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I had zero expectations for Paris. For all the years I’d dreamed of visiting Europe and the different places I wanted to see, Paris never really made the list. I had nothing against the place, my -philia had just always been more Italo- than Franco– and so I never really thought much of it.

Needless to say I was blown away by my actual visit. The people were, counter to stereotypes, warm and friendly (though this might in part be because I was traveling with a fluent speaker and former Parisien), and the city had so much to offer. If cities are like meals, Paris—unsurprisingly—has some of the best plating I’ve ever seen.