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Italy, France and Spain: Car Rental, Flight Logistics

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Hello there! We are 3 couples (55+) that are very excited to be planning a wonderful trip that will be taking us to Northern Italy, Southern France, and Northern Spain (Catalonia) next Sept.2014. The initial planning stages are always challenging for me, as so many variables come into play i.e. booking flights, booking cars, and just researching the different areas etc., etc., that I start to get the shakes!
This is a rough outline:Would like to make our way to Italy where we would like to visit Cinque a Terre, Genoa, and the Cuneo (Piedmonte) region. We are giving that area 1 week, if that makes sense, then on to stay in Uzes, France for a week (which I'm familiar with), before leaving for Barcelona and spending a week there.

Our travel style is casual, and we like to cook in our villa's in the evening, but really like the option of staying where there are options to shop and dine out. A little hustle and bustle works for us. We also like to be on our own schedule and so the rental van works for us. (We have traveled to the AC, Tuscany region, and the surrounding area, so we are used to the roads and a larger vehicle.

Sorry for the long preamble, but I just thought it would be a good idea to fill you in on the overview.

My question to you knowledgeable Fodorites is, do you have any advise on best arrival airport given the itinerary, rental car company, and/or doing a loop in and out of a more central airport as in Marseilles or Montpelier?

Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can throw my way.

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