Firenze and Paris

Nov 10th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 786
Our best meal in Paris was at a tiny fondue restaurant in the 16th.

19, rue Gustave Courbet
75016 Paris
Tel: 01 47 27 09 84

Danna is offline  
Nov 10th, 2006, 11:35 AM
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Two more suggestions. This site has good info and reviews of restaurants.

Also, we visited the New Morning Jazz club.
New Morning
7 & 9 Rue des Petites Ecuries 75010

The neighborhood looked a little dodgy but not too bad. The club looked smoky, but wasn't and the group we saw was from New Orleans.
Danna is offline  
Nov 12th, 2006, 09:56 PM
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Cotninuedthanksto allwho reply. MaureenB, thanks very much for includingyour trip report. You have given me some great ideas! And Jeanne B, thanks for the suggestion of the Sesto Meuccis - not inexpensive by any means but I would rather be warm and comfortable. And for seconding the Winter Silks recommendation. Will go for medium weight.Good point about it getting dark early re Rome. We'll see what DH has his mind set on doing.

Danna, thanks for the little fondue restaurant recommendation and the other restaurants as well. Eating, museums, shopping, people-watching. That's what it's about!

Kybourbon, thanks for the msueum cafe suggestion and kerouac, your info about oeprations as usual on Christmas Day is invaluable.

Any thoughts from anyone on whether or not to do a lunch or dinner Seine jaunt, or to do it without the food? And if you were going out for Christmas Eve dinner, where might you go?

Thanks again all -- what a knowledgeable group and how kind to keep on sharing!

QuinnAdams is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 04:13 AM
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Hi Q,

>whether or not to do a lunch or dinner Seine jaunt, or to do it without the food? <

I suggest a night ride on the Seine with your own bottle of bubbly (bring glasses) and dinner afterwards.

Sunset is 5:46 PM on 12/25.

ira is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 223
Hi Quinnadams. My hubby and I are going to Europe for the first time this December/January. We will be staying 4 nights in Florence and are planning on a day trip to Rome from there. I believe one day in Rome is better than not going at all. Our 'must see' there is the Vatican and St Peters, if we only are able to see that, then we will be happy. I am sure though we will be able squeeze in other things.
amandab is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 32
In answering your questions about where to eat in Florence I would HIGHLY recommend La Giostra. It is expensive but the food was fantastic. It has an excellent reputation reviews of this restaurant are always 10 out of 10!! They have a website which is Check it out it will be woth your time. Also, if you want an excellent tour of Florence I recommend Walking Tours of Florence. They have several different tours and they will include tickets to all of the museums that you go to with them. Their web site is Hope this helps, Have a Great time!!
Ronald is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6
Sounds like a great trip. This thread has given you some great ideas. One additional idea that I would suggest since you are a big fan of Brunello di Montelcino is a guided tour of the region. My wife and I had a great experience in April with Luca Garrapa from Hills and Roads tours:

He pick us up at our hotel and took us for a full day of wine tasting and sight-seeing through the region, including a very memorable (but simple) lunch in Montalcino. He rates are reasonable and well worth it.

Buon Appetito!
Rickz37 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 01:24 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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You will find a few restaurants mentioned in this 2006 report which includes a few days in Florence. In addition to Il Guscio which I mentioned in the report and where I ate twice because we liked it so much (you must reserve), I also like Alla Vecchia Bettola very much. Both Il Guscio and Vecchia Bettola are oriented more towards locals than tourists. Both are on the south side of the Arno. If you are a somewhat adventuresome diner, you might want to try Trattoria Cibreo; get there early because you cannot reserve.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Nov 15th, 2006, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,037
A day trip to rome is always sensible. You could be in roma by 9 am spend the day back in tuscan by evening. Relaxing maybe not but very do able. I would travel to rome for hours to get a glimpse of the collosseum from a side alley lane and happily travel back.
brando is offline  
Nov 15th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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What a wonderful forum this is! So filled with great ideas. Thanks Ira for the advice about bringing our own bubbly and glasses for a night on the Seine but NOT eating on the bateau. The sunset time is very helpful and we would never have thought of bringing our own liquid refreshment. We'll drink a toast to you! Thanks!!

And to ekscrunchy, reading your trip thread made my mouth water in anticipation of the great tastes we will enjoy. I had been wondering about reestaurants in the Oltrano )I think I misspelled that-sorry) and now know some good ones for sure.
But I am VERY CURIOUS about your comment << If you are a somewhat adventuresome diner, you might want to try Trattoria Cibreo; get there early because you cannot reserve.>> In what sense adventuresome? Location? Customers? Food? Or ??? Please say more -- now we just HAVE to know!!!

I feel quite sorry for people who don't care about food one way or the other; it's such a great pleasure! Wine, too.

So many good restaurants -- La Giostra sounds delicious, Ronald! I know the walking tours of Florence are a good idea, but we are pretty stubborn so will probably do Florence by ourselves and spend the $ instead on Montalcino. Rickz37 is the second recommendation of Luca Garappa of Hills and Roads and that's probably wherewe'll oput our touring dollars -- er I mean euros. We are waffling on the day trip to Rome but the posts by Amandab and brando have us waffling on the "let's go" side of it. We are trying to not over-plan so may just leave it loose and see how "museum-ed-out" we get, then decide.

For some reason I am getting very hung up in what shoes and boots to bring. I am eager to walk everywhere and want to be nice to my feet so they will be nice to me, but at the same time I am having some difficulty adjusting to the idea of $300 shoes and I keep reading that boots are the only way to go for winter in Paris, but am unclear on whether that's a fashion statement or a warmth statement!

Thanks again to all. Very soon now I have to start concretizing (a neologism I just heard in a policy-wonk conversation) our plans so we know more or less what we are doing but have not over-planned. That combo sounds challenging!

QuinnAdams is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,480

I am not surprised that you got a second rave review about Luca. I hope you enjoy the day(s) with him. Just a heads-up - I believe he is in Spain now on holiday so try e-mailing him and if he does not answer right away, know that this is the reason. Try in a few days again and title it in such a way that he will know you are interested in using his services soon.

Good luck and I envy you!!!!
Flame123 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 03:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Hi Quinn!

My sisters and I went to Rome and Florence for our very first trip to Italy last February. Also being from SoCal, I had your same concerns re dressing for the weather. Here is what I found:

Definitely be prepared with Winter Silk underwear - you may not need it every day, but you will be glad you have it on the days you do.

I chose mocs from Lands End and loved them. Actually, both my sisters had them, too. (They make them for both men and women.) They are not dressy, but they are extremely comfortable, good traction on wet cobblestones, and they keep your feet warm and dry. I alternated them with a pair of very comfortable boots purchased from Aerosole. For my feet, it is important to change shoes.

Invest in cashmere socks! They are warm without bulk and my feet were never cold.

With these preparations (as well as outer-wear which you did not ask about so I'm sure you have taken care of) and an umbrella, you will not have a problem. Florence is usually colder than Rome, but the weather did not hold us back at all. In fact, there is nothing better than Tuscan soup and red wine - perfect in December!

As for the day trip to Rome, if you decide to go remember that Rome is very different from Florence. I absolutely adore Rome, but there is so much to see, it would be difficult for me to pare it down to one day. It definitely deserves more time. And the time you have for Florence will pass quickly, especially if you take the tour suggested above. But, if you decide to go, just be prepared for it to be quite different from Florence.

I also did a trip report. Here is the link:

I'm so jealous - both Florence and Paris!

LCBoniti is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 03:42 AM
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Hi Q,

>I have to start concretizing (a neologism I just heard in a policy-wonk conversation) our plans ...<

Does one concretize before or after one finalizes?

ira is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 292
Another fan of Rome; another vote for "leave it for another time." Pref. spring or fall.

Re clothing: you will be walking along rivers/crossing bridges in both Paris/Florence, so your biggest problem is not the actual temperature but the wind. Making sure you can cover your ears and neck is half the battle, and silk underwear is fabulous because you feel toasty in the wind but not sweaty inside museums.

Re shoes: have no preference or recs as to shoes or boots, but just the advice that whatever you wear should be able to help you out on cobblestones. For example, as I think I've seen elsewhere on this board, I was totally unprepared for the driveway approaching Versailles my first visit. The soles of my "comfortable" boots were just a bit too flexible-- unable to bridge the cracks -- and my heels kept sinking into them. The next time I went back there, I wore stiffer sole athletic shoes. Yep, still brought more fashionable footwear along for restaurant, non-cobblestone jaunts.
josephina is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:10 AM
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Trattoria Cibreo is the smaller, less expensive annex of the Cibreo restaurant. The food is similar at both, albeit with more casual surroundings in the trattoria, as they both use the same kitchen. The food at both slants towards historic Tuscan dishes and a few of them are for the adventurous diner, meaning there are game dishes and things like stuffed chicken neck on the menu. There are also lots of less unusual dishes but NO pasta or grilled meats. The owner-chef, Fabio Picchi, is famous throughout Italy and beyond. You will find dishes here that you find nowhere else. Seating is mostly at communal tables and no reservations are taken. Because it is so famous, during season there is often a group of people waitng to get into the small dining room. I had an amazing experience here; two things you must order are the yellow pepper soup and the beans. The meatballs are great as well, and as I said, there are many many possibilities but do not go there if you expect bistecca or lasagna or pasta with tomato sauce. I let the staff guide me and was very happy. If you are willing to spend more, you can reserve for the restaurant of the same name but that is more pricey and is the most famous restaurant in the city. When I ate there (at the Trattoria) they were using the most amazing oil I had ever tasted, from the Cappezzana Estate; they will sell it to clients who ask. I believe they are both closed Sundays and Mondays.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:46 AM
Original Poster
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As usual thanks to all. What a great thing -- ask a question or two before you go to sleep, wake up and there are answers and suggestions!!

My first pleasant task this morning was to email Luca and I will follow Flame123's advice and try again in a few days if I haven't heard anything. Ekscrunchy, thanks forthe detail on Trattoria Cibreo - sounds fab! Tried the website and can email them from it but it is otherwise "under construction."
As for "concretize" v. finalize,Ira, who knows -- except perhaps Jimmy Hoffa.Finalize is certainly less weighty so I think that's what I'll stick with!
Josephina and LCBoniti : THANK YOU! NOW I understand! I would never have thought about cobblestones and wind. And cashmere socks - definitely! Linda, will check our your Rome trip report.

Have a happy day everyone and thanks again,

QuinnAdams is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 235
I haven't been to Florence in a long time but I used to go here on business a few times per year. I do remember the noted steaks they had in Tuscany and while there were a couple of mentions of steak dinner here there wasn't mention of the unique steaks. They have a special breed of very large cattle that produce a giant Porterhouse (t-bone shape)which is a specialty of Florence. It's great but you gotta be hungry.....unless you can share.
Bigal is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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You may be interested in this link:
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