Subject: Seeking opinions on Italy itinerary
Hello All,

Looking through some past post it appears I have stumbled into the right forum for travel questions and happy to join your forum. Presently, I am trying to make heads and tails of an itinerary my travel agent has given me for a trip to Italy in June/July.

This will be our first trip to Italy. First six days are business conference/tours of the Florence area, then it's off to Venice, Lake Como, Tuscany, Assisi, Orvieto, Sorrento Pompeli & Rome

The original question I was researching was that of "Guided or Rack Tours" at each stop. This agent has booked everything from a gondola ride (for two) in Venice to a full day private excursion in Capri. Personally I'm not sure I want to be held hostage to some predetermined schedule and my inclination is that any hotel concierge could line up on a moments notice. So, should I book all these tours in advance OR wing it for the side tour upon arrival?

Also, after reviewing his proposed itinerary, I'm starting to think he might be cramming too much into too little time. Keep in mind I'll be in Florence for a week prior and Barcelona the week before that. Maybe I should trim the number of cities down (like the Lake Como trip) and do more time in Rome or Venice. What do you think?

I sure appreciate any comments or suggestion any of you seasoned travelers of Italy. Thanks again.

Jack San Diego

PS: Here's a condensed copy of the proposed itinerary I'm working with for your comment:

July 2: train transfer from Florence to Venice for a 3 night stay overnight in Venice

July 2: Venice overnight in Venice

July 3: Venice overnight in Venice

July 4: train transfer from Venice to Lake Como for a 2 night stay overnight in Lake Como

July 5: Lake Como overnight in Lake Como

July 6: rent a car in Lake Como & drive into Tuscany region. Stay at an inn located near Siena. Stay here 2 nights overnight in Tuscany region

July 7: Tuscany region overnight in Tuscany region

July 8: drive from Tuscany to Assisi for a 1 night stay overnight in Assisi

July 9: Drive to Orvieto for a daytime visit / drop off car / take a train to Naples for transfer to Sorrento hotel. Stay here 3 nights overnight in Sorrento

July 10: Sorrento overnight in Sorrento

July 11: Sorrento overnight in Sorrento

July 12: Full day excursion to Pompeii followed by private car transfer to Rome. Stay in Rome 3 nights overnight in Rome

July 13: Rome / Papal audience visit (assuming he is in town) overnight in Rome

July 14; Rome overnight in Rome

July 15: Rome overnight in Rome

July 16: depart Rome for New York City