Venice - if you just want to see the city, the railway station is right on
the bank of Grand Canal so you won't need a car. The public boat transport
system is a little expensive and sometimes crowded, but is a good way to
get some rest after a day of walking. Taxi boats are available (very
expensive) while the gondola is like the horse-drawn streetcar in many
cities: just a tour.
Try to avoid the town on Sunday, as it's a madhouse, and be aware of the
hot-wet climate which is sometimes very uncomfortable.
Tuscany - very nice and relaxing spot, even in August. Florence will be as
crowded as Venice, but you'll find a lot of quieter places around.
Rome - you'll find more tourists than Romans in mid-August. Hope Flavio or
any other else living there won't hate me, but the blazing sun and a
widespread habit of closing shops and restaurants for holidays can be
really boring. Maybe something will change for the Jubilee; I'd be really
happy to hear things are going to be different, as I love Rome very much.
One last advice: make your reservations well in advance and book everything you can, including train seats!
Paolo Trieste (not so far from Venice), Italy