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Paris, France – ooh la la …. Magnifique!!!

The capital and the most populous city of France with approximately 2.2 million residents within 41 sq. miles.

It is considered one of the world’s best centres for finance, commerce, fashion, gastronomy and the arts.

Arrive at CDG – Charles DeGaulle Airport, taxi to Paris is about 30 minutes. Bonjour!

Le Royal Monceau – Raffles brand hotel, one of the Leading Hotels of the World – American Express. Great service, atmosphere and a spa for sensory pleasures. Located in the heart of the City of Romance, within walking distance to L’Arc de Triomphe and Les Champs-Elysees.

Contemporary and vibrant boutique-like hotel, with 2 fabulous restaurants –

Matsuhisa Paris – Japanese contemporary cuisine in pure Nobu style and Il Carpaccio – Michelin star restaurant serving Italian cuisine. A fabulous European buffet breakfast at La Cuisine is served every morning and Sunday brunch and Le Bar Long, a lobby bar is relaxing with quintessential Parisian coziness for cocktails and small bites.

The main shopping street for fine designer shops is the

Rue Saint-Honore, where you will find Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Furla, Hermes, and so much more. Les Champs Elysses is very busy, a bit touristy but is also famous for its shops, cafes and a super large McDonald’s. Visit Galeries Lafayette, indoor high-end department store shopping with lots of eateries. Check out the view from the terrace. Some hotels to check out are The Ritz Carlton, Plaza Athenee and George V. Extremely pricey, but worth visiting, perhaps the lobby bar for a cocktail, just to feel the chic world of the rich and famous.

The Paris Metro is a wonderful way of travelling around in the metropolitan area, a great way to avoid the gridlock around in the city. 308 Stations are of uniform architecture with unique entrances influenced by Art Nouveau. Operating since 1900, it is the 2nd biggest rapid transit systems in Europe.

The Arc de Triomphe is located on the right bank of the Seine River, at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle and west of the Champs-Elysees. It was built in 1806 by orders from Napolean Bonaparte.

You must visit Le Eiffel Tower, go to one of three levels to enjoy stellar city views. Almost everywhere you travel in Paris, you will see the Eiffel Tower at a distance or while cruising on the Seine River. Built in 1889 to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution, it once held the title of the world’s tallest structure.

Visiting the Cathedral of Notre Dame is a must, only when the repairs are completed sometime in 2024 from the fire in 2019. A medieval Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a fine example of French Gothic architecture. It is noted for its three pipe organs and its immense church bells. Also inspired popular interest when Victor Hugo wrote about The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, in his novel Notre-Dame de Paris.

The Louvre, is the world’s most visited art museum and houses Mona Lisa by Leonardi DaVinci (Italian Renaissance period), who began this painting in 1503. He never finished it but in 1516 it was bought by a King and entered into the French royal collection. DaVinci used a painting technique called sfumato to create subtle shadows bringing his model’s gentle smile to life. The portrait also comes to life with her upper body at a ¾ view but her smiling face is frontal. Venus de Milo (marble statue of the Greek goddess of life, Aphrodite from the Hellenistic period) was discovered in 1820 on the Greek island of Melos. The sculptor is unknown and dates back from about 120 BC. Winged Victory (depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory commemorating a successful sea battle). Get lost in this huge collection of beautiful art from all periods in this grand museum that was once a palace. Absolutely amazing!

Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament at the end of May/early June on the red clay of Roland Garros. A 20 minute taxi ride from Le Royal Monceau with no traffic, 1 hour during rush hour. Yikes!

The main stadium Court PHILIPPE-CHATRIER, known for Rafa Nadal’s 13 record final wins and the other two smaller stadiums are Court SUZANNE-LENGLEN and Court SIMONNE-MATHIEU. Sip a champagne cocktail while watching great side court matches, Juniors, wheel-chair tennis and beach tennis as you scope the crowd for tennis greats and celebrities.

French bistros, Michelin star restaurants, cafes, every ethnic restaurant you can think of can all be found in Paris. The Montmartre area, Le Marais and Place Vendome are three of the many lively areas for dinner and nightlife, pubs, jazz clubs, dj bars and gelato cafes. If you have the opportunity, see the city at night, so you can appreciate the name Paris has received, The City of Lights and Romance.

Gigi Restaurant – a lively yet elegant Italian fare fine dining experience with live music and beautiful views to the Eiffel Tower. Food was excellent, Italian and French wines top-notch. Truffle arancini, artichoke appetizer, delectable pasta dishes and a fantastic octopus (polpo) entrée. Treat yourself to a wonderful dessert, it will be worth it!

PUGLIA – Southeast Italy along the Adriatic Sea.

Fly into Bari (BRI). Renting a car will allow you to visit some of the quaint and different small towns within the Puglia (Apulia) region. Buon giorno!

Grotta Palazzese HotelPolignano a Mare – situated on a scenic cliff overlooking the sea. Renovated with elegant refinement, it has 18 rooms hanging over the sea with advanced technological systems. Most noted for its famous and one of the most exclusive outdoor restaurants in the world. Dine in a cave and enjoy some fine Barese cuisine, such as orecchiete Pugliese, seafood and focaccia. Expect a hefty bill, but it is a breathtaking experience that you shouldn’t miss. The sister hotel is by the beach and has an exclusive beach club with chairs & umbrella service at an additional 100 Euro. Spend a relaxing day, enjoy a fine lunch and a specialty cocktail amongst the well-to-do Italian locals and families. Outside the front door of Grotta Palazzese is a quaint, clean, vibrant and authentic town, Polignano a Mare. Mostly everyone speaks English, and you will find bars, ristorantes and shops that are all delightful. Seafood, pasta and traditional Italian dishes are all wonderful and very affordable. Order a local bottle of wine from the Puglia region; you can’t go wrong. The vistas, historical piazza and narrow limestone streets are all yours to explore. We loved the authenticity of this town, few tourists and being immersed in the fiber and culture of this special region of Italy.

Grotta Palazzese Ristorante

Orecchiette alla Barese

Pugliese Focaccia

Watch this video - town of Polignano a mare

Alberobello – Valle d’Itria – most famous for the cone-topped houses called trulli, houses made from only stone and no mortar. Declared a World Heritage Site (UNE

SCO) in 1996, the town has about 10,000 residents and 1,430 cones spread throughout the neighborhoods. Noted for the wealth of the valley, Puglia’s vocation for agriculture is strongly felt with its fertile territory, livestock farming, culinary specialties and flavorful wines. Taking a short tour by Segway or golf cart is well worth it and gives you a full perspective of this peculiar style of architecture. Ride up in the hills and visit inside an authentic trulli and see the charming garden of flowers, herbs, vegetables and lemon trees.


Polignano a mare- beach

Lecce – a city of churches, gardens and palaces with baroque architecture, spacious piazzas and narrow alleyways. Piazza del Duomo is the city’s nerve center with the Bishop’s Palace and the seminary as scenery.

Lavish in style yet simple and straightforward as the stone in which it’s sculpted, Lecce’s tradition of art, aesthetics and culture is rooted in the Greek and Medieval /Roman influence.

Fasano – beautiful beaches and coves make this anchanting place to enjoy the Adriatic Sea. As a city which was an important port for trade with Greece, it is well-preserved and houses captivating beach clubs and beach bars. Masseria Torre Coccaro is a refined yet rustic atmosphere for a lovely vacation, holiday or wedding celebration. Make a lunch or dinner reservation here, otherwise you cannot get passed the front gates. The archaeological area of Egnazia deserves a visit with many of the lidos built on the rocks and with strong ties to the fruit and vegetables grown in Puglia. Borgo Egnazia, a world famous exclusive hotel visited by celebrities such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake (tied the knot here) and more has several beautiful venues and restaurants to enjoy classic seafood and sea urchins. An amazing vacation experience filled with tradition, enchanting villas, a labyrinth of dry stone walls and prickly pears, secret gardens and private pools and terraces. Everything is aligned to infuse a feeling of profound well-being and enhance the pleasure of the senses. A beautiful place to stay, so many choices of venues and restaurants. This very special property is closed to the general public; you must have either a hotel reservation or restaurant reservation in order to get passed the front gates.

Ostuni – known as the “White Town” is set into the green of the olive trees and the blue of the sea. This old town is a maze of little streets and alleyways. The houses are white-washed with lime, which was a sanitizing substance that helped contain infection during the time of the plague. A pleasant 30 minute drive from Polignano a Mare, passing through many miles of olive tree farms, a beautiful countryside of literally millions of olive producing trees.

Returning home from Bari, make a connection in Rome, just a one hour flight. Can also make connection in many other cities.

Arriverdici Puglia!

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janet vitiello
janet vitiello
Feb 18
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Can never get enough of Paris and a new adventure, Puglia.

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