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Piedmonte/Ligurian Coast Itinerary Help

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Hello-
First I'd like to thank everyone who replied to my questions regarding our Italy itinerary a month ago. We have narrowed down some options and I would love to get more feedback.

My husband and I are headed to Italy for our first time in early October. We only have 7 days (not including travel time) to explore so we have to keep our trip pretty concise. We are flying out of Denver, CO on Thursday October 3 and arrive in Milan (Linate) at 6:00 pm on Friday the 4th. From there, our itinerary is open. We had hoped to hit up Tuscany and Cinque Terre, but after we got some great feedback from this forum, we changed our minds a bit. We figured Tuscany would have to wait until we had a full trip devoted to it.

We are a very active, 30-something couple with no kids and want to do some hiking/more adventurous travel, wine tasting/drinking and exploring the Italy's culinary scene. (not interested in the arts, cities or museums)- We prefer to visit remote quaint pastoral, farmlands or seaside village to enjoy beautiful landscapes and views.

We are considering driving from Milan Friday night to the Piedmonte area, spending Friday night through Monday or Tuesday in Piedmonte to hike, explore, enjoy the fall food festivals and wineries, etc- would like to stay at an agritourism inn or rent a farmhouse in Piedmonte to cook for ourselves (suggestions for where to stay welcome!)

Then head to Santa Margherita and spend Tuesday through Thursday exploring the Ligurian coast- hiking Cinque Terre or other parks in that area, etc.

We could drive back on Friday to Milan (thinking about driving from CT/La Spezia to Parma or Reggio Emilia for a day and then heading into Milan in the evening)- flight is out of Milan on Saturday at 1:00 pm.

Based on our preferences- culinary taste of Italy/wineries, hiking, combo of adventure and some relaxation- with the amount of time that we have, does this seem like a good start? Many people on this forum have cautioned us against CT, due to the fact that it's touristy and the weather could be problematic for hiking in October, and we aren't set on CT, but would like to spend a few days on the Ligurian coast, so we are open to suggestions.

We will rent a car- and one more thing, I am a vegetarian so my only concern is if the culinary scene in Piedmonte is veggie-friendly (a wine distributor we know said it was not- eek)

Sorry for the lengthy post ;) Thanks in advance for advice.

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