19 Comments

  1. Avatar Virginia Mastroianni
    June 22, 2017 @ 3:27 pm

    I have visited both Rome and Paris and I am moving to Rome in a few months. Paris is enchanting, gorgeous, in fact. But the two times I have visited there I found it LIMP as far as the warmth of the locals. Antagonistic, in fact if you didn’t speak the language. And I would tell them “Je ne parle francais.” I also was warned that certain areas in Paris were not safe. I don’t mean like the plethora of pickpockets in Rome and most of Italy. And the food — love brie, love baguettes, ate mostly roast chicken and pomme frittes at a restaurant where locals hung out which was fine but not cheap enough for me. Rome has SOUL And it has garbage…grrrrrr (get the mayor off her butt to DO SOMETHING, or put out more trashcans…” if they can clean up Times Square in NYC with the garbage, the rats and the hookers…why not ROME? But, I digress. Paris is like a date with a good-looking guy. Fun to look at for an hour or two but at the end of the day I am bored. Paris in my opinion has no SOUL. I have friends in Los Angeles who are from Paris who left and moved to Los Angeles because they said “It has changed.” It is not Paris anymore.” “Is is not safe.” Granted my last hame is Mastroianni, and my mother grew up in a small town in Italy and I have heard about it my entire life. That is why I am making the plunge. But I am moving to Rome with an intention to rent for a year then look for a house to purchase — not sure where yet, but it will be in the South…I will gladly bring giant trash bags pick up trash when I see it. I am a comedian so anyone who glares at me I will laugh it off. So, there you have it. I would date Paris. But I would MARRY ROME.

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      June 23, 2017 @ 10:00 am

      Date Paris but marry Rome. Good line. Raggi has failed as mayor. She was anti-establishment. She was going to get the mafia out of the government’s pockets. That’s the problem with the trash. Ama Roma, the company in charge of trash or, as they refer to it in “The Sopranos,” “waste management,” apparently puts much of the government funding in their own pockets. Thus, they send out fewer trucks, picking up less garbage. Nothing has changed. I disagree with your friends, though. I still feel Paris is safe, terrorist attacks notwithstanding. Those are way too random to be considered in a city’s daily crime book.

      Reply

  2. Avatar Laurel Barton
    June 22, 2017 @ 6:40 pm

    I read this with interest. We are in love with both cities, too. If I could get Italian food and wine with Paris’ transportation and cleanliness, well, I would clearly be i heaven, not on earth. I wrote about my observations a couple of years ago after our first trip to Paris. This fall we’ll make our 5th trip there. https://gooddayrome.com/2015/03/

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    • John Henderson John Henderson
      June 23, 2017 @ 10:00 am

      That would be my ideal combination, too.

      Reply

      • Avatar Martin A Doa
        July 9, 2017 @ 6:08 pm

        John, great comparison……Paris and Rome are two sides of the same coin, or Euro, and a great antidote to the Stilo Americano……success = banked $$$.

        Reply

        • John Henderson John Henderson
          July 10, 2017 @ 1:35 am

          Thanks, Martin. Yes, the dream of retirement in Europe isn’t as good as the actual reality.

          Reply

  3. Avatar Kay Pihl
    June 23, 2017 @ 7:15 am

    As always, love your keen sense of observation and ability to describe. Great article.

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      June 23, 2017 @ 10:01 am

      Thanks, Kay. I appreciate the comment. Always.

      Reply

  4. Avatar Sandra Panici
    June 23, 2017 @ 8:49 am

    Hi John,
    This morning I’m out $86.00 plus dollars from another crappy meal last night at a traditional Italian ristorante, this time in the old Italian Hood of Bridgeport, near southside Chicago. The ristorante was full of old-timers so I thought I was safe.

    My friend and I sat outside. She had the Homemade Mushroom Soup, Bread and melted butter/Ghee for starters. I had the Meatballs.

    These were not meatballs from an Italian Mother. They were more like those tiny hard pierceable meatballs that landed in the wrong saucepot. You know the little meatball normally on the other end of a toothpick. Packed hard, chewed dry into a cobweb, no seasoning, flat, tasteless. Our waitress had said that she likes them. She had to be lying.

    I should’ve stopped at the Meatballs. If you can’t make a good meatball, it won’t get better, and it didn’t.

    The Chicken Giardiniera was shocking, two flat chicken cutlets swimming in fermented vinegar water and compressed under a ton of homemade Giardiniera too hot to taste. I looked at the waitress who gave me a blank stare back.

    I needed to quit right then and there. Instead I went in search of the chicken. Scraping off all the Giardiniera chunks took the cutlet breading with it, no great loss as the vinegar water float had already obviated any crunch the breading may have afforded. The chicken was just another version of the dry cobweb chew. I put that dish aside and tried the Italian Sausage side I had ordered. I’ll spare you the details of bad repetition.

    My friend is a well-known professional in the neighborhood and goes to this place often for lunch and so I knew I had to behave myself. They had removed the chicken dish from the Bill, but I dutifully paid for the other crappy dishes. Plus a 20% tip my friend said. As long as I frequent these pretend traditional Italian ristorante I have to get better at this social decorum without screwing myself over at the same time.

    Reply

  5. Avatar James S
    June 24, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

    Nice comparison. Was recently on a vacation to both cities (3 days Paris, 3 days Rome). I will say that hands down the food in Paris is 100 times better than Rome. And I stuck to just “French” and “Italian” places, no ethnic choices. I guess I shouldn’t have listened to my hotels or Trip Adviser recommendations since the restaurants in Rome had a touristy feel, even though it was a little bit off the tourist track. They herded the tourists to their own corner and presented menus with pictures. Paris the food just seemed more authentic: from the crepe stands, Beef Bourgignon, croissants. All around enjoyed dining in Paris much better.

    But in terms of sheer beauty, Rome is breathtaking, garbage and all. Just walking around and marveling at the sites/architecture/history…..it takes your breath away. Paris is beautiful in is own right, and seeing the Eiffel tower lit up on the horizon is stunning, but for pure beauty it is without a doubt Rome.

    Both could do with fewer selfie stick vendors in the historic sites however

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      June 25, 2017 @ 2:15 am

      I agree on Rome for sheer overpowering beauty. We strolled through the back streets around Via del Corso last night and I never get tired of the lighting and solitude. We also manage to avoid looking at the trash.

      Reply

  6. Avatar kunstkitchen
    July 6, 2017 @ 10:58 pm

    Your commentary is well done. Hard to say which experience is better! I’d say that it’s a toss up!

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      July 6, 2017 @ 11:41 pm

      Thanks. It’s probably a good sign for both cities if they’re a toss up.

      Reply

  7. Avatar Geoff of Nottingham
    July 7, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

    I know that this is controversial, but can I add another city into the mix.? John, you’ve just visited Berlin (& I’ve just returned from there),what do you think? Excellent Public Transport, good, and varied food, no ‘trash’ (sorry, my England-ish hates the word). Between Paris and Rome…… ooh thats a toughie!, but marginally I would go for Rome,as the people seem to be warmer (as is the weather)
    Regards as always, Geoff

    Reply

  8. Avatar Alex
    August 2, 2018 @ 6:25 am

    Rome has not just beachs but 4 lakes, castles, mountains, and over 5000 public fountains, Rome has the biggest piramid in europe, a wall with torrets that surround all the city and over 35 big public parks not 3 (for example the Appia park is the biggest public park in the world) . In Rome there is the biggest number of churces and monuments. Rome have not 3 metro but 14 lines, Rom3 has a giant catacombs park under city and a big imperial city under streets, Rome has over 300 castles that surround the city and Ancient Ostia park. Rome has the biggest number of plazas located in every point of the city

    Reply

  9. Avatar Thenabster126
    August 26, 2018 @ 5:47 pm

    What about Athens with its fine cuisine, architecture, and history?

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      August 27, 2018 @ 9:51 am

      Athens wouldn’t rank even in my top 10 in Europe. I think it’s horribly ugly. Go to the Acropolis and look down. The only green spaces in the city are the national cemetery and the foliage built around the Acropolis before the 2004 Olympics. It’s a concrete jungle.

      Reply

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