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To Cinque Terre or not to Cinque Terre ..? The big question!

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Hi all Italian Fodorites!

I have a question loaded with indecision on many fronts! I will be in Antibes from July 12 to 17, arriving from San Sebastian and departing to (at this stage) the Cinque Terre.

This seems like a lot of beach time for someone who comes from the beautiful Australian coast … But there are reasons for this. Namely, San Sebastian is about food, fun, walking and lounging and it will be stop number two on our trip after Barcelona.

Antibes is about seeing the Cote D'Azur, which looks like a lot of fun and unlike what we have here. And staying in Antibes we hope to be far enough away from the expense of Cannes and Monaco but close enough to go and see and enjoy the sights.

Cinque Terre is because it is surely a must do? And I want to do some hiking. And some wine sipping :)

I would love to see the alps as I do love the outdoors and we don't have mountains like those of France, Switzerland and Italy. So from the CT we plan to go to Verrana (after a detour to Venice) and while I realise this isn't the alps, I am told by an Italian colleague that the walks are truly beautiful here.

Soooo …. with all of that back story now told, I am wondering though if it will be too crowded to enjoy the CT? Is there somewhere nearby that is less crowded but equally beautiful and that would allow us to get from the Cote D'Azur easily and over to Venice, via Milan (I guess?) simply as well, as we don't want to spend endless days travelling . That is another reason for missing the alps on this trip.

We plan to have four nights in the CT. That's really giving us three days, as we will spend most of the day ahead of the first night travelling to get there, and then imagine we will leave on the morning after the fourth night.

Advice would be appreciated!

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