My healthy,81yr old Dad and I are thinking about Italy in May 09. He was there on the Greece, Italy, Ephasis cruise w/Mom and other relatives about 15 yrs. ago. I am 53, have never been to Europe, and hate boats. He is a WWII vet and would like to spend a day or 2 in Germany on the way to Italy and also visit his family home, Sicily. We've talked of renting a small villa and car to drive where we wish. I would like to see Bari, Tuscany, Amalfi and Capri. I prefer small boutique hotels, or upscale condo rentals and destinations off the beaten track. I have little desire to see ruins and catacombs. Rome is a take it or leave it destination for me. I can return later if possible. This is the daddy/daughter trip of a lifetime for me, perhaps the only chance to go to Italy w/Dad. A friend of his recommended GoAhead Tours, but I am hesitant given posts on this site. Perillo sends catalogs, but appears expensive on the whole. I want at least a 4 star experience, but that does not mean major tourist hotels. I want the food, wine, and flavor of Italy and it's people in case I never get the chance to return. This will be a major expenditure for me (IF I can pull together the money.) To give you and idea of who we are: We are not snooty travelers. We CAN (and have) stayed at the Bellagio in Vegas, but would've been just as happy with another well-placed, clean, and excellent value place. (See my profile and review of Secret Harbour, St. Thomas trip w/hubby.) All suggestions welcome. This would be a trip celebrating my graduation w/a BA from college. I'm figuring 3 grand.