Paris to the Past

Published:  2011 by W.W. Norton
Source:  Borrowed from the library
  Either books about Paris and/or France are more prevalent on my radar because I’m contemplating a trip in the spring, or the publishing gods are releasing more books about them.  I’m drawn to travel narratives anyways, but even so I think this is the third or fourth new book about Paris that I’ve read this year.
  This book details 25 day trips from Paris that take you back into French history — from The Middle Ages and the era of Louis XIV to the French Revolution and the age of Napoleon.  I admit, I don’t have a real affinity for any of these periods and would not necessarily have selected a lot of these sites as a “must-see. Having said that, one of the sites mentioned — The Place des Vosges in Paris — was one of my favorite spots when I last visited and I wasn’t entirely aware of of its significance.  Another site — the cathedral at Rouen — I only know from Monet’s paintings (reason itself to visit, in my opinion), but I did not know of its connection to Joan of Arc.  *sigh*  I might need a longer vacation.
  I found the author’s tone to be too upscale and a tad snobby for my taste, and the only restaurants/hotels she does mention are certainly not for the budget-minded traveller.  Otherwise, this is a good non-touristy travel guide that is a starting point for anyone planning a Parisian adventure.

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