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6 nights - French/Italian Riviera

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Hello & thank you for any advice! My wife & I are flying from the US (Atlanta, Ga) to Milan July 16-24 (returning also from Milan). We are planning to spend a day at Lake Como/Bellagio upon arrival, then having 6 nights to allocate for the rest of our short trip. We would like to spend longer of course, but this will have to do for now... We are in our 30s & I would say look most to enjoy from traveling: learning history, strolling through the neighborhoods, taking in the architecture, the cafes, the scenery (both in town & nature), & speaking french. I would also say however, that as much as speaking French is important to us, we also would like to experience different culture/style of the Riviera as well -- so maybe Cinque Terre or other for part of the trip would be worthwhile to us. It's just the matter of time lost in-transit/checking-in, checking-out, etc... of course.

My main questions are:

* Of course, each has different priorities and personal tastes, I am just seeking others opinions/experiences. Would you say it would be best to spend all of our time in the towns/areas near Nice, taking day trips here & there to see other areas all on the French Riviera? Or, would it be a good trade-off to try to split the trip and do 3 nights each in Nice & Cinque Terre to experience another aspect/country of the Rivera lifestyle without too much lost time? Just wondering if there are any strong opinions or advice as we start to plan how best to allocate our time & make accommodations. Would 3 days in Nice & vicinity much too rushed?

* Given we are flying to Milan, & assuming the possible itineraries of Nice, Cinque Terre, would it be best to rent a car in Milan or to take the train for our local travel? Is the flexibility/convenience of driving to to these areas as well as ability of easier day-trips worth the hassle of parking/traffic, or better to do without & manage by public transportation? Again we have return flights to the US from Milan as well, and just looking for opinions.

* Is AirBnb a good/reliable source for accommodations on the French/Italian riviera? Are there other good accommodation sites to check that you have utilized & can recommend?

merci bien!

Stephen

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