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France & Italy Journey Sept./Oct. 2013

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Hello Travelers:

It has been a LONG time since I posted on this site.

I have questions about my upcoming journey to France and Italy. I will lay out the plan and put my questions in bold at the end.

What You Need To Know:

This is not my first trip to either destination.
I have seen the monuments, museums, chateaus, cathedrals, gardens, etc.
I am travelling solo.
I book an exquisite dinner out, every night--and I don't dine early.
I still travel with 2-3 suitcases. I am going to try and do just two. I wish (just a little) that I did not value and really enjoy being well dressed and looking pretty every day as much as I do!

For this journey I am focused on food, wine, and some relaxation.

The Plan:

Paris 3 nights
I do want to go to Orsay, river cruise, hoho, a cooking class, a little shopping, and chill...

Giverny 1 night
Might be cool to just take it all in, be early, chill...

Reims 2 nights
Drink & buy, relax, visit Epernay. No tours-- I know how this drink is made.

Chablis Stop here for obvious reasons.

Dijon 2 nights
Wine, dine, wine, wine, wine...

Beaune 2 nights
See Dijon as well.

Lyon 2 nights
Dine, dine, dine...

Bergerac 1 night
Taste

Bordeaux 3 nights
Wine, dine, wine, wine-- no tours. Buy. Day trip to St. Emillion. Dinner in St. Emillion.

Cognac 1 night
Taste & buy...(laughs!)

Roquefort and Armagnac visit

Carcassonne 1 night
See stuff. Visit Perpignan.

Aix-en-Provence 1 night
Enjoy... Visit Marseille.

St. Tropez 2 nights
Relax, eat, shop, then head to Italy.

Turin, Italy 3 nights
Eat, eat, eat...

Visit Alba, Bra, and Barolo

Asti 2 nights
Because...

Visit Parma and Modena

Bologna 3 nights
Eat, cooking class, drink, chill..

Florence 3 nights
Museum, cooking class, see stuff, eat, drink...

Chianti 2 nights
Drink, eat, relax.

Visit Montepulciano

Prosecco 1 night
Drink & buy

Naples 3 nights
Eat, drink, shop, cooking class, see stuff.

Palermo 2 nights
Eat,drink, Relax a bit.

QUESTIONS:

What parts of this can be done by train?
What parts of this require a car? I want flexibility to wander the wine regions.
How do I get from Palermo, Italy back to Paris without spending a fortune? The cost of a flight from Palermo to California make my head hurt.

What would you add for what I want to do?

Grateful,
Oaktown Traveler

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