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Italy or the French Riviera in the first week of September. Looking for advice/suggestions.

Hi all, we are looking to visit the French Riviera or Italy in the first week of September this year for 8 nights. My wife is very interested in both places but she has never been to Italy (I have been to Rome, Florence, Venice) but has been to Paris/Alsace. We are interested in culture, scenic towns, great nature/views and probably some time for swimming, etc. I've calculated that the French Riviera will wind up around $1,500 cheaper than Italy since we can get the flight and hotels for cheaper so that does come into account. We are able to fly into Italy at Rome, Naples or Venice and out from Rome, Venice or Milan.

We basically have 3 sample itineraries right now (North Italy, Rome/Amalfi Coast, French Riviera). Looking for suggestions/critiques as we attempt to pick between these 3 options!

French Riviera (Staying in Nice all 8 nights as an example):
- Day 0: Arrive in Nice, relax at beach, walk around promenade
- Day 1: Explore Nice
- Day 2: Menton and Sanremo
- Day 3: Eze and Villefranche-Sur-Mer (Maybe also enough time for Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat?)
- Day 4: Verdon Gorge (Need to rent a car for this one, not sure if we should rent a car for the whole trip anyway)
- Day 5: Antibes and Cannes
- Day 6: Cassis/Calenques
- Day 7: Monaco in the morning, relax in Nice the rest of the day
- Day 8: Flight home from Nice

- Sorrento (5 nights), flying into Naples
- Rome (3 nights)
- Day 0: Fly into Naples, transfer to Sorrento, relax/dinner
- Day 1: Sorrento
- Day 2: Amalfi Coast
- Day 3: Capri
- Day 4: Ischia
- Day 5: Sorrento -> Rome (Stop in Pompeii on the way, just dinner/relax at night in Rome)
- Day 6-7: Rome
- Day 8: Flight home from Rome

North Italy:
- Venice (3 nights), flying into Venice
- Verona (2 nights)
- Como (3 nights), flying out of Milan

Feels like the French Riviera and Rome/Amalfi will satisfy most of what we're looking for. North Italy should still be romantic but more cities and no beaches.

Posted by
7446 posts

I’ve been to all of those, and I think your French Riviera itinerary would be very nice and fulfill your wishes.

A car in that area is less desirable since you can easily get around the coast by train or bus. So, rent the car for exploring away from the coastline.

When you’re in Menton, be sure to walk over to the east end of the city where the gorgeous sunset colors of buildings & winding lanes provide ample opportunities for beautiful photos. I have one of those photos enlarged on canvas in my home office.

The Rothschild pink villa at Saint Jean-Cap-Ferrat is gorgeous, and the gardens are wonderful! Don’t miss that one.

Posted by
7906 posts

All good, like picking ice cream flavors, they are all good.

One thing, if you go to Rome, you will need more days there, there is so much to see.

Posted by
4 posts

A side note: When don't go to an ice cream shop that sells a bunch of crazy flavours that you cannot guess what the ingrediants are, chances are it's not natural.
Instead make sure to visit a Gelateria, which is ice cream but made with more milk, if one flavour is "Artificial", then all flavours will not be natural. Go to places where Italians go and there is a line, most likely that will be an original Gelateria

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! We ended up choosing the French Riviera among these 3 and also Florence/Liguria because we can get flights to Florence. My wife really wants to go to Italy above everything so we considered them for a while but still chose the French Riviera because we'll be by the water the whole trip :)