Do you prefer Italy or France?

Old Dec 6th, 2011, 06:43 AM
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" simply "silly" to order in their mind (and in mine as well). On the other hand, Italy is the place where most restaurants simply refuse to bring you tap water preferring to sell you water that is no better than tap.

In their defense, it's cultural. No one here seems to drink the tap water because it's filled with "calcare". In other words it is loaded with minerals, the type that stick to the spickett of the water fountain after a week, and will break your hair off and dry it out. Not to mention, sometimes when you get water out of the faucet, and look at the bottom, it has loads of sediment! No one drinks the tap, that is why they look at you funny.
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Paris...will we ever stop hearing about the 'rude waiters'? Like any city, there are good waiters and bad waiters.

I much prefer the discreet, professional waiters in Paris versus 'Hi I'm Bob and I'll be your waiter tonite", a student just collecting a cheque until something better comes along, who expects to get an extra 15% more from you, and who is motivated to get you out the door so the table can be turned.

I order mineral water because I enjoy it, but have never felt it was a rip-off, except for that time long ago when I paid $10 for a mineral water in Cannes...but then again, it was prime seating.
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Old Dec 7th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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Very hard to choose. We used to travel to Italy every year. My DH lived there and speaks the language so it helped influence our opinion.

However, we've been going to France the last 4 years and love it. We also prefer Impressionism to Renaissance art. We love the people and food of Italy but have to give a nod to France as our new favorite. We are going back to France next year and then maybe we'll go back to Italy in 2013.

I don't think you can go wrong with either.
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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RESULTS UPDATE:

So I've done my best to interpret the responses and here are the results thus far:

FRANCE: 24 Votes
ITALY: 24 Votes
BOTH/UNDECIDED: 20 Votes

It looks like it is a tough call.
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Old Dec 9th, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Tipping the scales: love Provence; loathe Paris; love all of Italy. That pretty much tips it, but here is the big one for me: the 99 Euro nonstop flights Hamburg-Nice make it a cheap one to book. But compared to Cote d'Azur, the Italian Riviera is rich, dense, joy-a-footstep stimulating, compared to the slow, stuffy French side of the border. Any corner cafe' on the Italian side with sharp lighting, tight hustle&bustle, swift macchiato, and the fast moving sights and flavors down every street beats the dull torpor of the French side. Italy is dense and vibrant. France is pleasant enough, when you seek out the delights, but when I land in Nice, I hop on the train and head east.
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Old Dec 9th, 2011, 05:09 PM
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Yes.
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Old Dec 11th, 2011, 06:11 AM
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Did anyone notice this started in 2008? Still, it's difficult to decide.

DH and I went to Paris before our first trip to Italy. We loved Paris and returned several times. After our first trip to Italy, we sighed and pined to go back. After many trips to various cities in Italy, we continued to sigh. We wanted to live there but couldn't figure out what area or city we liked the most.

Then we started going to southern France and loved it also. We sighed for Aix and Menton and then realized that the people there were probably closer to being Italian!

I have to give an edge to Italy. Is schnookies still around?
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Old Dec 11th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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love both.

can't decide.

is there any law that says we can't have both?
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Old Dec 11th, 2011, 08:21 PM
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clausar,, perhaps you are correct that I have only been to very touristy areas in Rome and Venice,, explaining the poor over priced food.. But in Paris I have never paid for water, it is free,, and very good. I don't buy water ,, tapwater in Paris is fine, understand in Italy it is different though.

I don't like Italian food though,, I know there is more then pizza and pasta,, but they do not do good bread.. and as I said, they actually CHARGE you for it with your meal,, I just think that is wrong. So , water and bread in France is free and its not in Italy.

But,, as far as history and amazing sites,, both countries are equally interesting,, my personal interest in French history of course tips scales for me,, but certainly not a factor for most people as they may be equally interested in Italian or Roman historical sites and thats fair enough.

Waiters or waitresses not speaking english is the just not acceptable as a complaint, in Italy or France or whatever country,, the residents of any country are not there for your pleasure and service only, have some manners and learn a bit of the language of any country you go to.. shame on anyone for being so narrow minded and frankly ego centric. In my city we get many tourists,, many from asia etc, and very few if any of us speak anything but english here, bet its the same where the person who complained about waiters refusing to speak english is from too!!!! Honestly,, I have heard everything.
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Old Dec 11th, 2011, 11:21 PM
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dear justine
I am from a country, where you are getting charged for bread in every restaurant, so this is the last thing that would bother me...
Somehow i am surprised to see that tapwater in Paris is free...
Didn't know that.... But this is no reason to pay 8 Euro for a small bottle of mineral water in a rather simple restaurant...

Now i don't have anything against waitresses that only speak french,but i don't like to discover that they only refused to speak english, even though they could..

Of course i expect from people working in cafes, restaurants and hotels in places that receive millions of tourists to speak at least english.
This is what people do in my country, as nobody can expect from tourists to speak our language.
This is Europe, we learn and speak foreign languages, maybe with the exception of the UK...
In Greece, where i am from, waiters will try to communicate with you in every language they speak, just to make you feel comfortable.
I can assure you, i am not narrow minded nor egocentric and i do have more than some manners.
Also for your information i speak greek, english,german and italian... so as you see i have tried enough, maybe more than the average tourist...
It is rather tactless of you, to use these words for someone you don't know !!!
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Old Dec 12th, 2011, 08:13 AM
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well i like going to France because they will let me inflict my appalling french on them, unlike so many places where they insist on speaking english "because that's what british tourists want".

and if someone wants to add a cover or "coperto" charge, well, that's just what they do, I know is going to be there, and it's has got the exorbitant 12.5% service charge that many UK restaurants now charge as a matter of course beaten any day.

IMHO these difficulties are relatively trivial compared to the pleasure of experiencing the cultures of both countries. and it's the differences that make travel worthwhile.
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Old Dec 12th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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Count me in the "toss-up" column. I love 'em both!
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Old Dec 12th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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very well said annhig, that was my initial point as well !!!
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Old Dec 12th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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We were never charged for bread or tap water in Italy. Where did this happen, Justine?

One thing about water--often the outside set-up area is not connected to water. It's so much easier for waitstaff to bring the bottles. I know, I know, they have to go inside to get the food but it can be an extra trip and "save the feet" has to be important.
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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Italy has always been and will always be better than France.

I can't see myself be bored with Italy after the nth visits
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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FRANCE !!!
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Old Sep 5th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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ITALY!!

Italy just oozes beauty from every pore.

The cities: Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Siena, Palermo
The museums: Uffizi, Brera, Vatican, Capodimonte, Accademia, Borghese, Sabauda, Palatina, Bargello, etc.
The churches: St. Peter, St. Mark, Florence's Duomo, etc. Many of the churches still contain the best paintings from Titian, Caravaggio, Giotto, Andre Mantegna, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bellini, etc.

Even many of Louvre's masterpieces were stolen from Italy. HA!
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Italy by far
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Justine, I don't think you went to typical Italian places--we never ever experienced the bread thing. Water from the tap is difficult at outdoor cafes everywhere. But Rome water is quite potable.

andrejeffry, please read my thread above. Plus Mrs. Phillip the whatever (Marie Medici) taught the French to cook, or so I hear! LOL

On a more serious note, the Greeks and Egyptians may have something to say about where the Vatican got its "stuff"!
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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Hi TDudette,

Believe it or not, other than a few obelisks most of the items in Rome museums are from Rome. Most of those ancient statues in the Vatican museums are merely Roman copies from the Greek originals. The Lacoon, Belvedere Torso, and other famous Vatican museums are all made in Rome

If you want look at the biggest prepetrators of Greek antiquities, look no further than the Louvre (Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, etc) and the British Museums (Elgin Marbles)
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