homesubscribe to newsletterpinterestfacebooktwitterrssinstagram
Parisian livingrestaurant reviewstravelartseventsshoppingour Paris apartmentsfood
link to HiP blog home page
link to HiP blog home page
search
Paris apartments
About HiP
contactcontact
vacation rentals
special offers
ParisLondon
ProvenceTuscany
Paris vacation rentals
pinterestfacebooktwitterrssinstagram

Chasing Love: Three Perfect Paris Valentine’s Day Itineraries

Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Paris, the City of Amour, is perhaps the most idyllic place to spend Valentine’s Day. But it’s much more than breathtaking vistas overlooking the Seine and its quiet cobbled passages ways. Design your own unique and très romantique lovers’ day by following in the footsteps of love on these three offbeat itineraries.
Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Lovers’ Road Less Traveled at the Louvre

The city’s greatest museum also contains some of art history’s greatest representations of love, abundantly found in 18th-century French rococo painting. Luckily these works are located far from the museum’s big stars, like the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa, making a stroll to the second floor of the Sully wing (rooms 54 to 36) a perfect jaunt for secret lovers.

You can’t help be swept up in the amorous atmosphere of these voluptuous tableaux featuring love gods, romantic exploits, and fêtes galantes. Valentine’s own Cupid is caught giving his first kiss to his fated lover in François Gérard’s rendition of the classic tale of Cupid and Psyche (room 53). King Louis XV’s love for his mistress the Comtesse du Barry is illustrated in the large works by Joseph-Marie Vien: Greek Maidens Adorning a Sleeping Cupid with Flowers and The Lover Crowning his Beloved (room 52). The character Innocence is corrupted by Cupid in the vivid painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (room 51).

Your hearts will continue to flutter thanks to one of the era’s great masters François Boucher’s monumental Vulcan’s Forge (Room 48) or through his lovesick duo Rinaldo and Armida (Room 38). In the same room, François Lemoyne depicts another female seductress in his Hercules and Omphale, the classic hero shown here fallen hard under the Omphale’s spell. Lastly, don’t miss the delicate works of Watteau, another valiant defender of romance, at the end of the wing.

Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Great Lovers of Père Lachaise

Till death do us part is not the case at Père Lachaise cemetery, where love seems to last eternally. The largest cemetery within Paris’ city limits (44 hectares/110 acres), it was opened in 1804 and today contains the remains of over one million people. With such an immense number of Parisian figures, there are indeed many examples of great lovers and tracking some of them down can be the theme of your stroll.

Start with one of the cemetery’s most famous pair of lovers (and its oldest “residents”): Abelard and Heloise. The legendary medieval lovers’ remains were transferred here in 1817, and as the tradition goes, lovers or lovelorn singles should leave letters with their wishes at the crypt (division 7). As you make your way through the tiny pathways you’ll most certainly end up in the “romantic section,” the central area, which is also the oldest. It contains some of the loveliest tombs and has been classified as a national monument (mainly divisions 4-39).

Here you can find some of the most important figures of the 19th century Romanticism, like Frederic Chopin (division 11), Théodore Géricault (division 12) or Eugène Delacroix (division 49). The obscure romantic can hunt down some lesser known personages of the era, such as Marie Catherine Sophie, Comtesse d’Agoult (division 54), a French romantic author and once the lover of composer Franz Liszt, or the Comtesse Marie Walewska d’Ornano (division 67), a mistress of Emperor Napoleon, whose heart remained here in her husband’s family crypt, whereas her other remains were returned to her homeland in Poland.Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

The twentieth century also left some heartstruck couples at Père Lachaise. Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, who died an unfortunate early deathfrom tuberculosis at age 36, is buried with his tragic mistress Jeanne Hébuterne (division 96). Mythical French songstress Édith Piaf is buried next to her second husband, actor and singer Theophanis Lamboukas (division 97), with whom she’d sung the duet “À quoi ça sert l’amour?” (What Good Is Love?), a sentiment possibly reconciled through their relationship as their tomb is engrave with “Love Conquers All.” Not far are some of the literary world’s greats; Gertrude Stein is eternally wedded to her life partner Alice B. Toklas (division 94). And no trip to Père Lachaise would be complete without a stop at the wildest of its tombs, Oscar Wilde’s (division 89), now protected from his admirers’ kisses by a glass case.Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

L’Amour Court les Rues, Love in the Streets of Montmartre

Montmartre may have the “Love Wall,” but expressions of love run rampant through the neighborhoods cobbled streets. Literary; these days with a work of street artist Wilfrid’s, “L’Amour court les rues.” His slogan, “love runs through the streets,” first scrawled in late 2014 in response to a tag of “love is dead,” has now spread throughout the area with dozens of declarations on the area’s facades, benches, pedestrian crossings, construction barriers, and abandoned planks of wood.
If you come up to Place des Abbesses on Saturday February 13th from 3pm to 10pm, Wilfrid will be present, signing any material you bring with his slogan (an ideal Valentine’s gift!). Alternatively, amble through the quiet streets around Abbesses any day and you can challenge your chéri/e to see who can spot the most “L’Amour court les rues.” You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled… some are where you might least expect. Along the way you’ll find other romantic imagery, from restaurant chalkboards to chalk-drawn hearts, that can count in your contest. You can also post your finds to the “Amour court les rues” Facebook page or Instagram account.

The winner can be rewarded with some toasty hot chocolate or vin chaud at one of the area’s many cozy cafés… or some other reward for the rest of your Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with love wherever you are and whatever you do!Valentine's Day. Paris. 2016.

Related Links

  • Still looking for a little special something for your sweetheart? My Little Paris shares 21 cute gift ideas.
  • Whether you find yourself in love this Valentine’s Day or not, these short stories are sure to warm the heart.
  • When the famed love locks were removed from the Pont des Arts, a temporary installation of love-themed graffiti took its place. Take a peek.

Written by Lily Heise for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Lily Heise. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

 

Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Stories of Love in Paris: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Romantic Paris: Celebrate Valentine's Day in the City of Love with Selections from

There’s no question that the city of Paris exudes and encourages love, in its many forms. This passion can manifest any time of year, but it’s certainly intensified around Valentine’s Day. This year, the theme of this varied amour is explored in many of the pieces in the new anthology, That’s Paris, a lovely collection of short stories. With an entertaining forward by Stephen Clarke of A Year in the Merde fame, the 24 fun, funny, and touching pieces of both fact and fiction are organized in sections ranging from, “What’s Love Got to Do with It” to “Becoming Parisian.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’re going to visit some of the city’s most romantically charged locations through a selection of the works from the book.

Romantic Paris: Celebrate Valentine's Day in the City of Love with Selections from

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 7 Comments »

Winter in Paris: Hot Chocolate, Melty Cheese, and Fireplace Bars in the City of Love

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

niall62

With the temperatures dropping and the light dimming, winter in Paris might not seem like the most romantic time of year. In many ways, however, it can actually be a lovers’ paradise, even if you’re not skating hand in hand in front of Hôtel de Ville, strolling the streets brightly decorated for the holidays, or huddled together sipping vin chaud. Here are five fun ideas to warm up (and spice up) your couples’ outings in the chilly city of amour.

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

A Romantic Winter in Paris: Sip a mug of hot chocolate, enjoy ice skating on the Eiffel Tower, visit Le Carnavalet, and snuggle with your lover at Paris' fireplace bars

Sophie Asia; hpc_

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | No Comments »

Online Dating in Paris: Finding Mr. French Might Be Easier Than You Thought!

Online Dating in Paris

Damien Roué

After 20 years of happily ever after, my husband awoke one morning in our Paris apartment a changed man, a man in a midlife crisis. Family? Non, merci! He wanted to work endless hours, have a wife without children, hang with 30-year olds. We already had two kids and I was the other side of 40. In six weeks I went from that lady at dinner parties with an adoring husband whispering, “You are the most beautiful woman in the room” to single mom-dom.

Online Dating in Paris

François Digital

Which is how I found myself dating online in Paris. My friends in the US had warned me that online dating is a nightmare. Men want young girls, or mothers to help them with their kids, or just a one-night stand. One-night stands sounded pretty good to me; after two decades of marriage, I suspected it would do me good to play the field. So I checked out my online options.

Online Dating in Paris, Couple at Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Charles Talbot

Charles Talbot

Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

Paris Summer Romance Giveaway: Je T’Aime, Me Neither by Lily Heise

Lily Heise doesn’t date; she stumbles clumsily into romantic mischief. Her latest book, Je T’aime Me Neither, chronicles her sometimes absurdly funny, often racy, always entertaining amorous adventures in Paris. In honor of the book’s release, we’re giving away a copy to one lucky reader today. To mark the occasion, Lily has compiled a list of her favorite romantic activities in Paris — although we’re sure you don’t need too much help finding romance in the City of Love. For your chance to win, see instructions at the bottom of the post. -Geneviève
HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

While Paris makes for a wonderful romantic backdrop any time of year, there is something particularly special about the summer months. Perhaps it’s the long days or the short skirts, the champagne or the strawberries — whatever the reason, there is definitely increased romance energy during l’été.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

… Something I’ve found out first-hand over the years. Strolling along the Seine into the setting sun is enough to pull heartstrings at any time of the year, but here are my favorite tips for the perfect summer je t’aiming.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

Le Pique-nique – but where?
Picnicking might just be tied with pétanque as the official summer sport of les parisiens, though I think it would definitely win out for the romantics. While there are many excellent places to lay your blanket, the city’s various waterways provide fitting spots for varying degrees of heartbeats.

HiP Paris Blog, Lily Heise, Je t'aime, me neither

New amoureux will cherish the semi-privacy found on the pelouse of the Square Vert Galant, located at the western tip of Ile de la Cité, or they can escape the crowds piled on Pont des Arts by heading to the Solferino bridge. Long time lovers might prefer to lounge and people-watch under a shady corner of the Canal Saint Martin. Lonely hearts will enjoy the lively atmosphere of overflowing groups along the Canal de l’Ourcq or just upstream from Notre Dame on the Quai de la Tournelle. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 47 Comments »

My First Paris: Lindsey Discovers the Art of the Stroll

Bonnaf

I don’t think anyone would dispute that the French are the masters of leisure and purveyors of refined hedonism. Meals, apéros, discussions, and strolls are all to be conducted tranquillement – without haste and with an utmost respect for life’s little pleasures. With a vast selection of renowned terraces, parks, shops, secret passageways and charming cobblestone streets, it’s no wonder their capital city ranks highly for a laid-back kind of lifestyle.

But for Paris neophytes, particularly those accustomed to a far more hurried pace, this leisurely style is a bit of a head scratcher and is my most vivid first memory of the city. When I first arrived in Paris, my legs only functioned on two speeds – fast and faster – and this immediately perplexed my husband on our first date.

Was I in a rush? Trying to escape him? Neither, really. I was simply conditioned to stride with purpose, leaving aimless wandering for rare occasions or to aid in digestion after a heavy meal.


Couple strolling on rue Montorgueil (Lost in Cheeseland)

My feckless attempts at regulating my speed made us both chuckle and helped to abate all visible signs of first-date butterflies.  With a winsome smile and blushed cheeks, he reached for my hand and pulled me back toward him to match his gait.

Where’s the fire? We’re enjoying ourselves”, he reminded me. And that set the course for the rest of our 8-hour date.  As we walked from our rendez-vous point at Odéon, through Luxembourg Gardens, and eventually winded our way through the 2nd to rue Montorgueil for a cheese plate, I began to understand why the French have a word to describe the very act of strolling. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 23 Comments »

Where To Fall in Love: A Phase-by-Phase Relationship Map of Paris

Nicolas Blain

I fell in love in Paris—such a cliché, I know. But luckily, the person I fell in love with has no tolerance for Parisian clichés, so I know this is the real deal. Could we have fallen in love in, let’s say, Detroit? Yes, it just wouldn’t have been quite so awesome.

Here’s how it went down, in case you’d like to consult my love map as you chart your own course.

Aux Folies & Café Charlot (Akuppa; Winter d’Adulescent)

Nice To Meet You: We actually met twice—first at a house party, and then a year later at one of my most-frequented bars, La Perle (made famous by John Galliano’s rant). Our next meet-ups were at Aux Folies and then at Chez Jeanette. It’s no coincidence that these are still my preferred Parisian watering holes.

First Date: Ours was on-the-fly. After a long day of wandering around Parc Monceau and the Musée Camondo, we drifted over to Café Constant, and finished the night at La Mer à Boire. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Parc Monceau (Christophe Alary)

Romantic Getaway: Early on, we took an impromptu road trip to Normandy. When we mistakenly drove three hours in the wrong direction without caring one bit, we knew we were really in love. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 4 Comments »