Paris v. Italy

Old Dec 5th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Paris v. Italy

This may sound crazy, but please bear with me...

My husband and I returned from 8 days in Paris in early October, and fell in love with it - we fell hard! It was our first trip to Europe, and we loved everything about Paris. The food, the people, the atmosphere, the joie de vivre, the strolling, etc. You get the idea. Neither one of us are true museum people, so while we did go to the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, etc., what we really found ourselves REALLY wanting to do each day was just wander around and sit in cafes.

Before we went to Paris, we had been interested in visiting Italy, but now we're thinking about our next trip and we just aren't sure. We're afraid that we won't enjoy Italy as much as Paris, and will just spend our time wishing we had gone back to Paris instead.

What do those of you who have been to both places think? Can a couple who love food and strolling around (but aren't so crazy about museums) like Italy, or has Paris spoiled us forever?
cthoops is offline  
Old Dec 5th, 2007, 01:54 PM
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I can only make a comparison between Paris and Venice. There was a very similar magic for us in just "wandering around" both places.

In March, we go to Rome for a week, based on looking for the same thing and seeing it in trip reports, etc.

For 2009, a return to Paris!
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Paris is a city and Italy is an entire country. The Tuscany countryside is quite different from Paris. You should not compare the two - they are totally different experiences. So is Paris vs Provence or the Dordogne.

If you had asked Paris vs Rome, then I think there is some debate.

Stu Dudley
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Agree with the above posters re making comparisons with Paris and an entire country.

However, I would far rather go to anywhere in Italy over Paris. We went to Italy after Paris and were bowled over. I now have no interest in returning to Paris (except for the food) but return to Italy again and again.

When we went to various countries after Italy we practically felt as though we were deserting Italy. It is difficult to compare one country to another as they all have their unique experiences and adventures. We thought in comparison we may be disappointed in some places but so far have not. Our trips just keep getting better and better!
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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You will never know unless you go... split time between 2 or 3 places if you have enough time. Start in Italy, finish in Paris.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Apples and oranges. Widen your horizons and sample both. Then you'll know for certain where you'll want to return to.

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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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If you like sitting in restaurants you will love rome... sitting at the Pantheon and watching people in a plaza in front of a Roman temple. Or in Plaza Navona... listing to strolling singers in each... We have been to Paris a we love it too. Rome is just as special. Visit my web site to see the pictures...
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 02:58 PM
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Paris is my favorite city in Europe (in the world, actually), and I've returned to it again and again . . . BUT that doesn't mean that it's "spoiled" me for other places.

I've also loved Rome and Venice, not to mention Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam . . . and lots of other smaller cities and towns too. Each place is unique and offers something different from the next.

So the answer to your questions: YES, a couple who love food and strolling around can very easily love Rome or Venice as much as Paris.

And NO, loving Paris doesn't mean you will regret visiting Italy. You may find that you love Rome or Venice or Florence even more -- or maybe not. But you won't know until you visit.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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We also spent a week in Paris this June, and totally loved it, even more than we did before. Funny, we always feel we won't enjoy France as much as we do Italy, but they are both wonderful in their own way. We are planning a month trip to Italy next year, spending two weeks in Tuscany again. If you don't go anywhere else in Italy, visit Venice and Tuscany. We also are not museum people, we totally enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of the place we're in, and KNOW you will love Italy. The year after is a trip back to France, where we had a wonderful time this year. We love them both for different reasons, as I'm sure you will too. Good Luck.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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I've gone to both over a 30+-year period although I go to Paris almost annually mostly because I've made connections with so many shop owners and eatery owners, over the decades,until it's like dropping in and saying hello to friends. Plus, I know the place like the back of my convenience.

BUT, I absolutely ADORE the Italian vibe, food, and shopping. But, if I were you I wouldn't compare the two...Paris is Paris and Italy is Italy...just go and try it out. Plus, as someone said, you can't compare one city to a whole country.

This spring I will return to take my Mom again. She's been a Paris lover since the mid 70s when I first took her. While there,I'll see some aquaintances...but I'm already planning to do both Paris and Italy...Bologne... in spring 2009.

What you should do is what I do a LOT...get a flight where you can pick two destinations and use one as a free stopover...or use frequent flyer miles to do this...Paris and Bologne cost 50,000 miles in economy. Two countries on one award.

My plan is to take Air France out of L.A. and in order to get to Bologne, I'll have to stop in Paris. So, I'll fly L.A.-Paris-Bologne and arrive into Bologne in the early afternoon...then stay 4 days and then on the 5th day take the Air France 7:00 AM-ish flight out of Bologne into CDG-Paris, arriving around 9:00AM-ish. Then stay in Paris 4 days and then fly back to L.A. Then I've knocked out two birds with one stone.
I always do these kind of flights when in S.E.Asia, take Singapore Air from L.A.-Bangkok and have to stop in Singapore. Then I can say hi to friends and fly on to Bangkok whenever I want or stopover in Singpaore, on the in on my way back home.

You just have to take advantage of these routings. Call the airline about stopover routings...You can also go on and other dot coms and figure out different routings. Hope this has helped. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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You're making it very hard for yourselves. The problem is that when you do go to Italy, you're going to be approaching it with an "is this is great as Paris?" attitude, and you are doomed from the start, because you'll be wanting it to be just like Paris. You have to open yourself to it being quite different and look for other things to enjoy.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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i too love Paris,however I also love Rome, Florence, Venice, The Amalfi Coast, Calabria, Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria, Lake Como, etc etc. YOu can love Paris but still want to see other places to fall in love with . Do not miss the beauty of Italy. Paris can be your first love but do go to other places.
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 05:56 PM
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I think a first trip to Europe is like a first love. More than slightly addictive. I love Paris, too, but wait til you get to Italy! "The food, the people, the atmosphere, the joie de vivre, the strolling etc. You get the idea." Yes,I do!

France and Italy probably top my short list of the places I love most in the whole world. If I had Donald Trump's money, I'd live half the year in Paris, and split the other half between Rome and many smaller Italian cities and villages.

Anyway, why not do both?
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 06:04 PM
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My advice is to return to Paris and to keep on returning to Paris. Paris is undervalued right now and Italy's stock is way too high. They really don't need anyone new. It's hard to see how you could squeeze another person into Italy, just now.

Both destinations lend themselves to walking your feet off and flopping down in cafes for awhile. Unfortunately Italy has a number of outdoor museums such as the Colosseum, Forum, Appian Way etc and you may find it hard to avoid them. This seriously cuts into your cafe time, long walks on the beach, seeking Pisces or whatever.

Also the food in Venice (mostly) sucks.

It can't be too long until the pendulum swings and the herds tromp off to the next "soul-fulfilling destination." Then you can head to Italy, if you don't mind those who will be considering it so yesterday . . .

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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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Since this was your first trip to Europe I'd agree with the other posters that it's a good idea to try out other adventures.

I know how you feel though. I had visited most of the countries in Western Europe and absolutely loved Italy. In September 2001 I decided to spend 2 weeks exclusively in Spain although I'd never visited there. I was a little worried I would miss Italy the entire time. From the moment the plane landed I was in love with Spain. All thoughts of Italy were erased! Spain is now my passion - I visit there twice each year. I don't want to start a debate on which country is the best - everyone has different tastes. However, I'm so glad I dated around a bit before settling down!
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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I love Paris and feel that I could return there over and over again, and have. I love Itally and could go there over and over again, and have. The same can be said for Germany, Austria, Spain, etc. etc.

While we keep returning to France, especially Paris, and various places in Italy, we also love the other places we have gone for very different reasons. I just make it a point that every other trip has to be to someplace new. That keeps me returning to my favorite places while still seeking out new and exciting adventures in new places.

I think you should go to Italy and enjoy it. Don't compare it to Paris because there is no place else in the world like Paris. Each place is unique and wonderful so eat it all up and return to the old loves often.

Happy travels. Jackie
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 07:08 PM
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Isn't it funny- I think 95% of the posters say to go to Italy.

I'm with THEM! In October, I went to Paris, Rome, Venice and Florence. I loved Paris and Florence. They were wonderful cities. But Rome and Venice have stolen my heart forever. And such different cities!

Don't miss Italy just because you love Paris. You can do both, and I hope you will!

Have a great time!!!
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Old Dec 5th, 2007, 10:16 PM
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We're not museum people either, but if you choose to visit Rome, you'll find it "museumly" different from Paris. We, too, love Paris and are heading back Xmas Day for our 3rd trip in two years, and this time we will add on a week in Rome, returning there after an absence of 12 years. Rome was my first love (my first overseas trip actually), and had remained so in my mind for the 12 years --- until we visited Paris! Oh my, my heart was torn, because now Paris won it! What I can tell you is you'll love Rome for all reasons mentioned already, but their history is so unbelievably front and center! They live around things we read about in our history books and they just walk right on by. I promise you you'll love the Pantheon (my favorite), Colosseum, St Peter's, Forum, etc. If you give Rome a try, you will find your heart torn in half, too; kind of like which grandparent do you love more?
Hint as always: do just a bit (or a whole lot) of research in the few weeks prior. You'll enjoy yourself so much more! Au revoir and Ciao!

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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 01:18 AM
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Hi cthoops,

living in the uK, I have far more opportunities to go to "europe", but somehow never got to Rome until i was almost 50. 50 wasted years.

I too love paris but Rome blew me away. you could fill a whole week there and never go anywhere near a museum. loads of opportunities for strolling, people watching, sitting in cafes.

Venice too is a surprisingly good place for strolling and sitting. I've just been reading "Venice for Pleasure" written by someone who positively encourages you NOT to go into the museums etc., but to wander sound the streets and enjoy the atmosphere.

I would urge you to try Italy, before you discount the rest of europe as being "not Paris".

regards, ann
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