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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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3 weeks in Italy and France for Architecture/Art/Food/Wine and Champagne!

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First timers to Europe but we are adventurous go-getters that still take those precious moments to soak in our amazing environment. My husband and I love to see sights to be seen while experiencing the local cultures food and wine as well! I'm needing ideas or redirects from those more experienced with Italy and France travels. Any input is greatly appreciated! Here it goes, my direction thus far for early Summer travel...
-Fly into Rome late morning... Check bags into storage and head to Positano 1 NIGHT (by train) to see Amalfi Coast and the blue cave in Capri along with some Lemoncello. :-)
- Return to Rome, 4 NIGHTS, to see the sites (Think Roman Holiday) and enjoy the caffe and cibo. Colosseum, Spanish Steps/villa Medici, Vatican, St Peters Basilica(Sistine Chapel )& lift up to cupola walk, Trevi, etc...
- Train to Florence, 6 NIGHTS, thinking house/apt. DRIVING BASE?? for Cinque Terra (Is this better than visiting Portofino?), Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Bologna (COOKING class, bolognese and pasta/ravioli?), Milan & Bellagio(Lake Como).
QUESTION - Is it better to rent a car from Florence in order to travel through Tuscany, Milan/Bellagio and through the French Riviera and Provence? Returning car in Avignon in order to Train to Paris?
**would love to see Monaco and Nice. Can you drive from Tuscan Region through French Riviera to lodging in Provence within a long day?
-Provence (where?), 3 NIGHTS, would like to see beautiful lavender fields, Pont Du Gard, WINE and Lavender fields with Abbaye de Senanque? Avignon, Rocher de Domes?
-Paris, 7 NIGHTS, (apartment?) with a day trip to London. Cooking class in PARIS (where?), Giverny, Mont St Michel, Eiffel Tower, Champs Élysées, Arche de Triomphe (too long of wait at louvre museum?) Le Cafe Marly, Musee de l'Orangerie, Notre Dome and tower climb.
Champagne tasting with Veuve Clicquot, Moet et Chandon, Tattingers and Krug. Cheers!!
**In Paris, would it be best to rent a car for Two days to visit Giverny and Mont St Michel, then the Champagne region?
Thank you in advance for any and all recommendations on itinerary for cars, train, lodging areas, cooking/dining suggestions, sites and wonderful ideas!

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