Paris v. Italy

Old Dec 6th, 2007, 02:10 AM
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Hi C,

>Can a couple who love food and strolling around (but aren't so crazy about museums) like Italy, or has Paris spoiled us forever?

Yes and Yes.

We go back to Paris at least every other visit to Europe.

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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 03:42 AM
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Paris was my favorite European city before I went to Rome. I would have to say I prefer Italy but Paris is still a wonderful place. Here are my trip reports from Paris and Rome . Maybe this will give you an impression of what to expect from e.g. Rome

Gard - trip reports and pictures
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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cthoops I share your concern. It's so easy to go back to Paris again and again and never see the same things. I fell in love with it at first sight too.

Like others have said, however I loved Tuscany and the Cinque Terre and would readily go back there. I didn't enjoy Rome. I'm glad I went and saw it, but no need to go back.

I think based on your likes you would be better suited to the Tuscany and CT.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Have been to both France and Italy numerous times, I agree with previous posters that Paris is a city and Italy is a country. Love them both! They are different but sitting on an Italian piazza is also priceless! The summer of 2006 we spent time in Southern France and Italy but nothing can beat being in Sorrento when Italy won the World Cup!

There is nothing wrong with returning to the places you love (we have returned to Provence,the Cinque Terre, Venice (3x), and Rome), but I would strongly encourage you to spread your wings and see more than just Paris.

My husband and I have been fortunate to have traveled (along with our 2 sons) numerous times to Europe and have visited many countries including France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and the Czech. R. We have seen lots and always have our new "favorites." Dubrovnik, Croatia, is absolutely stunning! Go for it!!!
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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Gotta say the Italians have it all over the Parisians in joie de vivre. I find the Parisians kinda glum and serious, more so than people in the other parts of France. And especially more so than Italians, who are more friendly and outgoing, more open to foreigners. If you like sidewalk cafes, strolling, the atmosphere, you'll love Italy.

I agree that the food in Venice is not so good unless you pick your restaurants very carefully. (Fodorites can help!) But otherwise the food in Italy is great, not so complex as French cuisine, but almost uniformly very good -- and cheaper. Plus there's gelato!

But, as you may be able to tell, I am not a big fan of Paris.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Long live Italy and Italians! Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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Go to Italy, by all means. Paris is my favorite city to visit but Italy is my favorite country.

All of the things you loved about Paris can be found in Venice, Florence and Rome. And the Italian countryside from the Lake Country to Sicily is simply incredible.

It is like your children; you don't love one more than the other but you love them differently and for different reasons.

Both are wonderful and it is never a bad thing to have two incredible destinations. Whichever you choose, you will love. And, by the way, if you decide to go back to Paris, include a visit to Provence or the Loire, Normandy or the Dordogne. The French countryside is wonderful as well.

Good luck on making your choice!
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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I love both places too.

Regarding the sites: One thing I loved about Rome was places like the Forum, Ostia and I have yet to make it to Cerveteri (Etruscan ruins). You are not walking along looking at glass cases and roped areas. You are meandering along the stones where people lived. It is people watching of the past.

I really loved walking around Florence too.

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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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Our last four trips have been to France with three stays in Paris. I must say that I adore France - the culture, the history, the people, the different regions, the food ... EVERYTHING!

That said, my husband & I are planning our first trip to Italy next September/October and I am beside myself with excitement & anticipation! It could be that this trip will mark my retirement. Nevertheless, the prospects of going to Venice, Lake Como & Tuscany are stuff dreams are made of! I feel so fortunate to have the means & opportunity to travel and to learn & have new experiences!

I think you have to go and see/experience Italy & France for yourself. You'll soon know what you love & where you will return! Enjoy!!!

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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Assuming you've acquired a taste for European travel in general on the basis of this trip, I would say that the worst thing you can do to yourselves is box yourself in to one area right out of the starting block.

I am forever grateful that I began my European explorations with 6- to 8-week trips over several consecutive summers wherein I drove all over the Continent and visited 10-12 countries.I did eventually narrow it down to a small handful of favorites that I kept returning to (though I really do have an I'll Go Anywhere personality). France became my first love, Italy my side dish.

You already know you love Paris. Go to Italy and find a second, different love.

As an aside, it took me three trips to Rome before that city appealed to me. If you're already a committed Paris-ophile you might not have an instant connection with Rome. I'd certainly include Rome in your Italy trip, but not exclusively Rome - get out into Tuscany and Umbria or the coast or Venice.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Since retirement our European trips have benefited from the luxury of time. While we normally do a couple of new cities or countries each year, one think nearly every trip has in common -- we tend to end it in Paris and fly home from there -- usually for a week or two. You CAN have your Paris and eat it too.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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I personally love both Italy and France. Each has a long list of wonderful things that make them special. I take turns visiting a different region in each country and over the years have covered a lot of ground. I love Paris and will go back again and again but I wouldn't take back a minute from any of the other towns and cities in both countries that I've had the good fortune to include.

Take a chance and you will broaden your horizons.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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Paris is unique and beautiful and so is Italy-yes, it is a country vs. city. But to me there's a different type of atmosphere in Italy; you have got to visit to see for yourself. I guarantee you will be amazed.
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Old Dec 6th, 2007, 10:50 PM
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If you feel so strongly you may as well travel around France first. It is wonderful to get out of Paris and experience the whole country, it is diverse and beautiful. After you have "done" France branch over the border from the south of France and visit Northern Italy.
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Old Dec 7th, 2007, 02:29 AM
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I predict you will fall in love with all of Italy, just as you did with Paris. Then you will have to return to both, over and over again.
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