It is one of the world’s most iconic cities, the center of romance, cuisine, and high culture, a place we are all implored to visit in spring and then forever hold in our hearts: Paris. But behind these familiar notions lies a bustling and deeply complex metropolis, one that offers visitors an unending array of surprises. This book takes readers and travelers to this other Paris, a city of love and danger alike, a city imbued with over 2,000 years of history, which Adam Roberts lovingly recounts alongside an expert tour of the city’s sights, sounds, and flavors. Roberts tells the story of how a provincial backwater rose up to become one of the richest, most powerful, and most visited cities in Europe, a world leader in fashion, the arts, and gastronomy. He takes us back two millennia to when roaming Celtic tribes first set up camp on the banks of the Seine, and from there moves through turbulent centuries full of the fates and fortunes of kings, marked by invasions, revolutions, and magnificent buildings constructed one after the other. He explores the city’s renowned gothic architecture, the urban planning that has been revised throughout history, the mammoth museums that have been erected to preserve its artistic legacy, and the vibrant street culture that hosts markets, performers, and Paris’s own flâneurs every single day. Along the way, he points out countless hidden gems travelers rarely make it to: from a vintage candy shop to a museum of romantic life, from a hidden garden inside a hospital to a converted hair salon that hosts—of all things—table tennis tournaments. And of course he shows readers where to eat, catch a show, and go for gorgeous sunset strolls. Offering a comprehensive but easily digestible overview, Paris is the perfect book for anyone planning a visit to the city or anyone who simply loves it from afar.
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