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Provence vs. Tuscany

Montreal
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Provence vs. Tuscany

My wife and I have narrowed our choice of destination to Provence or Tuscany for a one week vacation this July. I prefer Provence; she wants Tuscany. Our objectives are to have a base for exploring a region of Europe steeped in history with great food, scenery, and interesting places to explore from a centrally-located base. I am sure either destination would fit the bill.

It is probably unfair for me to ask the question on this board, but I will anyways. I suppose I will do the same on the Tuscany forum. For anyone who has visited both, which do you recommend.

We both speak French, and neither of us speaks Italian. We are in our 40s, and it is the first time we will be able to travel without the kids - and it may be quite some time before we have the opportunity to do so again...

Destination Expert
for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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1. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

While Tuscany is beautiful, I really recommend that you go for Provence.

Why? Because it has incredible Roman ruins, including what many consider to be the best preserved in the world (Arles, Orange, etc. ) most of which are still in use. It is also a region with many really important, and incredible Medieval sites - Avignon, Les Baux, Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, etc).

Western Provence is also realtively compact, and easily explored via a series of day-trips - has GREAT food, and you have the language familiarity advantage.

If you can arrange to schedule your trip so you arrive on a Saturday, you may want to seriously consider renting a house/gite or apartment, as opposed to staying in a hotel, as most of these places are available only starting on Saturday, and they will save you alot of money, and will provide you with a less sterile, more home-like environment.

California
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for Grasse
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2. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

Since you speak French, my vote goes to Provence. Besides that, it's a great place to visit--beautiful (and varied) scenery, wonderful food, good shopping, excellent friendly people, many wine regions to explore, and of course all those sights from the days of Roman occupation. We keep going back and back.

If you do opt for Provence, come back here for location, lodging, food, and wine recommendations.

Antibes, France
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3. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

Before making a decision it is important to realise that they are two very distinctive regions - one is not a bargain basement version of the other - or vice versa - in all of our lifetimes, both must be on a 'must visit' list - the only choice is which one first !

In terms of ambience, environment , variety and classical antiquities I would choose Provence first - after all the great Italian poet Petrarch ( 1304-1374) chose Provence as his base. ( And your proficiency in French will make it a joy). But on the other hand if you add up all the towns in Provence including Arles, Avignon, Aix etc there is absolutely nothing that can hold a candle to Florence as an art centre if you are into culture.

Ed

provence
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for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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4. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

I agree with the other post - Provence as you speak French.

Why not stay in Uzes which is sometimes called the Tuscany of Provence?

Montreal
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5. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

Alpilles Gal,

I had only considered hotels so your rental suggestion is interesting to me. What are some good websites for gite rentals for St-Remy / Les Baux / Mausanne?

Will check the rental site on here of course...

PS Where is Uzes?

Montreal
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6. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

WBL-G,

I was focusing exclusively on Florence at the outset. Not sure why I shifted gears to Provence to tell the truth. I think I want the vacation to be more "campagnard" and less "urbain".

I have always loved Rhone Valley reds more than Italian.

But my wife has a fixation on Italy that I can't really explain...

7. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

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Destination Expert
for Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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8. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

Your best bet is to access the Tourist Offices for the various communities that you are considering, such as:

www.maussane.com

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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9. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

Tuscany is not just Florence. It is riddled with historical and spectacular cities and villages. And there are many areas within Tuscany, with remarkably different characters. As there are in Provence. And you cannot experience all of either area in one week.

There is no logical way to answer your question. You and your wife have to read and discuss, and come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.

Tuscany's official tourism site is at …intoscana.it/intoscana2/export/TurismoRTen/ - but there are many many more useful sites online.

Tampa, Florida
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10. Re: Provence vs. Tuscany

great post, Perilizia....having spent a fair amount of time both places, I don't really even see that much of a comparison, and would be hard put to answer which one I preferred.