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Diving and historic site-seeing vacation in Italy and South of France

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I've read a lot of the forums and have not found the answer to this so here goes!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy and then to the South of France. He wants to go scuba diving and I go to the beach while he does that, and we also want to see historic sites . We like quiet areas where you can walk to everything local. We have 2 weeks and plan on having a week in Italy and a week in the South of France.

For Italy, he will want to probably do diving in the Amalfii Coast area, and then we also want to see Rome and Venice and anything interesting and historic we can fit in between. But I'm not really sure how to do that (in which order), and where to fly to from the US. We think we would then get a train from Venice to wherever is our base in France. I will probably try to find B&Bs in each of these places if possible. Any suggestions on this?

I am pretty sure we will book a rent by owner for South of France and stay in one place and travel out from there each day. So my question for France is, which place do we stay that is not too touristy, but near the beaches and diving. Do we stay in Nice, Cannes, Antibes, etc.? it looks like the best diving is in the Cannes/Antibes area. We are open to renting a car, but are happy to get buses and trains also.

And my biggest concern, is what time of year is not too busy, but warm enough to lie on the beach and go diving?

Thanks so much for any input to narrow down my research a little :)

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