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Opinions?

Winter Park, Florida
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Opinions?

My wife & I are planning an 8 day vacation plus 2 days of airline travel time for mid-September of this year. We do not have any longer to be away than the total 10 days and we are trying to decided between Northern Italy or Southern France (Nice)? I am leaning towards Northern Italy. Would Venice make for a good "home base"? I have been to Rome, but not Northern Italy. We are also thinking of Cinque Terre? I would like not to rent a car so I am not sure about transportation within this area. We did go to Paris last year & rode the TGV to several outside Paris locations and enjoyed it. Any thoughts would be appreciated?

Thanks, Tom

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Opinions?

Venice and the Cinque Terre are a long way apart: some 6 hours by train.

Venice is a good base for exploring the Veneto. You can easily reach interesting places by train, such as Padova, Vicenza, Verona and Mantova. See www.trenitalia.com clicking on the UK flag to change to English and using Italian versions of place names (Venezia Santa Lucia, etc.).

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Opinions?

The Veneto region www.italia.it/en/home.html The Trenitalia train will also take you to Peschiera del Garda on Lake Garda. Lake ferry www.navigazionelaghi.it www.gardainforma.com

Chorley, United...
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3. Re: Opinions?

For a short 8 day visit to Europe, Venice is a good place for a Northern Italy visit as it has excellent rail connections from Venice Santa Lucia station to Padua (Padova), Vicenza, Mantua (Mantova) and Verona which are all worth a visit if you can spare the time. See www.trenitalia.it for timetables and fares

However, just back from a visit earlier this year to the Rhone valley in Southern France I have to say that towns such as Lyon and Avignon are well worth a visit - preferable to Nice in my humble opinion (the food is better)

If this is your first visit to Europe then take Venice first and leave S. France to a later trip as it is easy to combine the Rhone visit to a flight into Paris and a few days there with excellent, very fast, train connections between Paris and Lyon/Avignon.

Cinque Terre are the other side of Italy and make a difficult cross country trip from Venice. They are much better combined with a visit to Florence.

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4. Re: Opinions?

I'm italian (from the north) and I'd recommend France rather than Italy, for a better service and a better experience: Italy does not treat turists well. Anyway, if you'd like to visit Veneto, the best base is Verona, not Venice: beautiful, better position for travelling from there to other cities, better food and drinking, cheaper than Venice.

Cheers.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Opinions?

Well, as a tourist who has been to Italy more than 20 times, I can honestly say that I have been treated very well wherever I have traveled in Italy - what a bizarre sweeping statement to claim Italians don't treat tourists well; It is true that Italians are not overly friendly and gushing as a lot of Americans, specifically, might be used to and not everyone is cut out for customer service (just like anywhere) - but, this is just a ridiculous generalization to make.

I often find that people tend to treat you the way you treat them - again, just like anywhere….

6. Re: Opinions?

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Roma
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7. Re: Opinions?

I agree that Venice is a good base to visit Veneto Region, or also some neighbouring cities (like Mantua, Ferrara or the amazing and incredibly neglected Trieste), not for Cinque Terre. The train connections are excellent and, by regional train, much cheaper than the TGV in France.

Another idea if you want to see the Cinque Terre is visiting the North West, staying in Turin and/or in Genoa. Both are also almost ignored by most tourists, but especially Turin is a very beautiful city.

The matter, as often, is that just some places, the most touristy ones, are taken into account, and that one wants to force one's itinerary including several of these places. Venice and Cinque Terre in the same itinerary are not suitable, but Venice OR Cinque Terre, and something less known but basically worth a visit in the same area, may suit much better.

P.S. I have spent more than 30 years of my life in Italy, too, and I totally agree with MomCat. Recently I was in Paris and I met an incredibly rude bartender, but I don't blame it on Paris anyway.

Edited: 29 December 2013, 16:16
Chorley, United...
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8. Re: Opinions?

In reply to RRR74, my wife and i, as individuals, have traveled widely and frequently in France, Italy. In, Germany and Spain since 1949 in Germany and France and first set foot in Italy in 1955. I do not think there is any difference in the manner in which we have been treated in any of these countries, whether it is in Hotels, in shops, in bars, in restaurants or in meetings with individuals.

It helps that between us we have a reasonable command of both French and Italian as i think that at least some of visitors unfortunate experiences have been due to difficulites in understanding what was been said,

I do not think anyone should make a choice about visiting a particular country on any possible "better service and a better experience" in one country against another. There are sounder reasons for personal preferences.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Opinions?

I'm with Robert - it is generally a mistake to generalise about people of any particular nationality.

Turning to OP's question, as he will be reliant on public transport I agree that Venice would be a good base to explore other towns in the Veneto, and, of course, La Serenissima herself!

Los Angeles...
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10. Re: Opinions?

I think you would very much enjoy a visit to the South of France in mid-September basing in Nice with an excellent and inexpensive public transportation, e.g., train and bus, all along the coast of the Riviera as well as the hinterland. As much as I love Venice, in mid-September I love the South of France more.