Long story short:
Went to Venice, looked up car rental prices: sold.
We rented a car for three days and got to Croatia yesterday. Amazing here. One of the most beautiful places I've been.
We went to an awesome national park filled with crystal lakes and waterfalls, then went to the beach.
We drove up the Adriatic Highway, which must be one of the most gorgeous drives on earth, while watching the sunset.
Saw a sea organ and a cool solar panel/solar system display.
We stopped to bath (sprawl on the beach) twice on the way up the coast, and it was WONDERFUL!
And yes, we did it European style--in speedos.
In Rijeka tonight, back to Italy tomorrow.