Discover Paris is like to live a dream where all your senses will be satisfied and your eyes will see wonders.
The first time you land in this magical city you would try to visit most of the “turistic city”, locking yourself in museums bewitch by the culture and art that surrond you.
Sometimes it can be enought but for those who are not satisfied and those who want to feel the essence of the city this is not enough.
I will tell you about how was my third time in Paris, through its tastes, its scents and its colors.
Let’s the journey begins.
PARIS CHARLES DE GAULLE
Landed at the airport Charles De Gaulle the enormity of this city will destabilize you and you will need a few minutes before you realize which is the right way to be taken.
TIP 1 : If you are in a hurry and you must get to the city center go directly to the train station (la Gare), go to the ticket office ( le guichet ) in order to buy the most convenient ticket for your visits and head toward the railway line with direction Paris Center (Gare du Nord is the most popular stop for the numerous connections with the city metro lines). A more convenient alternative are the buses 350 and 351 with which you can reach the center in about an hour and a half.
Once you get on the train, you will already understand how the public transport is the heart of the city. You will discover the true Parisians during your travels, it often happens that someone speaks to you. These are the real Parisians and not our stereotype of closed and cold people, but people open to sharing their culture and origins, could it be different in such a large and multicultural city?
First stop: the Montmartre district. Yes, it’s a tourist district but inside its narrow streets you could feel like in a tale in which the time has stopped, I’m sure you will love it.
Arriving at the Les Abbesses metro station your ears will hear the sweet Parisian atmosphere and the carousel on your left will take you in the past.
Go ahead to the wall of love, it’s behind you. A magical place where you can take a picture of a great wall of an intense blue enriched of soft white letters that acclaim the love.
To get to the Sacré-Coeur I went to the big staircase in the Louise Michel Square. This is one of the most popular places both at the cinema level (starting from the sweet Amélie) and at the photographic level.
Your eyes will be searching the perfect picture along the entire staircase looking at the greatness of the Church above you and the Paris’ chimney below you.
Once at the top there will be a fresh melody, a perfect background will accompany your visit.
Shimmering monocles, breeze that make a mess of your hair and enthusiastic profiles aiming upward are the perfect subjects for your Paris memories.
TIP 2: Do not just stop to look at the facade of the Sacre-Coeur but turn around and all your senses will be stimulated. Along the side of the church you will be attracted by a scent of caramelized peanuts, you will smile thanks to a street artist and a young entertainer that will bring you to a lovely and sweet atmosphere of happiness.
The back of the church is of an opposite style to that of the facade, lived, blackened, rich in contrast and of solid structure.
If you leave the church behind you you can find a rural Paris, in fact you will enter the less frequented Montmartre, discovering what remains of the vineyards of the hill.
Along the vineyard you will see a series of light colored houses, small windows and low roofs, a feature that you won’t easily find in the rest of the city, where the haussmanien’s architecture is the trend.
But one of the things I prefer to do when I travel is just to get lost in the streets without having a precise destination and make me surprised with this sense of freedom and wonder that captures me.
Just during these wanderings I found myself to see a small way closed by fairytale houses between the ivy and the chirping of birds.
Returning to the more chaotic area, I retraced Amélie’s steps to the Café des Deux Moulins on rue Lepic, where there is even a dish called with her name.
TIP 3: Going up to Rue Lepic and turning right, you will find a series of typical bistrot, restaurants, grocery stores and retailers of crêpes, a pleasure for your taste.
After discovering Montmartre in my own way, I decided to go even in the most touristic route and immerse myself in the crowd of rue Norvins.
In Rue Norvins, at least on sunny days, you can see historic art shops and crafts pâtisserie. Then you will find one of the most colorful places per square meter: Place du Tertre, better known as the artists’ square.
I’ve lost myself to observe the brush strokes of many of them, intent on creating portraits or rarely landscapes. Along the square there are numerous cafés and bistros where you can find not only the numerous tourists all facing the center of the square, but also some street artists in search of inspiration or simply during their journal break.
If you look up, over the canvases, you will see the beautiful dome of the Sacré-Coeur appearing almost as if by magic. Do not hesitate to reach it. The meeting of the artists will continue to amaze you: intent to capture the emotions of two girls at a cafe, the pose of those who walk with a map in hand and a woman leaning against the wall. In all the most uncomfortable positions the artists of Montmartre manage to paint and conduct their charcoals to give birth to works of art.
Finally, go down to the Dali museum and take the steps that will show you the Paris chimneys until you return to the starting point of this fairy tale in Montmartre: Place des Abbesses.
I must admit that the merit of this sensory journey goes not only to me, Giulia, but also to Isabella, a special friend who works in Paris and who has allowed me to discover places but above all special people.