1. Paris: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Latin Quarter and Left Bank
When people say that “Paris learned to think on its Left Bank”, they’re talking about the Latin Quarter, where celebrated writers, academics and freethinkers of all kinds have gathered for centuries. There has been plenty of furious debate here, but the Latin Quarter is also a place of beauty and of contemplation with some of the most picturesque churches in Paris – like Saint Etienne du Mont, the burial place of another saint, Sainte Geneviève, who protected the city from Atilla the Hun. On this walking tour, I’ll tell you about some of the incredible saints and scholars that made their mark in this part of the city. We’ll start out in front of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, where Ernest Hemmingway, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound used to shop. Our tour ends at the 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater, Arènes de Lutèce. Along the way, we’ll pass the Panthéon. This shrine to French national heroes commemorates people like Marie Curie, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, André Malraux and Josephine Baker. I’ll point out the National Museum of Natural History, and you can stop off at the Cluny Museum, which brings together the lavish residence of the Abbot of Cluny, the city’s ancient Roman Baths and Alexandre du Sommerard’s priceless collection of medieval art. I’ll also tell you about: • Renowned entertainer, Josephine Bake, who put her life in danger to help France in its fight against Nazis • Marie Curie and why she wasn’t invited to teach at the Sorbonne until after her husband's death • The inventor of Braille, Louis Braille • Holocaust survivor Simone Veil who, as a politician, advocated in favour of the European Union By the end of the tour you’ll know where to find Rue Mouffetard, the city’s oldest market street, you’ll understand how a French oyster works and know why you should order a “tradition” instead of a baguette. Whether you’re a foodie, a francophile, or a curious traveller, this two-hour tour is for you – so join me, Annie Sargent, in the Latin Quarter!