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Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

NYC
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27 posts
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Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

We are a family of three (wife and a 13 yr old son), planning a 25-day trip to Italy/S Fra/Barcelona in late july. We have been to other part of eu a couple of times but both on guided tour. So first time planning a long trip by our own, it feels kinda overwhelming. We will arive at Rome,

- Rome, 4 days

- Naples/Pompeii/Sorrento 3/4 days

- Florence/Tuscany 3/4 days

- Venice/Lake Como 3/4 days

- Nice/Monaco 3/4 days

- Marseille/Arles/Avignon 3/4 days

- Barcelona 3 days

I know it may sounds over ambitious. We could slim it down but in general we are active vacationers and don't like to park at one place for a week. Lots of questions,

1. whats the best way to choose hubs so we don't need to haul lugages around every day? An obvious way is to stay at the major cities for 3/4 each and do day trips to their surrounding small towns.

What are good hubs at around Nice and Marsille?

2. Local guided tours? For example daily tour in Rome/Florence/Venice; bus tour to Tuscany hilltowns from Florence.....?

3. Hotels//bnb? We have always stayed at hotels in the past. But euro hotel rooms are tight for 3 people. I see Airbnb seemingly have a great of inventories with attractive prices. Anyone have exprience with them or any other apt sharing/bnb services?

Suggestions from experienced travelers are greatly appreciated.

UK
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1. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

Here's a first suggestion on hubs:

Rome/Sorrento/Florence/Venice/Nice/Avignon

Skip Lake Como and Barcelona. Use Easyjet to fly from Venice to Nice. Avignon makes a good base to see Provence and from there you can take the TGV to Paris and fly home.

I sincerely hope you are planning for July 2013 not this year. We are finding many places fully booked for June this year in SW France and are having to juggle our dates. B&Bs often have more flexible accommodation when it comes to the number of beds in rooms.

I suggest you ask this question also on the France forum - you may well get other views.

NYC
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2. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

Thanks for the suggestion Joanna.

Yes it is this July and we have bought tix leaving from Barcelona for NYC. We have been to Paris a couple times.

Munich, Germany
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3. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

Stay in Nice (or better IMO Antibes)

You can get a train from Nice (or Antibes or Cannes) to Monaco for a day. I'm always in Antibes by car but last year my parents did the day trip to Monaco from Biot train station (between Antibes and Nice).

As suggest by Joanna use www.easyjet.com to Nice. If you can skip Marseille etc then use Spanish budget Airline http://www.vueling.com/EN/ to fly Nice to Barcelona

UK
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4. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

OK, so you are flying into Rome and out of Barcelona, I now understand. Avignon is therefore out on a limb - pity because the classic Provence countryside is best reached from there.

I also misunderstood your request for suggested "hubs" (where traffic is exchanged across several modes of transport) which is why I suggested Rome/Sorrento/Florence/Venice thus avoiding the need to hire a car. Rural Tuscany, as others have said, is best enjoyed and reached by car.

I am not sure when you are planning to visit in July this year but from the second half of the month the French start to take their annual leave and the coastal resorts fill up and accommodation will have been booked long in advance. At the same time the Italians head north to the mountains, lakes and seaside so if you stick to the cities you may have more luck.

NYC
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5. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

When you have a kid in school you have no choice but to travel at peak seasons....

Munich, Germany
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6. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

Please be aware that in July if you choose a coastal town/village (e.g. Antibes) owners will often insist on a minimum of 1 week, often Sat-Sat. This can also be and issue with Hotels.

In August very much guaranteed you will be stuck with the 1 week rule.

NYC
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7. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

we rent an apartment in Nice for four days. Yes, I found Nice being the most difficult place in our trip to find lodging. I felt fortunate to find one.

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
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8. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

Air France/Alitalia also fly Venice-Nice, at prices which can be sometimes be similar to Easyjet's once baggage and administrative costs are taken into account.

Air France and Alitalia may charge different prices for the same flight.

9. Re: Italy/Souch France/Barcelona

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