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Cogne or Courmayeur in the Italian Alps?

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We are planning a trip to Italy for next summer (2014) with 3 generations of our family, including children who will be 1 and 4 years old. We plan to spend time in the mountains near Gran Paradiso National Park and Mt. Blanc as well as on the Ligurian coast.

I'm trying to decide 1) when to go so that the mountains won't be too snowed in but the coast won't be too hot or crowded (I'm thinking late June/early July, and visiting the mountains after the coast), 2) where to stay in the mountains (leaning towards Cogne, but I'm very open to suggestions), and 3) if we can do this by public transportation so that we don't have to rent cars.

The plan is to fly to Milan (direct flights from NYC), then train to Liguria, then train/bus to the area near Cogne/Aosta valley.

For those who know this area, in addition to my 3 questions above, in general is this a good area for both serious nature enthusiasts who will want to hike a lot as well as 2 young kids who will take short hikes (the 1 year old being carried of course!) and just enjoy being in the mountains? It seems like a good destination for both groups, but I want to be sure everyone is happy there.

Thank you! Specific hotel recommendations are also very appreciated!

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