Every time I look down on this timeless town
whether blue or gray be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
more and more do I realize:

I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.

— Cole Porter

Though I am self-professed Italophile, my devotion was given a serious run for the euro this weekend when I took a trip to Paris. There are few places in the world that live up to their own hype, and the enthralling French capital is indubitably one of them. There is an electric spark in the air that turns every mundane action into a meaningful activity. Walking to the corner store to get a baguette and brie feels like a cultural foray. Strolling along the Seine waving to the barges sloshing along is a thrill in and of itself. The very act of being in Paris feels somehow more vivacious than anywhere else.

We had limited time and didn’t go to any museums or galleries, though I hope to do that on another trip. Instead, we wandered around in grey, drizzling Paris and tried to absorb as much as we could. We were not alone in our drifting and watching. People-watching just may be the official Parisian pastime. Proof of this is in how café chairs are positioned-all facing out towards the sidewalk. The glamorous population is an attraction all its own.

Winter is a great time to go to Paris. The tourists are sparse, the sales are on, and the mood is gloriously dreary. Perfect for dressing in all black and writing deep poetry over a steaming cafe crème.

I’m now back in Bologna, but find myself daydreaming of crepes in Jardins du Luxembourg, fig jam and brie for breakfast, and that ostentatious twinkle of the Tour Eiffel. I can’t speak for the other seasons, but I certainly do love Paris in the winter.