France or Italy?

Mar 31st, 2007, 12:49 PM
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France or Italy?

I am a huge foodie that has never traveled to Europe. I am going to go this fall, but I don't know whether I should go to France or Italy for my first time. Any suggestions on which country would be best to travel to first?
thecocoapod is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Here we go again! The great debate! Everyone has their favorite.

My opinion is go to France first, because if you go to Italy first - you may never make it to France!

My first trip was to Italy. The second was to France. I liked France and plan to go back someday.....just haven't made it yet. My last two trips have been to Italy and I have 2 more already planned.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is online now  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Agree with Dayle. Went to France first and now going on 2nd trip to Italy in May.
maryanne1 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Having been to both, I would certainly choose Italy. We just cannot get enough of Italian food so keep returning!
travel2live is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:11 PM
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I've been to both and I'd vote for France for a first trip, especially for a foodie. However, I think you'd enjoy either; pick one and go the other next trip.
Luisah is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:13 PM
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In a sense it is true that it is better to visit other places before Italy. It's difficult to NOT make your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th trips to Italy once you have been there.
TravMimi is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Not sure if you want my advice since I'm not a "foodie" -- if foodie means a willingness to spend a lot of money on the dining experience.

But just in case you want it anyway, I've been to both France and Italy, and I found French food on the level I'm willing to pay for it to be much better than Italy's. They're both good, but I just enjoyed French food (not to mention service) more.

Putting on my fire-proof suit for the Italian contingent now.

jules4je7 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:20 PM
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Flip a coin--they're both great. Though I have to say, probably if food was my only concern, I'd pick Italy, but we're going back to France next week and I love the food there too.
artlover is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:31 PM
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This is me shouting with my heart soaring "ITALY" "ITALY" The food is amazing and the scenary is romantic. Take my word for it, Italy is the best place to go.
pippy4tao is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:41 PM
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It depends also on how long you are going for. Italy (including and) north of Rome
might be a good start.
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:45 PM
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I have never been to France but I must say I just think about the food in Italy and I want to be there right at that moment. I absolutely love the food in Italy.
LoveItaly is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:54 PM
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I love them both...have been to France 4 times...will be taking our 5th trip to the Dordogne and Lot region in May.

I have been to Italy 4 times as well. After my trip to Tuscany last was really hard to get excited about France in the same way... but I really do love both countries.

I would say that I love Italian food, wine, cheese and Gelati more than I do French food for sure.
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:57 PM
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What a fabulous dilemma you are in!

You can't go wrong, in my opinion. Recently I have been going back to Italy and my heart is there, but in the past I had many wonderful trips to France, too.

Overall, I prefer the food in Italy. However, I think that some things are just better in France. Specifically, bread and other baked goods.

I dream of the bread in France, the brioche, the croissants...ooh la la!) and the pastries & cookies -- eclairs and napoleons, fresh fruit tartes, tarte tatin, Paris-Brest, macaroons...okay, I am seriously jonesing for French pastry now.

In Italy I have enjoyed the breads, but not like in France. And there are some tasty desserts and baked goods in Italy, definitely. But for me, the French win this course (not including gelato!)

Now, coffee -- Italy!
annabelle2 is online now  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:12 PM
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I agree with annabelle that no country does bread and pastries like France.
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:48 PM
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We love both France and Italy and on our most recent trip to Europe in the summer of 2006, we spent a week in France and 2 weeks in Italy. I would say that our family (husband, 2 sons, ages 16 and 20) prefer the food in Italy over France. That could be that we are more familiar with Italian food and it is not as fussy as French food. We all love the pasta and pizzas in Italy! We have had some great pizzas in France too.

The Boulangeries in France are fantastic--baguettes, croissants, and pastries! Ate them everyday!

You will have a great time no matter your choice!
BellaItalia is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 05:15 PM
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What price foodie are you? At the highest level French food is better than Italian. But at lower and moderate levels we have found Italian to be just as good and often better than French (except for Venice - but then you DO NOT go to Venice for great food).

If your primary interest is food don't know why you're limiting yourself to France and Italy.

IMHO Belgium has by far the best food in europe - at all price levels.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 05:27 PM
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Either place will be wonderful. As a foodie myself (and my definition includes food at all levels of sophistication and price), I agree with nytraveler's assessment of Italian and French food. When in France, we're much more likely to go to higher-end places (in addition to moderate and cheap places). In Italy, we tend to prefer more moderate places, and love their food.

But in terms of being a foodie, which foods do you love the best? When you go out to eat in your home country, what kinds of places do you go to the most? Painting with a very broad brush, if you tend to appreciate more a more involved, complex preparation, and have the funds for more high-end dining, then France may be a good first choice. If you like pasta, to state the obvious, then pick Italy.
Lexma90 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:15 AM
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we've had 3 trips to Italy and France each and back to SW France this May.

I would choose France for food due to diversity, presentation, vino etc. Love Italian food but boring after awhile we found while the French in fancy restuarants to small country inns offered a new treat each meal we had! Great pride and presentation in either country but a nod to the French we feel and you can't beat french bread and pastries for breakfast either. Price wise about equal I think and a good value mostly, especially lunch menus and in non touristy towns! we have had feasts for 15E up to 30E!

you would enjoy both but we have picked France over other european countries for the best overall travel experience
dsevig is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:35 AM
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I have to agree with most of the replies. Other than Paris being my favorite city, Italy for us is the country of choice. The people are friendlier, the landscape more beautiful, especially Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, and of course, Venice, where do I stop? We didn't have the same experience in France our last trip. Having said that, we're giving it a try again this June. After that, it will probably be only Italy, I would live there if I could. Good Luck wherever you go.
MaggieT is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:18 AM
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Either country would be a great experience for you. I can't imagine that you wouldn't love either one.

Please don't laugh--we are obviously prejudiced--our first time in Paris we ate a couple of times at an Italian restaurant. Incidentally, the food was great.
Giovanna is offline  
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