Valerie Benigno lives on Paris’ Left Bank, in the Latin Quarter near St. Germain des Pres —the heart of the 5th and 6th arrondissements. She knows that perfect cafe or shop, the best route to ancient cathedrals, and how to enjoy the charms of this artsy, historic area of Paris.
--- Valerie shares her favorite Left Bank places and memories. We find ways to tell a Left Bank resident from someone who lives on the other side of the Seine, and why the 5th and 6th are called The Latin Quarter.
--- She talks of Left bank artists and writers, The Sorbonne and other schools on The Left Bank, and the Pantheon, where the greats of France are buried. She mentions surprising facts about the statue of St. Genevieve, and the ruins of the Roman city called Lutetia near the Cluny museum, famed for its medieval collection.
--- There is the magnificent Luxembourg Gardens, with ponds and a carousel, a museum and pony rides, flowers and fountains and the ancient home of Maria de Medici, now home to the French senate. Narrow Left Bank streets are filled with delightful shops, including the famed chocolate shop that once served Marie Antoinette.
--- We talk of the Delacroix museum; the oldest church in Paris, St. Germaine; and sites where movie scenes were shot: "The Da Vinci Code" in the ancient church, St. Sulpice, and the old restaurant featured in “Midnight in Paris.”
--- Valerie offers her favorite memory to end a travel conversation as delicious as a French macaron. By the end of the podcast we understand better why the Left Bank of Paris is magical, and why so many of us seek to travel there.
Valerie Benigno keeps up with the best of the Left Bank, advising travelers for over 20 years at Hotel St. Paul Rive Gauche.
Podcast host Lea Lane has traveled to over 100 countries, written nine travel books, including Places I Remember, and contributed to dozens of guidebooks. She's @lealane on Twitter and blogs at forbes.com
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