I'm just beginning to plan a trip to Italy this summer with my family. I know that many of you serious flyers often travel for business, etc. but I need some advice from people who understand flights and routes and who know Italy. My questions are many and there are few places I'm aware of where I can find so much knowledge in one stop. My 4 kids, ages 17-10 (who are great travelers) get out of school early this year so we can depart before the summer rush about 5/25. I'm looking at 2.5-3 weeks and my early thought is Rome, Venice and about 10 days in an apartment/villa with friends in Tuscany or Umbria-not necessarily in that order. The first question that I am addressing concerns flights. Our home airport is MSY (New Orleans). One of my goals is to limit connections which is not always easy to do from MSY (major hubs we often use are Houston, NY, ATL, MIA). Second priority is a relatively comfortable economy plus type seat but I don't know what airlines/metal might be best. My travel dates are flexible between 5/24 and 6/15. Flying into or out of Rome and Venice seems obvious but I'm not wedded to that and know that some airports are cheaper than others/have more flights/etc. My kids travel well and love trains, etc. so we have flexibility there, too. I'm looking for advice on what airports might be best (considering flight prices and availability and general ease of use), who has a comparably decent economy plus type seat, and any other advice from the travel gurus out there. Many thanks for your input.