Subject: Introduction and questions about our Europe itinerary
Hello to the discussion group, We are travelling to Europe Set. 12 to Oct. 1, and would love some suggestions about our itinerary and perhaps the opportunity to meet some of you in Europe. We are flying to Paris, and quickly boarding a TGV for Lyon, where we will spend 2 days. We'll be at the Grand Hotel des Terreaux, and would love to hear about your favorite patisseries, bouchons, etc. Next, we go to Provence, basing ourselves in Arles for 2 days and then Vence in the Cote d'Azure/Maritime/Alpes region. We wonder if anyone has toured a vineyard in Chateauneuf du Pape and whether that is a worthwhile experience? Also, we'd like to hear about favorite marketplaces. Next, on to Italy--Lago de Como first. We'll be staying in Varenna at the Villa Cipressi for 2 days. We plan to take the 12 mile scenic bus ride to Lugano, Switzerland, because we read an article on the net and Lugano looks so beautiful. Next, we'll spend just a partial day in Milan to see the Last Supper and DaVinci's magnificent horse recently sculpted in the states--it goes on display in Milan on Sept. 10. Then, on to Venice for 3 nights. We hear that food in Venice is overpriced and not very good compared to other places in Italy. We'd welcome any suggestions. We will take the train to Florence and explore the city and environs for 3 days before wandering Tuscany for 3 days by car. Would love to hear

about favorite hilltowns and vineyard tours in Tuscany. Tuscany is the only region where we did not reserve hotels. We'd love to hear about your favorite places to stay. A friend recommended the tour of the Castello Banfi vineyard--what are your experiences? Finally, we'll spend an evening and a day and evening in Rome at the Hotel delle Muse before flying home. We'll primarily see Vatican City, the ruins, and the neighborhood we'll stay in. We'll have alot of information to share upon return, and we'll look forward to hearing any comments or suggestions. This is our first trip to Europe, a dream for us that has been planned over the past 9 months. We are 48 years old, married 18 years, a psychotherapist and a psychologist, very interested in history, culture, architecture and the decorative arts, fine food and cooking, and independent travel. Best Regards, Susan and John Rebillot