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Returning to a favorite place after 30 years--has the magic disappeared? Montserrat had changed; will Venice have?

Returning to a favorite place after 30 years--has the magic disappeared? Montserrat had changed; will Venice have?

Old Oct 31st, 2007, 05:06 PM
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One often has a lovely memory of some place and hopes to relive it .
It is a wonderful and romantic notion
but wouldn't it be a bit spooky if places stayed the same for 30 years ?
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Having owned a house in a tiny village in France for 16 years, I can certainly attest to the fact that things do change over time - mostly for the better for a small village: better roads, better electricity and water and sewage, more services and products available in nearby towns. These things are seen as improvements in the lives of the people who live there, and they don't much care what outsiders think.

Bigger changes happen in bigger places, and a lot of it is driven by tourism. There will never, I trust, be enough tourists in St-Cirq for us to pave over large areas to make parking lots, but in larger towns that draw bigger and bigger groups of visitors each year such improvements/changes are always happening. While they may seem to visitors to be spoiling the atmosphere of a place, in most cases I think the locals would tell you they welcome these changes as advancements in their lives.

I don't think you need to worry much about Venice, though. No way they're paving places over to make parking lots.

And Paris, which I've visited frequently over 30 years, never seems to lose its magic, no matter what they build. Everything's always highly controversial once it's first built, then it just becomes part of that incredibly eclectic, but really grounded, city.
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 05:44 PM
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AMEN! Nothing destroys that beautiful woman-PARIS
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 06:08 PM
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I am also an art lover and I spent 9 days in Florence in late March of 2006. I feel in love with Florence within an hour and after 9 days I was very sad to leave. I think that many posters on this board experience Florence during the peak travel season when it is hot, dirty and overrun with tourist and I donít think my experience would be the same if I went in say June and had to push my way through crowds in the heat.

On the same trip I visited Venice for 5 days and also fell in love in that city. Is it sort of funny that although I told people when I returned home that I enjoyed my time in Florence slightly more than Venice, it is Venice that haunts me. I went back for jsut one day in 2007 and it was wonderful being back again. In my opinion, it just one most magical places on earth.
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 07:24 PM
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The way one remembers can be as ethereal as that day's weather or mood.

Places change as does your perspective and tastes. Like another poster we started traveling in our early twenties and now that we are sixty, the concept of what is romantic and quaint has changed.

Schleping luggage up three flights of stairs has lost its charm.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 01:52 PM
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My experience with Florence (which I first saw in 1984) is that the place is still there, and reasonably unchanged except perhaps for the McDonald's near the Ponte Vecchio! Yecch! But the crowds in "shoulder" season are astounding!! I'm talking about May or September. We could hardly get across the Ponte Vecchio. You had to wait in line to get into the Duomo. etc. I fear that Italy is being loved to death.

Nevertheless, to walk around a corner and see the Duomo rearing up still is stunning. (Someone described it as looking like a huge spaceship that had landed in the center of the city.) To sit outside at Gilli's and have a coffee is still great fun. Seeing the Medici tombs, David and the slave statues, the Bargello with Donatello's statues, and all the other places still fascinates, even after waiting. And just walking where Savanarola and Michelangelo and Dante and Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci walked is a thrill to me.

We are stopping in Florence for two days on our trip next spring just because I can't imagine going to Italy without going to Florence. We'll do our favorite things and eat at our favorite restaurants, and then move on.

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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Of all my travel memories, Venice was either at the top or very close. I went late August this year after not having been there in 36 years. What in the world made me think I would want to stay away that long (although I did lots of other great things!).

I simply adore Venice and can't wait to get back and, like you, my favorite part was walking in "back" areas where it felt you were the only person there---not like the throngs at San Marco. The biggest difference for me was that there were tons of cats before and none now! Still gorgeous!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:43 PM
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So many thoughts come to mind as I read this thread. First, I belive Montserrat was virtually wiped off the map in a hurricanse some 20 years ago, so we have to keep that context in mind when wondering what happens to the wonderfull spots that have cherished memories ... Montserrat was delt an unfair hand. Venice is a place I return to fo my 10 year birthdays , Next is '09 and my 50th. She is always different but always holds so much magic. I make a point not to expect the same thing from the prior trip, cosciously staying in different areas an looking only for new adventures. As for Paris; she is a significant jewel in the crown of cities. Yes, she does change.... ever so slightly. The changes are delicate yet with purpose. Who will ever forget the controversy over the IM Pei entrance to the Louvre? Now, I can't imagine that institution with out it .... time does change the places we love and we just have to keep looking for the next adventure. Travel to familiar places with purpose and always remember "ther is always next time" .... even if it is 30 years later!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:49 PM
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after dark, makes me think of:
Don't Look Now,
The Comfort of Strangers.
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