I only had 24 hours to spend in Florence. I visited the Piazza della Signoria home to the Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, and Loggia dei Lanzi and the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore aka the Florence Duomo. I ate lunch in Piazza della Repubblica by an antique carousel and finished off the afternoon with some gelato at Venchi.
I love everything about old Hollywood glamour. I love the costumes, the hair, the random outbreak of song, even the old Mid-Atlantic English dialect the actors speak. Grace Kelly is one of my favorite actresses, so I was excited to add Monaco to my list of places to visit in the French Riviera. I visited the Casino Monte-Carlo and the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo.
During my second day in the French Riviera, I took the train from Nice to both Cannes and Monte Carlo. In Cannes, I walked around the Boulevard de La Croisette and the Rue D'Antibes. I had a relaxing day on the pier of the InterContinental Carlton hotel.
Before visiting the Côte d'Azur, when I thought about the French Riviera, I thought of Brigitte Bardot in a vintage bikini, P.Diddy (or whatever he goes by these days) and his yacht parties, James Bond, Grace Kelly, red and white striped beach umbrellas, and the place where two of my favorite books were written (The Great Gatsby and the Age of Innocence). The second I hopped out of my Uber at my hotel in Nice, I realized my champagne wishes and caviar dreams of the Côte d'Azur weren’t that far from reality. This is the story of my peripatetic stay in the Côte d'Azur. I visited Nice, Cannes, and Monte Carlo.
I spent 21 hours in Venice. I stayed in Lido at the Hotel Giardinetto. This is my review.
I spent 21 hours in Venice, Italy. I took the Alilaguna ferry from Marco Polo Airport to my hotel in Lido. I visited the Piazzo San Marco, had a Bellini at a bar while listening to an orchestra play, tried the "best gelato in Venice" at La Mela Verde, and took a shared serenaded gondola ride through the canals of the city.
On my second day in Montmartre I spent the day serendipitously exploring the origins of one of my favorite paintings, Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Renoir. I spent most of my day at the Musee de Montmartre and Renoir Gardens. I also visited the Place du Tertre and the Montmartre Cemetery.
During my second trip to Paris I spent 27 hours in Montmartre. I visited the Moulin Rouge, walked the streets of Pigalle, took the furnicular up to the Place du Tetre and had my portrait painted, and visited the Musée de l'érotisme. I had the best steak of my life at Les Tantes Jeanne to round out the first day.
On my third stay in Paris, I stayed in the 12th Arrondissement. One night I stumbled upon Le Swann restaurant. This is my review of the 3-course prix fixe meal I had for 39.90 euros.
London is a wonderful city full of culture. 22 hours in the city is not nearly enough. While in London, I visited Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Afterwards, I had afternoon tea at the Harlequin Restaurant in the Kingsway Hall Hotel.