These architectural gems are fantastic spots to spend a rainy day. Today was simply cold but after three years of touring this city, I am now equipped with Uniqlo's high-tech, a cutting-edge fabric which takes body heat and stores it within air pockets deep within the fibres, to keep me warm during winter months. Trust me, it's not just marketing, it really works but that is a whole post in itself!
Back to the covered passages, each one has its own special character but they have one thing in common: they are all private roads, some open to pedestrians, some not, and are all run by private owners. Most are classified Historic Monuments housing shops, luxury boutiques, toyshops, stationaries, bookshops, restaurants and performance venues side by side.
Out of the over 20 covered passages left today, my two favourite are the Galerie Vivienne, one of the prettiest, with ochre paintwork and mythology-themed mosaics and the Passage des Panoramas, built in 1800, which takes the credit for being the first public area in Paris to be lit by gas in 1817. I love the signs hanging over all the food stalls and the little typical bistros tables lining up along the wooden framework of the passage.
It's just a shame that their latest addition, the former Stern engravings boutique turned into the capital’s most trendy Caffé Stern, designed partly by Philip Starck, hung up on me when I wanted to reserve a table for 10!?
Once upon a time...
Passage Vero Dodat
THE vintage shop in town
Passage de Beaujolais with a happy tourist
Time for a coffee
Passage des Panoramas