Neither of us have ever been to Europe, so we've decided to change that. We're going for an 11-13 day trip to Italy (13-15 if you count the two days spent in the airplane), hoping to see Rome, Florence, Venice, and maybe Pisa or another fourth city in the area. Because of school/work/the cost of plane tickets we're not leaving until October 2014, but that does give us plenty of time to plan, pick up a bit of Italian, and save room for lots and lots of gelato. I've been getting some advice from Frommers, Lonely Planet, and the like, but given that most of the people who know about the existence of this blog have spent time in Italy, I thought I'd solicit opinions from you all.
So... any can't miss attractions in Italy? Things that didn't live up to the hype? Great places to eat? Dishes to try? Areas of the cities to stay in or avoid staying in? Tips on scoring plane tickets for less than a gazillion dollars?