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Help me choose 5 nights prior to Berner Oberland/Lugano

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We are loosely planning our July 2014 trip to Europe and I would love help picking our starting city.

We are able to do this trip largely because we are redeeming Starwood points and can use the "5th night free" promotion. My thinking is that we start off with 5 nights in a home-base city w/ day trips, then move on to conclude our 12 day trip with 3-4 nights in Berner Oberland region, and 2-3 nights in Lugarno or Como (total of 11 nights on trip).

I'd love to hear feedback on doing our start in either: Munich, Geneva, Zurich or Salzburg (we are open!!). I'd take into consideration things like:

- What would provide a good "different" experience to what we will have in store for the latter half of trip?
- What would be easily accessible to get to High Alps on day 6?
- We are food/wine people and tend to research our restaurants right after we book our flights!
- What town has the most interesting day trips?
- We would like to stick to this general area, and are interested in visiting some castles
- Previous trips to Europe have included Rome/Florence/Venice; Amsterdam; Belgium; London, Spain.

Thanks in advance!

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