Dear Italy Board chowhounds,
My husband and I are considering taking a break from our yearly (frequent-flyer funded ) vacations in France to try Italy for the first time in many years. I have an Italian friend who can put us up in Venice, for free, which is definitely a lucky plus as we will be on a somewhat limited budget (meaning no blow out meals every night). We'll have around two weeks in early Sept. Given that we've both been to Venice (several times, thanks to having such a great friend!) we thought we'd spend a week there and a week...somewhere else. I am lost...help!
The reason I am pleading on Chowhound is because this part of the trip will center on food and wine. Looking for an itinerary that's not too taxing to do from and back to Venice...off the beaten tourist path.... not real urban as we will be staying in the center of Venice. After Venice, I want to see some of the Italian countryside (seaside?) so I feel like I have had the best of both worlds.
I don't want to come back home exhausted, meaning that I don't want to try to cram in too many places. Love art but want the second part of the trip to be about food and wine,and not necessarily in that order! (our original plan had been to spend some time in Paris then go to Burgundy)
What would YOU do given this criteria?