Marais Delight
Marais Delight
is a stunning, recently renovated two bedroom apartment in the famous Marais district, near Musee Carnavalet and Musee Picasso. On the second floor of a beautiful historic 17th century building with a plant filled courtyard, the apartment is light and bright with views onto both the garden side and the street.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Savvy Traveler
Look at this bag from the Savvy Traveler

Packing for Your Trip

Packing is often a task that travelers leave to the last minute. You'll have a lot less on your mind if you start early, and it will make anticipation of the trip even more fun. As with everything else, I find that if I'm organized it becomes a whole lot easier. I'm a list maker, so let me share a checklist for you to use.

Choose a good, lightweight backpack or suitcase with rollers that is carry-on size (9" x 22" x 14"). This will make it less fuss getting through the airports and handy to have everything with you in one place. Think small and lightweight. Remember you can replace toiletries there if you run out.

Basics should include:

  • 2 pair of comfortable shoes
    (one pair of sturdy walking shoes and one pair of sandals for beach and/or evening wear)
  • 2 - 3 comfortable and easy-care outfits
    (These should be made of a wrinkle-free dark fabric that is lightweight and easily washed in the bathroom sink and dried overnight. Scarves help the ladies dress up their look.)
  • 3 sets of underwear and socks
    (here again of a fabric that will be easy to wash and dry)
  • A light jacket or sweater for mild seasons, and heavier for cooler seasons
  • Camera gear, film, and batteries
  • Toiletries

Using stuff bags helps you stay organized and compact. For instance, put all your toiletries in one bag, underwear and socks in another, camera gear and film in another, etc. Roll and rubber-band the clothes or zip-lock in airless baggies.

Remember to leave out of your suitcase one outfit, pair of shoes, and sweater or jacket for traveling. Even with all this, you should end up with extra room in your bag for a water bottle, a blow-up pillow for resting, a book, and room for gifts. Most gift and souvenir purchases you make in Europe should be shipped home directly from the shop where you bought them.

Have a wonderful, casual, and lightweight trip!

Kathy Hayes, Editor

Happy New Year to all of you!

Thanks to you, 2004 was an excellent travel year with a sharp increase in sales compared to the year before. Italy remains at the top of the list as the favorite European destination not only for Americans but travelers from around the world. We're confident that France will make a strong comeback in 2005 though. For that reason, we intend to offer more and more properties in Paris, Provence and the French Riviera. Check our website periodically for these updates.

We're working hard to finish our new website by early February. We'll keep you posted on its exciting development.
Meanwhile, on behalf of our VillaNet staff, we wish you the best for 2005. Be aware that it's already time to plan for this summer. We still have some good availability of the best properties.

Best Regards,

Emmanuel de Ricard, President

Il PalazzoIl Palazzo

"Excellent property! The owners were very nice!"

- DH, South Hamilton, MA

Paris, City of Light (Part III)

A quick finish to the tour of the districts of Paris:

11th Arrondissement

  • Opera Bastille is called the people's opera house and stands on the spot where the French Revolution began.
  • Because of a larger percentage of working class immigrant population in this area, the prices are low and bargains are to be found.

12th Arrondissement

  • Bois de Vincennes is a large park with zoos, museums, a royal chateau, boating lakes as well as the ornamental garden Parc Floral de Paris.
13th Arrondissement
  • A collection of immigrant population, this district contains Chinatown.

14th Arrondissement

  • This district, also called the Montparnasse, is the former stomping ground of famous literary figures including Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, and Toklas.
  • Here you find many literary cafes where these shining characters of the 1920's hung out together.

15th Arrondissement

  • The largest in area and population within Paris, this mostly residential district stretches all the way to the Seine. Here you'll be away from most of the tourists and yet find a healthy economy in a safe area.
  • Parc des Expositions and the Institut Pasteur are in this area

16th Arrondissement

  • Originally the village of Passy, this is where Benjamin Franklin lived, and of course Proust.
  • Known for its plush residences and up-scale boulevards that offer nice opportunities for shopping.
  • Highlights include Bois de Boulogne, and Musee Guimet, famous for its Asian collections.

17th Arrondissement

  • This district boasts two of the greatest restaurants of Paris, Guy Savoy and Michel Rostang.

18th Arrondissement

  • This is the most famous of the outer quarters of Paris. It contains Montmarte, the Moulin Rouge, and the beautiful white Sacre Coeur surrounded with artists and mimes.

19th Arrondissement

  • Visit Cite des Sciences et de Industrie, a spectacular science museum and park.
  • Take the children to Les Buttes Chaumont, a park where they can enjoy puppet shows and ride donkeys.

20th Arrondissement

  • Pere-Lachaise Cemetery is the resting place for such famous names as Gertrude Stein, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Sarah Bernhardt.

Kathy Hayes, Editor

Avoid natural foods

I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

This recipe from Northern Italy features potatoes baked in the oven rather than cooked on the stovetop.


2 1/2 lbs pealed potatoes
2 whole garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
1 c olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into small cubes, about 1". Heat olive oil and garlic in a large pan over a stovetop. Once the oil is very hot, add the potatoes, rosemary, salt and stir well. Allow the potatoes to roast over the stove for 10 minutes, carefully turning to make sure they're well coated in oil.

Transfer the pan to a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake approximately 30-40 minutes, carefully tuning once in the middle of the cooking time. Remove when golden brown and immediately drain all the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

- Compliments of Mike and Terri Rhode

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