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voyager61 Mar 1st, 2010 02:06 PM

Which area is the Chianti of France?
I've been trying to get an idea about this by reading other postings...but I'm just going to hit the nail on the head and ask it. We loved our two-week rental in Panzano, Chianti from 2002 and are trying to determine what is the best area of France to have a similar experience. What we loved about Chianti: density of towns to visit within a relatively small radius, wonderful little out-of-the-way restaurants, and the rolling hills and valleys that made every view so spectacular, plus we loved coming back to our home base, an apartment in an old villa with a pool shared by all the apartments, and being able to walk from that villa to "downtown" Panzano to get groceries and have dinner. So, in your opinion, where should we vacation in France??

StCirq Mar 1st, 2010 02:12 PM

The Dordogne.

jamikins Mar 1st, 2010 02:29 PM

I second the Dordogne, also perhaps Provence?

StuDudley Mar 1st, 2010 02:29 PM

We've stayed in 30 different gites throughout France for a total of 70 weeks.

Places (in order of preference) we return to the most, that fit your description

1 - Provence in late June for lavender season.
Tied with the Dordogne

3 - Brittany

Stu Dudley

mr_go Mar 1st, 2010 02:39 PM

Heh he... I read the thread title and my first thought was "I wonder if StCirq beat me to it."

Dordogne would be my first choice. Provence a close second. And for a road less traveled, maybe the Languedoc (which is, I guess, more Umbria than Tuscany.)

ira Mar 1st, 2010 02:39 PM

Hi Voy,


You have noted that in France you have your choice of "Chiantis". :)


scrb Mar 1st, 2010 02:46 PM

ARe these areas as interesting if one has no interest in wine?

Or for that matter, isn't a foodie?

Same for Chianti. Been to Tuscany a couple of times but went to San Gimignano, Siena and other Tuscan towns but not to Chianti proper.

StuDudley Mar 1st, 2010 02:59 PM

>>ARe these areas as interesting if one has no interest in wine?

Or for that matter, isn't a foodie?<<

Yes & yes.

You'll barely scratch the surface if you stay in any of the areas mentioned for only 2 weeks.

Stu Dudley

cigalechanta Mar 1st, 2010 03:10 PM

For me Provence followed by Languedoc.

voyager61 Mar 1st, 2010 03:52 PM

As I hoped, this title is giving me some more specific information. Yeah! We stayed in Cortona last summer and although we liked Cortona itself and the house we stayed in, the more Umbrian-like landscape of that part of Tuscany didn't appeal to us as much as the landscape between Panzano and San Gimignano. We have been to Bayeux in Normandy for a 3-night stay and liked that town very now if there are suggestions in the Dordogne or Provence for a town location that fits the description of "rolling hills landscape" and Bayeux-like size and appeal, we have a possible winner. We love both food and wine of all kinds. The ideas of Burgundy and Alsace are interesting, too, and I am open to more info on why they are the best "Chianti" like areas. Thanks to everyone!!

StCirq Mar 1st, 2010 04:37 PM

The Dordogne doesn't have many towns the size of Bayeux. Really, I think only Sarlat is about that size. But there are plenty of smaller towns like Le Bugue and St-Cyprien and Terrasson and Montignac and Lalinde that have plenty of commerce and that are just minutes away from spectacular scenery.

StuDudley Mar 1st, 2010 06:21 PM

Actually, Bayeux did not make my list of top 20 medium sized cities in France. I think Sarlat is a lot more charming (a little touristy, however - visit it on a Sunday or later in the afternoon). I prefer Perigueux also.

Stu Dudley

voyager61 Mar 2nd, 2010 02:10 PM

Thanks for the additional tips on towns. We canceled a trip this fall to French Polynesia for our 25th wedding anniversary in favor of going to Europe again in May 2011, so we much appreciate the assistance in creating a special itinerary.

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