I am in the early planning stages of a trip to Italy for my family of four in June 2011. My husband and I have been to Tuscany and stayed in Pisa, Florence and Lucca, traveling to each by train. My sons really want to go to Rome so we are planning to fly into Rome rather than Pisa on this trip. We would also like to return to Lucca (our favorite city on our last visit) and try to get to some Tuscan hill towns as we ran out of time on our first trip.
My questions are: Should we make Rome our home base and just plan day trips? Is it easier to rent a car or travel by train (we had no problems with the trains previously other than hauling our luggage as we were actually changing hotels as well)? If we decide to stay in Lucca as well as Rome, how many days do we need in Rome? I'm also looking for suggestions on lodging for two adults and two teenage boys.
Thanks so much TA family, you were so helpful in planning my first trip to Italy!!!