Ready to become a full-day Parisian? Dreaming of discovering some places that even some locals don’t know about? Want to take your French experience to a whole new level? Follow your guide through the covered passages of Paris. Built up more than 200 years ago, these passages offer you some wondrous pieces of architecture, shimmering window displays of glass and ironwork, and glimpses of French art de vivre at its best. Located near the most popular theatres of the city, these artificial streets are filled with heritage and history, featuring amongst the writings of Paris’ best 19th century authors (Chateaubriand, Musset, Baudelaire, Zola). Picture yourself in the time of the Second Empire, remember the dandys in top hats, canes and black suits, the corseted ladies in bustled dresses. Still swarmed by restaurants, ancient bookshops, antique sellers and small boutiques, these passages have retained their picturesque commercial quality.
We’ll start round the Palais Royal gardens, to go through the Gallery Vivienne, home of the National Institute of Art History (the guide’s second home!). We’ll then explore the passages near the Grand Boulevards, the centre of the entertainment industry in mid-19th century Paris, to then end up nearby the Opera House.