La Rentree: The Return

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Standing on the glass floor at the Eiffel Tower

Bonjour mes amis. Hello friends.

Bonne rentree!

La rentree is one of my favorite times of the year. It means “the return” and in France it is similar to “Back To School” in the United States but with a bit more expanded meaning. It also means back to routine, back to work, back to shops, cafes and boulangeries opening up after being closed for les vacanes in August. (Although some take their time off in July.) La rentree occurs the first part of September.

For me, it is almost a second New Year’s where I can get back on track with goals and intentions. It is like a re-set for the rest of the year.

This La Rentree is extra special. It is the relaunch The Paris Itinerary. The return so to speak.

I am thrilled to be back helping you with your Paris itinerary planning. Offering once again practical tips for visiting Paris so you can maximize your time and money and feel comfortable visiting the City of Light.

To get re-acquainted, here is a video telling the story of how The Paris Itinerary started.

Don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to receive all sorts of Paris tips.

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

Guided tour of the Louvre Museum

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The Louvre is one of the top 10 sites visited in Paris with over 7 million visitors a year! So, you are probably looking for ways to maximize your time when visiting the museum.

There are several ways to see the museum:

There have been several questions posted on my most popular article about the Louvre asking about the guided tour.

A guided tour of the Louvre Museum is a great way to see the most popular works of art like Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and the famous statue of David. The tour also shows you the history of the museum including the original fortress. On top of that, its a quick history lesson on the evolution of art style and techniques. If you are rushed for time, I recommend it.

Here are a few things you need to know:

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Covered Passages of Paris: Passage des Panaromas, Passage Jouffroy and Passage Verdeau

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The covered passage of Paris are a wonderful yet not talked about attraction of Paris. These Belle Epoque era walkways were constructed to keep the businessman and the well to do of Paris protected from the smells and grime of the streets. The passages not only were short cuts between parallel streets but provided eating and shopping establishments. Today, they serve a similar function but are open to the public and are a great way to explore another side of Paris especially if the weather is not so great.

In my last article, I showed you the first two passages, Galeries Vivienne and Passage Choiseul,  from the self guided tour I did. For this article, I will round out the rest of the tour with three more covered passages.
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Covered Passages of Paris: Galerie Vivienne and Passage Choiseul

In my previous post, I shared a resource I used to tour the covered passages of Paris. I love the covered passages of Paris. They are like time machines back to the beautiful Belle Epoque era and are perfect for when the weather isn’t. Each passage has its own unique look and feel making them each fascinating to explore. This post will mostly be pictorial.

Let’s start with Galerie Vivienne, one of the most known and iconic of the passages.

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Entrance to Galerie Vivienne.

The first thing you will noticed is the beautiful tiled floor and the glass ceiling. Stunning.

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Galerie Vivienne passageway

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Exploring the covered passages of Paris

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Bonne Année! Happy New Year! Well 2016 was a doozy but here we are one week down in 2017 so let’s get right into it.

One thing of Paris that I think doesn’t get enough attention are covered passages of Paris. Now found only on the Right Bank, these Belle Epoque era walkways offer a glimpse of the past and provide some very unique shopping experiences.

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Glass ceiling

The covered passages, many with glass ceilings, were originally created as a way for Parisians to avoid bad weather (still true today) and the smell and grime of the streets (also somewhat true today). Just as in the past, the covered passages also provide a short cut between streets and some really fun window shopping. Only about 15 of the original 60 passages are left and each passage has its own character and are really fun to explore especially on rainy days.

When my friend and I set out to explore them, I printed out the super easy map from Smarter Paris. Smarter Paris does have an app but because the phone I was using was really old and didn’t have a SIM card (my new phone had had an unfortunate encounter with a bowl of water and was drying out), I printed out the map and followed it effortlessly. Passage des Princes was the only one we couldn’t find but I think that was due to the construction covering up some street names.

It takes about 3-4 hours depending on how often you stop to look and shop so definitely plan for half a day.

In the next several posts, I will be sharing photos of the covered passages we explored.

Bises (kisses),
Kimberly