nights there yet again. I am interested in ending our trip where we can swim. Sardegna was in the running last time but ruled out due to swimming being questionable in May. My wife really wanted to go to Sardegna...but now she's not as convinced. (we saw a travel video of both Sardegna and Sicily....and it really dampened our enthusiasm a bit) Perhaps we just saw a poorly shot video?)
Our last trip was in May 2009: Rome 6 - Venice5 - Tuscany7 - Positano5 - Rome2 - Home. We visited many towns in Tuscany....with a quick trip to Assisi. At the coast we also visited Amalfi and Ravello.
So...here are few questions...
1. After we start our trip in Rome and visit other cities/towns...we would like to once again visit a coastal area. We want to be able to relax and swim....while still having the ability to do some exploration away from the beach. We could repeat the Amalfi area, (LOVED the Walk of the Gods!) it was breathtaking and the swimming great during an unexpected heat wave. But, it may that a new place would make more sense. Would Sicily, Sardinia or some other place be a better choice? (early to mid June) Also see #3.
2. If you had already visited Florence (for 1 day), Siena, Montepulciano, Montalcino, San Gimignano, Volterra and Assisi...where would you go next? (specifically within the same central part of Italy as these other places)
3. Aside from the options mentioned in #1 I'm also very interested in the area just below Amalfi. Possibities would include places like Paestum, Agropolis, Palinuro, Camerota, Scalea and Matarea and others. All look like they might fit the bill for both a beach vacation and the possibility to explore new towns.Do they compare well with Sicily and/or Sardegna? What about as far down as Tropea?
4. This is a free-for-all request for ideas. We haven't visited Bologna, Verona, Parma, Perugia, Orvieto, Pisa, Lucca..in addition to countless other places such as the Le Marche area. Any thoughts on these places? How do they compare with what we have already seen?
5. Health issues may prevent our dream of living in Italy...but we still cling to a remnant of this dream. Are there any places that we might want to take a look at during our travels? (Rome and Florence are already primary considerations) We want a town large enough to have several shops, piazzas, restaurants bakery's, churches, doctors, and of course history. (The smaller places we visited probably wouldn't work...might be as little too sedate for daily life. (Assisi, for example, is a favorite town...but may be on the bubble as far as size)
Help will be much appreciated.