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Poll: Where would you go next, out of these choices?

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Aug 22nd, 2008, 06:16 AM
  #21
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Wow, great responses, thanks! To answer some of your questions:

bozama - We've spent a week in Paris just this past April, but believe me, we've already considered going back! Our quest for variety, however, is allowing us to look elsewhere for now. But trust me, we will be going back for sure. Loved it.

amyb (and others) - We usually travel around March-May to avoid the summer crowds and heat. It's also my "off" season at work. We will be spending at least a week wherever we go, hopefully to take advantage of a rental apartment/house as a base. We may even add a few days if budget allows, depending on the trip and how much there is to see.

We like to experience a range of things on vacation, but we aren't the type to sit on a beach or sleep in...honestly I love looking at the beach, but probably wouldn't step foot on it. We like to spend a couple of hours at a scenic cafe and enjoy the atmosphere, but we are usually on the go in some way sightseeing. We also would most likely rent a car in some of the more driver-friendly areas, and would try to see many different towns in someplace like Dordogne, Tuscany, etc.

I have a strong pull towards all things French, since I speak the language pretty well. It does make it much easier to get your bearings when you understand and speak the language! For that reason, the Dordogne is a bit more attractive at the moment. Our last three trips have been to France, so my language skills keep building. I'm tempted to continue that trend, just to take advantage of the continuity before I jump to another language.

And lastly, to afterall - Just FYI, we're not traveling just to places so we're "acceptable"...no one really cares where we go but us. Our circle of family and friends is not into travel at all, so it's all lost on them anyway. They have never even heard of half the places we've already been. Our plan is to slowly, as budget allows, see all of the places you mentioned and others on our 2nd tier list (which includes Croatia). The places on our current list above are just more interesting to us NOW because of course, we've heard more about them. There are only so many months in the year, and so much money in our pockets. I'm not even 26...give me some time before you get testy!

Thanks so much everyone!!
Anna
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 06:29 AM
  #22
 
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anna...

Now that I know when you're thinking, I have to say Tuscany. I spent a week cycling there in early May and it was absolutely beautiful, perfect spring weather, poppies in bloom, not terribly crowded at all. I found it quite different from the Loire Valley, much more astonishing. I have not been to Provence though so I can't compare. You could always start in Florence, drive through Tuscany and end up in Rome, or just pick a spot or two in Tuscany and day trip from there. You have so much to pick from!
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 06:55 AM
  #23
 
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Tuscany and Dordogne in a toss-up, with Rome a close third. Since Tuscany and Rome are doable together (given enough time), I think that tips the scale in Italy's favor (this time, anyway).

But do visit the Dordogne Valley sometime. We had a great time there, and I think you would too. Also, I didn't notice the Berner Oberland on your "to do" list. Worth looking into.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 08:54 AM
  #24
 
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I LOVE France, but everyone should see Rome. You can rent apartments in Rome for less than a week, and then add a few days in beautiful southern Tuscany or Umbria.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 09:06 AM
  #25
 
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I live in Italy and I think strengthening your French language skills is a terrific priority, so the Dordogne sounds right to me.

Next trip, slide toward Catalonia.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #26
 
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Depends on when you're going. I would not do either Spain or Rome in midsummer - bu tboth are great in the spring.

If you've never been Rome is the obvious winner.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 10:15 AM
  #27
 
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Rome - the Eternal City, add in an esy trip to the Amalfi coast for stunning photo ops.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 10:27 AM
  #28
 
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If you desire a "countryside" vacation of driving and stopping in small towns, and taking pictures everywhere, either the Dordogne or Tuscany would fit the bill.

It looks like you've been to several large cities and would be familiar with all that involves. Rome is large and definitely an experience not to be missed. But, remember, it is a big bustling city.

If you chose the country experience, Tuscany could also be easily combined with a trip to the Cinque Terre or with Rome. (Not to throw another kink into your planning, but you did ask.)

In your shoes, having lots of experience with countryside vacations in France, I'd try for one in Italy, just to round out your travel "resume". As pointed out earlier, you really can't go wrong with any of your options.

--Annie
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:13 AM
  #29
 
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The Dordogne region is nothing at all like the flat Loire Valley or Provence.

The big question, however, is what do you want to see and do.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 12:59 PM
  #30
 
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Time of year, length of trip, preference for activities, etc. would all factor into the equation.

Having been to all of these places (and the ones you've been to), my choice for a return visit would be the Basque region of Spain & France.

Two countries - twice the fun. Sun, country, and sea. Loads of good food and wine. Perfect for a relaxing vacation (beach/spa) - but not necessarily one packed full of attractions if that's what you're looking for.

Of the places you mention, my last choice would be Rome, but I've been there many, many times already. If you loved Athens, you'll likely love Rome. If you preferred Provence or Val d'Loire, then Basque regions, Tuscany, Dordogne, or Languedoc would be more appropriate. I love the Cote d'Azur - but only for a long weekend or 3-day weekday jaunt.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 02:27 PM
  #31
 
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I second Digbydog. The Dordogne would be my second choice.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 02:31 PM
  #32
 
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another vote for Rome
or maybe Rome plus Tuscany if you have enough time. I would define enough time in Rome as at least five full days.
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Aug 22nd, 2008, 02:49 PM
  #33
 
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I am SO biased towards Spain, and it hasn't been mentioned much here. If you choose Spain, I would suggest a split between Barcelona and Sevilla as bases - maybe fly into Barcelona and spend two/three days, then take the train or fly to Sevilla.

Sevilla is one of my favorite cities, and you'll get the amazing food, wine, historical monuments, and great scenery. Plus you can do an overnighter to Granada to see the Alhambra and check out Ronda and surrounding White Towns for a couple days.

BUT, being in the same age category as you, I think a strong contender is the Rome/Tuscany combination. If you haven't seen Rome yet, you gotta! Yeah, Rome's dirty and gritty, but there's so much to see. Then you can head out into the countryside and get a good mix. If you have a week-plus, you can even spend several days in Rome and several in Florence with day trips out into Tuscany.
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Aug 23rd, 2008, 10:18 AM
  #34
 
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I have to confess that of the places you've listed, I've only visited Rome and Tuscany. Both are awesome.

Rome might be a nice compliment to your past trip to Athens. You'll be able to see the Roman interpretation of the ancient Greek architecture that you saw in Athens.

If you're interested in architecture, there is so much to see in Rome: the Forum, St. Peter's, the Pantheon, Colosseum, etc. It is an architectural dream-come-true!
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Aug 23rd, 2008, 10:48 AM
  #35
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Thanks again everyone, I've taken a couple off my list (for now)...well okay only two (Cote d'azur and Languedoc) I guess I need to do some more research!
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Aug 23rd, 2008, 01:19 PM
  #36
 
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Rome with Tuscany side.
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Aug 23rd, 2008, 01:59 PM
  #37
 
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"...and gorgeous scenery for photography."

Croatia and Slovenia.

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Aug 23rd, 2008, 02:14 PM
  #38
 
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We loved the Dordogne region. It's not like anthing else we have seen in France.

I have been to Italy about 12 times, and still have not gotten enough time to really see Rome. There aren't a lot of pretty views except of the skyline -- although i think you could take some lovely photos of the Palatine hill. And of course the Roman and Renaissance antiquities are stunning.
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Aug 23rd, 2008, 03:24 PM
  #39
 
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Tuscany and Rome is the only logical answer IMHO.

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Aug 23rd, 2008, 03:45 PM
  #40
 
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If you are going closer to the March time frame, I would choose the Cote d'Azur over Dordogne. I have been to the Dordogne the past 4 years and weather can be pretty raining (which I don't mind but friends visiting us kind of did) in early spring. Conversely, you may find the Riviera a bit hot already in May, so I definitely take weather into account if it would bother you in either of these cases.
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