Archaeological crypt of Notre Dame: Roman ruins in Paris

With it’s grand boulevards, historic mansions and charming lack of skyscrapers, it can seem like Paris is stuck in the 19th century. The Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame underneath Notre Dame Cathedral in Ile de City shows that it’s a city in a constant state of change. In the 1960s, during excavations for a car park outside Notre Dame, ancient Roman ruins were discovered 80 … Continue reading Archaeological crypt of Notre Dame: Roman ruins in Paris

Biting off more than we can chew in the Boboli Gardens

It had been a deliciously lazy day in Florence but by the late afternoon we felt that we should tick something else off our list. We were feeling fairly dusty, the aftermath of the night before which ended quite tellingly, at the most unlikely of places in such a foodie city – Florence’s golden arches. It was at the request of my friend, who works … Continue reading Biting off more than we can chew in the Boboli Gardens

The Glory of Opera Garnier, Paris

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I thought the Palace of Versailles was grand, but Paris’ Opera Garnier blows it out of the water. Every inch is a tribute to opulence. Completed in 1875 by architect Charles Garnier, Opera Garnier is Europe’s largest opera houses. It is the setting for Gaston Leyroux’s Phantom of the Opera, a famous play which is now also the longest-running show … Continue reading The Glory of Opera Garnier, Paris

Sainte Chapelle Upper Chapel Paris

Sainte-Chapelle: A 13th century treasure

Sometimes the smallest stars shine the brightest. I visited Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in December 2011 and I’ve never been so in awe of anywhere. It is smaller than Notre Dame, but in my opinion, it is so much more beautiful. There isn’t a square inch of the interior that isn’t painted, coloured, carved or adorned with gold leaf. The lower chapel was beautiful, but I was … Continue reading Sainte-Chapelle: A 13th century treasure

Gardens of Versailles France

The Temple of Love in the gardens of Versailles

You could lose hours in the seemingly never-ending gardens of Versailles. Between the English gardens, French gardens, Petit and Grand Trianons, fountains, orangeries, greenhouses, lakes, grottos and my favourite, Marie Antoinette’s fairytale hamlet, it is hard to leave. In terms of beauty, I think the gardens leave the palace for dead. The Temple of Love is set amongst the English Gardens, which Marie Antoinette requested because … Continue reading The Temple of Love in the gardens of Versailles

Don’t miss Marie Antoinette’s fairytale village in Versailles

Visiting the famous Chateau de Versailles is a popular and worthwhile day trip from Paris. Built by the lavish Louis XIV, the Sun King, the palace is one of the most extravagant in Europe. The palace itself is impressive, but in my opinion the best part of the estate is the garden. My favourite part of the sprawling garden is Marie Antoinette’s little village at … Continue reading Don’t miss Marie Antoinette’s fairytale village in Versailles

Underground Rome: Capuchin Crypt

The Capuchin Crypt in Rome makes the Parisian catacombs look like a walk in the park. Underneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione, the small crypt is not easy to find but is worth the effort. After walking past the church several times, we asked for directions and finally found the crypt. Photography is banned inside the crypt, so I have none, although there … Continue reading Underground Rome: Capuchin Crypt