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From Paris to Provence

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I am working out an itinerary for our trip to France/Italy May 2014, will be our first Europe trip. Whole trip is 5 1/2 weeks (including initial 3 nights in London), we are going to split the 5 weeks evenly between France and Italy. I would love some suggestions on an initial itinerary I have just roughed out (this is just one idea, so any other ideas are very welcome). We are staying in an apartment in Paris for the first 7 nights, and I know that we would like to end up in Provence so we can settle there and relax for a few days to make our over to Italy. The plan is to get the train between the main areas, then when we are in Provence we would like to hire a car to get around some of the smaller country areas.
2 and a half week itinerary for France:
Paris-7 nights (this is already booked)
Strasbourg - Looks very different to the other areas in France, so thought it would give us a broad range of things to see on our trip
Annecy - Sounded like a beautiful area to see
Lyon - Thought of going here as we heard it was a real 'foodie' area, so thought it sounded interesting
Provence - Any ideas on where would be a good base to stay here, so we can drive around to the different areas easily?

Are there any places people would subtract or change from this itinerary? Initially we hadn't considered going to Strasbourg, and were going to go via Dijon...however, someone told me that they wouldn't recommend Dijon, and for a first visit would rather see Strasbourg.....any opinions on this? We also don't want an extremely rushed trip, would rather enjoy areas than rushing through them...have I packed in too many places?

Thanks so much for your help:-)

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