Quiet Corners of Paris
By Jean Christophe-Napias
Photographs by Christophe Lefébure
Sometimes it seems there isn't a centimeter in Paris that hasn't been discovered, described, and recommended. Yet even frequent visitors who know the city well can often get the feeling that the "real" city somehow remains elusive.
In the pages of Quiet Corners of Paris, first published in France, the author has found more than eighty of the loveliest, most tranquil, and sometimes hidden places in Paris. Most wouldn't be considered "destinations", and certainly not tourist attractions. There are winding lanes that lead nowhere in particular, but that are exquisitely lovely in themselves (one called allée des Brouillards, "fog alley"); rue Georges-Perec, one of the city's smallest streets, is a mere staircase without a single numbered address. There's a square in the fifteenth arrondissement where pétanque players gather in a "sublimely relaxing provincial atmosphere with an almost Mediterranean feel…right down to the sweet scent of pastis."
Quiet Corners of Paris is a beautifully illustrated peek into often overlooked, always beautiful, locales: hidden villas, winding lanes, little-known 19th-century passages, serene gardens, and cobblestone courtyards. Some of the places have breathtaking views, others are filled with historic and architectural details, from stone archways, garden follies, boxwood mazes, ornamental statuary, stained glass, and Renaissance fountains.
About the Author
Jean-Christophe Napias lives in Paris. Author, editor, journalist, and translator, he has created with his wife a series of guides to Paris, Paris est à nous, which has more than seventy titles.
About the Photographer
Christophe Lefébure, a graduate of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris with a master's degree in history, combines the qualities of a writer with those of a photographer. His first work, La France des lavoirs, received the Grand Prix Littéraire du Tourisme.