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Help! Italy & France and Italy-Two Weeks?

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We are: a budget minded family of 5-6 incl 3 teens trying to tentatively plan a June/July summer '16 trip. We like outdoors, natural beauty, and interesting cultural activities, and would like to focus on that as opposed to a lot of time in museums. We also need to try to avoid hot inland locales as some of us will get cranky ;)

Looks like arrival in London in late June is probably non-negotiable (trying to use mileage) but cannot afford much time there. I think we can fly open jaw. CT is a MUST because we skipped it on last trip (saw Venice Florence and bit of Tuscany).

We thought to take TGV to Paris for 3 days, then go to either Southern France or northern Italy for a few days then to CT. However the details after that get fuzzy. It looks somewhat long and challenging to get to Genoa from southern France. Is it easier to go Paris to northern Italy and make our way to CT from there?

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