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Sardinia vs. Cinque Terre/Florence/Elba

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Hi. My sister and I, 21 and 17 years, are planning on a trip to Italy around early July. Right now we are faced with deciding whether or not we want to fly into Florence and bum our way to Cinque Terre and Elba OR to go to Sardinia. Either way we DO NOT want to go the tourist route. We want scenic views and landscape, hiking, food, activities, and utter relaxation. Ideally, we would like to be close to a beach, but nothing near big resorts. Think traditional and cultural, nothing built or made up to appeal to visitors.

I would like ideas/advice on which route to take in Italy, whether to visit multiple cities or spend our time in Sardinia alone. Additionally, if anyone recommends staying in Sardinia please provide the best places to stay with neighboring cities and the easiest ways to get there.

I've just been reading so many forums and I just needed to start my own so I can get straight answers for my own. Help!

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