Europe Recommendations Needed

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On Sunday, I spent hours attempting to map out our European vacation.  (Back story:  As most of you probably know, because I screeched it from the rooftops, I’m headed to London thanks to Rimmel.  Hubby and I couldn’t pass up round-trip tickets to Europe, so we’re extending our trip after London and bouncing around for a little over two weeks.)  We’ve narrowed it down to Italy … with a brief stint in Paris … maybe.  We actually went to Paris during our honeymoon a little over two years ago, and though all logical parts of me are saying “You’ve been there, try something new!” – Paris is always a good idea.  And I have a hankering.  But we can be swayed.  So I’m appealing to you, my brilliant readers, tell me – If you were planning a Summer vacation in Europe where would you go?  And most importantly, do you have any fabulous suggestions for places to stay, eat, and see in London, Paris, and Italy?

Here’s what we’ve narrowed it down to so far:

LONDON:  Harrods, the British Museum, a quick visit to Cambridge (I studied abroad there and miss it all of the time!), maybe a day-trip to StratforduponAvon?

PARIS:  The Louvre (my favorite!), Avenue des ChampsÉlysées, an abundance of macaroons a la Laduree, the love locks on the Seine River, and Louis Vuitton (where I will whimper and swoon, and then buy myself an ice cream as solace.)

ITALY:  Florence, Rome, and Venice – in no particular order.  In Rome: Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, Via Nazional, and Via Venetto.

And, if you’re a fellow foodie – please do share your favorite restaurant picks?  I want to eat my weight in Pasta.  No joke.

Original Image via A Paper Proposal // Photography by: SMS Photography


Lexi

18 comments


  1. Kate

    Wow you studied in Cambridge? That’s so cool!
    Wasn’t it very expensive and hard to get in?

    Unfortunately I don’t really have any tips, besides from come to Germany as well, that’s where I live 😉

    • Lexi

      I did – but thankfully my parents helped and I only studied there for a semester. It was amazing!

  2. Sounds like a dream trip! I’ve never been so I can’t be of much help but I can’t wait to see pictures!

  3. Sounds like you’ve got the makings of a good vacation! My best tip is HomeAway, we’ve rented apartments in London, Paris, Rome and Venice and always had a good experience. You feel a little more like a local when you can buy groceries and cook in your own kitchen.

  4. Lauren

    One of my friends recently asked for Italy recommendations so here’s the list I sent him:

    Florence
    1) Climb to the top of the Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore)
    2) Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica
    3) Basilica di Santa Croce
    4) Ponte Vecchio

    Rome
    1) Vatican…Sistine Chapel. St. Peter’s Basilica
    2) Colosseum
    3) Trevi Fountain – a favorite
    4) Spanish Steps
    5) Piazza Navona with Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers
    6) Eat as much gelato as possible, preferably while sitting at Trevi Fountain or on the Spanish Steps
    7) Walk along Via del Corso for shopping
    8) Pantheon

    Venice
    1) St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace
    2) Rialto Bridge
    3) Wander through the streets and get lost (it’s part of Venice’s charm!)

  5. Alyssa

    You absolutely MUST go to Florence–it’s magical! I spent a whole semester there, so if you need restaurant recs, just say the word!

  6. Chelsea

    I love the artists district behind Montremartre at night! The views of the city are lovely.

  7. Nnenna

    I second Montmartre- it’s absolutely gorgeous and I recommend that you go in the morning on a clear day so you can really enjoy the view.

    Yes, yes yes to Florence, Rome and Venice. Go to St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and I also recommend riding a water taxi at night right around when the sun is setting- just gorgeous. Florence is really lovely and you can get around most of the city very easily by walking, so I just recommend that you walk around and explore- you’ll stumble onto the best things that way! Definitely carve out some time- a day if you can- to go to the Vatican City while you’re in Rome. I know everyone raves about The Sistine Chapel but I think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

    If you had time I would recommend that you also go to Spain (Madrid or Barcelona if you only have time for one city)! I am in LOVE with that country and would live there if I could!

  8. Esther

    I am with Alyssa, go to Spain! But I might be a bit biased (I live and blog from Barcelona ;-)).
    But if you don’t have time, I’d do more of the Tuscan region in Italy, when you’re in Florence: Siena, Pisa… and stay at one of those amazing villas in the Tuscan countryside!

    • Lexi

      We actually went to Spain for our Honeymoon – and though we absolutely loved it – we just don’t have time to do it all! 🙁

  9. Raegan

    My husband and I just went to Paris this fall and had some of the best food EVER! Our favorites were Chateaubriand with Chef Inaki (near the Bastille), Les Cocottes and L’Ami Jean. At Chateaubriand and L’Ami Jean we did the set menu, so no choosing what you want, but it was amazing! we had so many courses and many foods we wouldn’t have tried otherwise, but we’ve never had better meals. Still dreaming of the food from these restaurants.

  10. Susanne

    If you’re spending a day in Cambridge and you like ancient things – which I’m guessing you might, because you’re heading to the BM – think about paying a visit to the Museum of Classical Archaeology. It’s a little off the beaten track in the Sidgwick site, but I’m about to become curator and will happily give you a tour! We can’t compete with the Fitz for grandeur but our casts are beautiful historical objects in their own right… As for Rome, my favourite site is the Largo di Torre Argentina, with the remains of four temples built by triumphant generals. It’s full of cats by day (although they’re trying to evict them) and beautifully lit up after dark.

  11. Lisa

    Lexi – I miss Cambridge too! We had such a great time there…..

  12. I ADORE Florence and spent 2 weeks there a few weeks ago and it’s amazing. While in Florence you HAVE to go to La Giostra and order the pear ravioli. It’s life changing – and I have the recipe. Ask me for it when you get back! 🙂 Also for more of a view there is the Golden View Florence restaurant – you can get reservations and ask for a table right by the window overlooking the Ponte Vechio. SUCH an experience and the food is great! Definitely stop at Grom Gelato – it was the best gelato with incredible flavors that we had while we were there.

    I studied abroad in Canterbury, England for a semester and my favorite London attraction is the Tower of London – it’s amazing and allot half a day for the experience. Have a GREAT time!!

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