Subject: Trip to Italy - Cinque Terre / Venice
Hi I recently joined this group and have enjoyed all the posts. Now we are planning a trip and would like some help. We are planning to go to Italy for two weeks in mid October. (fly to Venice leave out of Milan). We want to go to Venice and Cinque Terre. I thought about adding Florence and Sienna. We enjoy good food, outdoors and my husband's hobby is photography. So we are looking for spectacular scenes. Should we head north to Lake Como, Varenna, Alpe di Siusi instead of out to Florence? I've been to Florence before, my husband hasn't. This is our first trip to Europe (together), but he will be retiring in the next 1-2 years, and we are planning many more trips. We don't have to do everything on our first trip to Italy.

Given that we have two weeks, do you guys have any suggestions? Hotels, restaurants, etc. My husband loves to take pictures of cliffs/ocean, etc. Are there other towns near Cinque Terre that we should visit? With spectacular views? Any suggestions for number of days at each place? Also, we always wanted to go to the Amalfi coast, but decided to go to Cinque Terre instead. Is this a mistake? Any comments? Any help would be appreciated. Maria Los Angeles, CA

P.S. I also would like to rent a cellular phone when I am in Italy. Does anybody have experience with this? I read about the internet cafes. I am planning on leaving my laptop at home for the first time (ever!). I have my own business and I am a little nervous about not being available, but I want to have a REAL vacation.