Let me begin by thanking you in advance for your suggestions and comments.
My girlfriend and I are planning our first trip to Europe together. We are aiming at the first two weeks in July with 16 days in total. I might be able to stretch this out A BIT but I'd be anxious about getting away from work for much longer. We appreciate this is not a lot of time and we are realistic about our schedule.
We have decided, first and foremost, on Italy, for its romantic sites, variety, and great wine/food. I have looked into things and we are strongly considering Tuscany and Rome as bases, with multiple day trips while staying in both areas (staying in wine country and visiting Siena in the former and staying in Amalfi Coast and visiting Ostia in the latter). These are just options, not set in stone. We have toyed with the idea of staying in the farmlands in Tuscany to get away from the swarm of tourists in Florence that time of year. We would obviously visit Florence for an extended period.
We are unsure about Venice given our limited time frame. This being out first trip, we thought it appropriate to try and see a second country/city just for some variety. We have some ideas but want unbiased recommendations from anyone willing to share.
Any comments on our basic Italy itinerary and/or suggestions re secondary destinations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.