Provence or Tuscany and why?

Old Jan 26th, 2023, 10:35 AM
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Provence or Tuscany and why?

My wife and I are considering a 3+ week to either Tuscany or Province. Provence is large so we were thinking of Aix Avignon and some other neighboring areas. Tuscany we would likely base in Montepulciano and go from there. We enjoy exploring the various areas and hill top towns. We will have a car. Which area would you prefer and why. Thanks

Last edited by kirk707; Jan 26th, 2023 at 11:26 AM. Reason: Add time of year, we would go fall of 2023
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 10:39 AM
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The Val d'Orcia in March/April when the green winter wheat covers the rolling hills like a velvet blanket. Provence in late June & July when the lavender is in full bloom. More diversity in Provence.

Tuscany
https://stududley.shutterfly.com/39
Click "full screen"
Tuscany starts on page 34

Provence
https://stududley.shutterfly.com/28
Starts on page 58

Due to recent Shutterfly enhacements, titles & captions are often missing or truncated.

Stu Dudley

Last edited by StuDudley; Jan 26th, 2023 at 10:56 AM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 10:47 AM
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Either would surely be pleasant. You don’t say enough about your tastes to be able to advise you. What time of year were you planning for this trip?

I have not toured Tuscany, only Umbria’s countryside, and that just once. To Provence, I’ve returned several times, though my relative fluency in French and merely basic Italian certainly play a role in that preference. Then there’s Côtes du Rhone wine with its peppery, herby bite. Lamb and duck and plenty of vegetables vs pasta. Plentiful Roman ruins. Proximity to gorgeous craggy limestone landscapes.
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Old Jan 26th, 2023, 11:05 AM
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If you had 4 weeks you could do both. Would not in any case base myself just in Montepulciano for the entire time or Aix. Time of year would also matter.
Car rentals when I looked last year were about 50% more expensive in Italy than France if that matters to you.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 08:17 AM
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You could lease a car in Italy and return it in France. There is an extra fee for picking up the car outside France but it still might be cheaper than renting in Italy and gives you the opportunity to split the time between Tuscany and the Provence. You can check lease rates and compare them to rental rates at Autoeurope (https://www.autoeurope.com/short-term-car-lease-europe/).
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 09:32 AM
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I am far more enthusiastic about Provence. I love the art (both contemporary and the Impressionists) the change of terrain, the sea, the history, and the culture.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 10:02 AM
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have done both and loved both. we based ourselves for a week in montepulciano last sept before going to sienna and cinque terre. it was a great base and we toured orvieto for a day, assisi for a day and did some smaller hill towns like pienza.

provence was lovely too. we based ourselves in gordes for a week. (thanks stu dudley)

can't go wrong with either.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 10:12 AM
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Tuscany would be my choice.

I see your cote de Rhône and raise Montepulciano DOCG
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 09:45 AM
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Three weeks is a generous time to get to know the region well. I've been to Tuscany many times and my spouse went to school there for a year and half. Today, we have a place in the Cote d'Azur (but in the portion technically not in historical Provence).

We've based in Montepulicano and would definitely go back. It is also close to nearby Umbria (if you branch out of Tuscany, technically) and I would like to explore the thermal resorts and further east. Florence is a great city for art, and you can even branch out into the seaside areas, if you wanted (I don't think they are as nice as areas further to the north), or into the coastal range. There are of course the famous towns like Sienna, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano and smaller but equally beautiful towns and villages.

Provence (in the modern sense) is probably more diverse geographically given the larger size and the broader span into mountains, canyons, seas and even offshore islands. I would saw the coastal areas in greater Provence are probably more beautiful, from the calanques to the cliff line coves and sandy beaches. Many people typically include the rest of the Cote d'Azur which only increases the diversity., and brings the Ligurian influence towards the east.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 10:13 AM
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We have done both as well. I am drawn to Provence. I feel it's a little less touristy and a bit more polished than Tuscany. That said, I was in Florence for a week in 2021 but haven't been in the countryside and hill towns for a decade. Both regions are AMAZING though and offer towns and villages brimming with charm.

Here is my trip report for our month in Aix in 202: A Month in Aix-en-Provence


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