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Home Exchange: France with a family...Help?

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We are considering a home exchange to France. We have 3 kids (11, 8, 6) and need to narrow down where to *try* to base ourselves. We would have up to 2 wks to explore. We are active & enjoy the outdoors, would def want to visit Paris, and would love a side trip to Northern Italy or even the Cinque Terre (if that would even be reasonable).

We have received requests from Paris, the Loire valley, Nantes and most recently, Provence.

Any suggestions on where to establish a home base? We are looking for a place where w/a car-train we could keep ourselves busy on side trips and see a variety of places.

Please keep in mind that this will likely be our only family trip to France.

Many Thanks in Advance!

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