Yes, Siena is what I would describe as "Peak Europe." It doesn't get better than this. You can think of Siena as a smaller and more subdued version of Florence. Florence overflows with tourists, who crowd vast avenues lined with marble-clad palaces. In contrast, Siena awaits a smaller crowd meandering through alleyways of sun-baked brick.
Palaces of Paris and Île-de-France
This map outlines the major palaces of the Île-de-France region that are open to the public. I have sorted them roughly by the primary architectural style they represent. While some palaces, such as Versailles and Fontainebleau, are already UNESCO Heritage sites, most of the palaces on this list are worth visiting in their own right.
Should You Visit Florence?
The primary consideration on whether or not to visit Florence is the kind of experience you expect. Modern tourism thoroughly colonized the city, and tourists will vastly outnumber residents in the city center. However, the city offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience art and history in its original context and makes for one of the best destinations in Europe.
Should You Visit Paris?
Yes, but realistic expectations may be required. More tourists will visit Paris in a typical year than any other European city. So objectively, there must be something here worth seeing, right? Let's take a look at why you may or may not want to visit Paris.