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"Sister Cities" to London, Paris, & Rome?

"Sister Cities" to London, Paris, & Rome?

Old Jan 8th, 2012, 11:05 PM
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I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Barcelona. If you wanted to do a "compare and contrast", at least in terms of cultural history, then I'd partner Barcelona with Paris, Amsterdam with Antwerp, Edinburgh with Dublin for starters.

A lot depends on the frame of reference you start with, and what you're encouraging people to look for.

>>o the OP is an editor of Fodors,, and she is writing an article on where to go in Europe, but she herself hasn't been in some years, and she is culling material from a travel forum( so second hand) Please tell me I have misunderstood this?
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 12:24 AM
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Patrick, I think that the question related to colonial "old age" culture (possibly). Most of Barcelona's culture is recent.

Which then begs the question as to what happened to all the South American gold?

Jerusalem is an interesting place. Culturally, Israel is frequently regarded as part of Europe, I have never seen it discussed here - is it included in Asia? I have always wanted to visit from a historical point of view.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 12:26 AM
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BTW I have always seen on Editors role in any context as one of controlling output from a users perspective not to experience within the context itself.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 03:33 AM
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I am surprised to one has mentioned Barcelona. As a friend notes, "Madrid is Spanish city, while Barcelona is an International city." It has a sense of style and joie de vivre rarely seen elsewhere. The city dates back to at least Roman times and was a commercial power in the 12-14th centuries. The food is combination of the traditional and the deconstructed influence of Ferran Adria.

The other city is Istanbul. Of course, only half the city is in Europe. It has a three thousand year old history but the city itself is modern and some say hip, but I would not go that far. There is a week's worth of sights including the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Cistern, and Aya Sofya. And for some reason Turkish food is under appreciated.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 03:41 AM
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>> I think that the question related to colonial "old age" culture (possibly).
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 04:28 AM
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Patrick

In terms of post modernism cultural development I would definitely link Barcelona, Paris, Berlin but to a lesser extent Milan.

Still not sure of the point of the OP. Very few cities are comparable due to historic, geographic, demographic, cultural etc etc reasons. It's what gives travel a point. Otherwise we would live in Starbucks land.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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i bet you never guessed you would provoke such controversy, Katie! [or perhaps that was the intention?]

Distilling the above, the consensus seems to be that few if any cities can actually compare to London, Paris or Rome.

But there are nevertheless a number of cities, mainly capitals, that are very much worth visiting in their own right.

i suspect you already knew that!
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 08:35 AM
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>>Very few cities are comparable due to historic, geographic, demographic, cultural etc etc reasons. It's what gives travel a point.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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I don't think it's "compare and contrast"; I think it's "cheaper and similar". Nothing is similar; some of the suggestions might be cheaper.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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Ah. Municipal mini-mes. That requires some thought.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for all of the comments; there is a lot to digest here. I should probably reintroduce myself. And I probably need a new "signature" next to my name. I apologize for the confusion!

My name is Katie Hamlin and I worked at Fodor's for over 5 years before leaving to be home with my daughter. At Fodor's, I wore several hats, but primarily I was the Online Community Manager. It was a role I really enjoyed; if you click on my profile name you can view past posts and my other contributions to the Forums. I've attended several GTGs and even made it out to California to visit some members in LA. I also launched the site's presence on social media and networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. I am not a traditional editor and my posts are meant to reflect and entice more casual visitors to the site to take a deeper look at the Forums. They are meant to be community-focused posts and are meant to reflect the opinions and experiences of our members, not necessarily our editors.

The original question is a bit of a hypothetical I realize; I didn't mean to cause controversy!
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Katie is wonderful, again, welcome back. Katie once went out her way to come to an art exhibit in which Mrs. Adu, one of her sisters and I were participating. If memory serves me correctly, she also punished her sister and mother by bringing them as well. Our exhibit space in Brooklyn is hard to reach due to extremely limited public transporation.
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Old Jan 9th, 2012, 11:02 PM
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I don't regard the question as controversial, or not in a bad way. It's an interesting discussion, even if it's wandered away from Katie's original idea (I don't think there's a city with a similar feel to London, of course: but bits of London might have comparators elsewhere).

Here's an even more remote suggestion: Prague and Krakow for two sorts of historical legacy - the reminders of the glories of lost mediaeval kingdoms and the extent of exchange and connection across Europe in those days, for one, and the other the horrors of the twentieth century.
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Old Jan 10th, 2012, 01:26 AM
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I think this is a great question which brought to mind two cities that at one time were described as the Paris of the Middle East and the Paris of Central Europe, Beirut and Bucharest.

Wars and a lunatic dictator in the case of Rumania have destoyed parts of the cities but I understand both are trying to bounce back. Not sure what is left of historic Bucharest after Mr. and Mrs. C. tried to corner the market on cement but still hope to get there and to Beirut some day.
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Old Jan 10th, 2012, 05:52 AM
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I think this is an interesting question.

The three cities you mention have kept aspects of their historical and architectural past but are also very large modern cities that represent their countries well. All have superb and varied art, history, and natural museums plus rather unique transportation systems. Using that and general size as categories, from the cities I have visited (so therefore, my list will be limited)...

Vienna
Madrid
Istanbul

...would be automatics.


I adore Amsterdam for its uniqueness and its art, and I have recommended it to many friends as a destination and as a travel "hub". I'm just not sure I would rank it with "the greats". I do think anyone would be happy visiting it for four to five days would find more than enough to do, even without a day trip.

Venice, as much as I love it, is quickly becoming more of a museum than a forward-looking city, a comment I've heard from its residents. And I say that with a heavy heart. I love Florence, but would not put this in the same category. Milan is a totally underrated city, and honestly, I could make a case for it, but I am not.

Brussels and Geneva SHOULD make the list, but I find both cities to be lacking in some kind of "oomph".

I have not been to Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Budapest (although daughter has and I think she WOULD put Budapest on this list). Of other cities visited, I don't think Edinburgh is quite up there, although I am fond of it. I'd put it more in the category of Berne, Switzerland, which is a really neat city but not one of the "greats". Probably Prague should be there, but to me it's just not in the ranking--and I have no justification for this opinion!

Again, interesting question, Katie, and what fun to think about it. And I thank you and your fellow editors for making this site so functional for us.
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