by Melinda Gallo

Paris and Florence

My two favorite cities. They are so different and yet I love them both equally. Paris is "grandiose" while Florence is understated. Paris is big while Florence is small. However, they do have similarities, like the abundance of culture, art, theatre, and nightlife.

As far as the people are concerned, I'd say that the Parisians and Florentines are quite similar. I consider the Florentines the "Parisians of Italy."

It's a compliment of sorts. The Parisians believe that the only city in France worth living in is Paris. So do the Florentines. The Parisians tend not to leave their city for long. The same goes for the Florentines. The Parisians don't need have a desire or need to make friends with you. Nor do the Florentines.

Florence is certainly not the capital of Italy, but the Florentines consider it the center. And geographically, they might be correct if the south was Rome and the north was Milan. And to many Italians, Rome is south and Milan is north.

When I lived in Paris, I never thought I'd leave it. And I hardly travelled much outside of Paris. Something happens when you live in Paris. All other cities pale in comparison and you feel like you're cheating on Paris if you go out to visit. The only times I ever went out was to go to the beach or countryside: two things that don't exist in Paris.

I don't want to get that same attitude that I had while in Paris, so now that the weather is nicer here in Italy, I have a desire to travel all around and to see parts I haven't yet explored. I've been to a few places nearby in Tuscany and Umbria, but I'd like to even venture to Naples and possibly even Sicily. Italy is an amazingly beautiful and diverse country. Each area, region, and city offer many delights that one can enjoy.

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