Arlene M's activity
We've only been once and it was a 2-week tour. We went in July (it's been 10 years already!) and saw Rome, Florence, Milan, Sorrento, Capri, Venice, Verona, Pisa, Assisi, Lake Maggiore, Pompeii, Siena ... and stops along the way. For me, the highlights were Venice, Sorrento and Lake Maggiore. The museums in Florence were amazing. We saw the Vatican and colisseum in Rome, and had some great food there in that City. Pompeii is a wonder! If you do Pisa, don't make a day of it. Make it a 20-minute stop and then be on your way. That's all you need there. There are lots of little towns everywhere in Tuscany and along the way. Get to northern Italy (northern lakes region) if you can. We even went into Lugano Switzerland one day. It's just beautiful up there.Believe what people tell you about theft. Don't carry a purse on your shoulder and I'd use a wallet or zipper pouch that you can tie around your waist or under your shirt. My sister in-law set down her camera for a split second to pay for something at an open market and it was gone in 2 seconds.The Italian people are just wonderful. I was so impressed at how friendly they are and how much pride they take in their jobs, etc. Granted, we were with an Italian tour guide the whole time, but people seemed genuinely happy there with their work and happy with visitors. July was hot, for sure. If you struggle with heat, that might not be the best. The one day it did really get to me was the day we were walking around Pompeii. Now, 10 years later, it might affect me more than it did then! We loved every moment though. We plan to return in 2 years when we retire, and we are planning to stay for a month - maybe do a tour again for the first week or so (going with friends who have not been there), and then maybe rent an airbnb or something centrally located and try to fend for ourselves. We need to start our own planning!We stayed at hotels throughout our stay, but my brother in-law and his wife go every few years and they also like the agriturismo as an option now and then - kind of like a B&B, but on a working farm, so you get to eat what they prepare from there.Enjoy planning. The anticipation is fun. Embrace it all!!
As far as the Amalfi coast, and also for the perfect opportunity to spend time with the locals, I highly recommend Sorrento. It was one of my favorite cities during a 2-week tour that we did. It's also in close proximity to day trips in the area, including Capri. Enjoy your travels!!