One Month - Best Central Location?

Old Jun 18th, 2016, 02:54 PM
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One Month - Best Central Location?

Hi all,

For years, I have thought about renting a house in Europe for a month and I think I may actually put this into action next year but I am looking for advice on where might be a good central location.

Just to give you an idea of what I am looking for, this will be a family trip which will be compromised of my wife, our nine year old daughter and possibly our sons that are in their early twenties.

In my mind I visualize renting a house that is located in a rural type of area that will allow us to "chill" but that is relatively close to a small town, or village, and within driving distance of some larger cities with museums and other "historical stuff". My first thoughts lean toward France but I am open to other suggestions.

infiniteposs2008 is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 03:13 PM
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Do you speak any of those languages? Would help in interactions with neighbors, grocery shopping, restaurant ordering, etc
Switzerland IS the geographic center, touching on all your 'dream' countries, BUT it can be prohibitively expensive, of that is a concern.
Will you have a car? You know gas averages $7-8/gal...would be necessary for your "rural house" but quite expensive in the cities.
Regardless, all those countries are well connected by bus, rail and boat, should you choose public transport for some day trips.
Personally, I have found southern Germany fits many of your criteria.
mokka4 is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 03:14 PM
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At this point your question is so vague as to elicit only places we've liked, rather than places you might like, without regard to where you'd like to visit from your base. Not unlike throwing a dart at a map which you can do on your own. Is that what you'd like, names of places a bunch of possibly lunatic strangers choose to hang out?
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 04:06 PM
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Lunatic?? Madam I represent that remark.
RonZ is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 04:08 PM
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Great resource:
RonZ is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 04:27 PM
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Really, MmePerdu--have you not considered that perhaps the poster has no interests whatsoever, that virtually anything would please him?
tomboy is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 04:57 PM
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Thanks for the response Mokka and Ron. Some good things to think about. Not too worried about the language issue but I do have some knowledge of Italian so I have thought about Italy.
infiniteposs2008 is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 05:08 PM
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Tomboy, could be. Or nothing will but, at this rate, we may never know.
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 05:27 PM
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A lunatic am I, but here's another try:
RonZ is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 05:34 PM
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What month are you thinking about? This may matter a lot based on time of year and weather - are you looking for hot, cold, moderate?

Also if you are staying in a small town having at least the basics of the local language will be necessary. Presumably you will be cooking in the house, meaning you will need to deal with the local butcher, baker, small grocery,etc - and these people are not as likely to have a whole lot of English as are people in the tourist infrastructure.

If you are going to try to visit more than one country you will either need to take a hotel for those sections of the trip or else stay in a place where at least one other country is only 2 hours or so away by car.

Easy from Switz or very northern Italy. Or the edge of France near where it meets Swtiz and Germany
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2016, 05:55 PM
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Where have you traveled in Europe before and where did you enjoy the most?
What activities do the various members of your family enjoy?
When are you going?
Major interests: History, Art, Architecture, Food, Country, City, Gardens, Lakes, Mountains, Sports, Beaches?
Sassafrass is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 02:37 AM
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Well, that narrows it down to all of Europe. Can you do some further research and come back with something a bit more definite?
StCirq is online now  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 04:36 AM
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Maybe a place in the Val D'Aosta, in Italy, would be ideal. Your knowledge of Italian would be an advantage there, even though parts of the region speak a French dialect, and French is one of the official languages of the region. Italian is the main language, nonetheless.

The Val d'Aosta shares borders with Switzerland and France, and the town of Aosta, in the center of the region, is very near both borders. It's also near Torino (Turin), a beautiful Italian city with great museums and cultural life.

Most of the Val D'Aosta region has a very pleasant climate in summer, because it's mountainous, although there are many microclimates based on altitude. The winters are cold everywhere in the region.

Switzerland is indeed very expensive. We were feeling a bit tapped out after a week there.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 07:57 AM
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Something else to think about is managing the down time when grocery stores and many restaurants are closed in the afternoons (the "mittagspause" in Austria, "riposa" in Italy, the afternoon break in France, and so on); and the Sunday closures of grocery, restaurants and retail (and even as early as Saturday noon in small villages and town).

Our family has spent a week each in the summer months in Provence and southern Italy, and on both occasions we rented houses with pools, in order to make use of the afternoon break. We have lived in Vienna now for four years, and every once in a while forget a necessary grocery item on a Sunday; we either do the "walk of shame" at the train station grocery that is open (and queue with everyone else) or order delivery (not something easily done in a small village).

Good Luck!
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 08:39 AM
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Consider an area near Lyon, where you are quite central and yet close to Germany, Switzerland and Italy, not forgetting the rest of France.
kerouac is online now  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 08:55 AM
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Driving into cities is awkward in Europe. You can get lost and/or stumble into a pedestrian-only area (and get a ticket a long time later), pay a mint to park. It's better if that nearby small town has regular buses or trains into the city. I say regular because all too often the bus schedule is set up for commuters, with departures at commute times only.

Just some things to think about.
Mimar is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 09:19 AM
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Actually, the Val d'Aosta is not very far from Lyons.

In Italy, the larger supermarkets are open throughout the day, with no lunch break. Also, some small groceries choose another day for their weekly closing, and remain open on Sundays. It used to be the case that groceries were closed on Thursday afternoons, but now that is variable.

The best use to make of the afternoon break is that for which it was intended: have a leisurely lunch and take a little nap.

Not all cities have awkward access to people driving cars. The larger the city, the more likely it is to be a problem. Once you know a city or town well, you learn the routes to get in and out, and where to park. If you choose a place in the countryside, you just need to find out if it's fairly near a train station. That will take you to larger towns and cities, and you can park at the station.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2016, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I am actually thinking of France or Italy, my wife would life would like to visit Paris, but I think Italy would be good as well. Personally, I have traveled to Paris, Munich, Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, London and Dublin - Paris is still my favorite city.

Honestly though, since we are home bodies, we will probably spend most of our time at home and therefore it would probably be better to be located close to a small town that has most of the things we need. I suppose we could just take some two day trips to hit the bigger cities when we are motivated. I have actually found a few houses in Italy, outside of Rome, that seem pretty reasonably priced, with pools. For France it seems that you need to go somewhere not close to Paris, unless you want to spend a mint.
infiniteposs2008 is offline  
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