Paris & Surroundings

One can spend a lifetime exploring Paris and the greater Paris called Ile de France. While most of the articles in this section focus on sights, tastes, history, shops, art and life in the capital, we also make frequent trips to Versailles, Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Barbizon, Chantilly, Auvers-sur-Oise, the Chevreuse Valley and other notable places in the surrounding region.

Carnivorous Confusion

Meat is customarily served rarer in France than in the United States, so it’s important to know how to answer when the waiter asks...

Versailles, Versigh, Versails, Versighs, Versize, Versace: How I Learned to Forget the Crowds and...

Part I: Marie-Antoinette's Versailles Featuring Lolly Winston Until recently I’d cringe when visiting friends would ask me to take them to Versailles. Too crowded, too...

Jacques Brel Opens for Edith Piaf

Jacques Brel opening for Edith Piaf? It sounds like the concert that dreams are made of. And it’s actually taking place as two talented performers, Patricia Kaas and Olivier Laurent, bring the past to life on a Franco-Belgian tour from Feb. 12 to April 19, 2013.
Joe Wilkins shooting at the BTC de Gonesse

The Borrowed Gun: Sports Shooting in France

Please don’t think that I’m looking to enter the fray of the hot-button topic of gun control in the United States when I tell...

Editor of France Revisited on Lecture Tour in NJ, PA, DC

While the recent terrorist attacks in Paris caused some travelers to push the pause button on their immediate European travel plans, we can all be armchair travelers this month when New Jersey native and award-winning Paris-based travel writer Gary Lee Kraut explores France during a tour in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. from Feb. 16 to March 2, 2015.

Part II: Louis XIV’s Versailles. Purgatory and Heaven, War and Peace, Mirrors and Fountains

I’m not sure when my transformation from dread of Versailles to curiosity occurred—while listening to our guide, while visiting the Little Theater, while strolling...

Street Talk: The Ghosts of Rue du Bac

Visiting Paris from California, Herb Hoffman and Joan Preston discover that their temporary home on Rue du Bac is surrounded by the ghosts of friends and acquaintances of democracy in America.

Isabelle Langlois: A Hidden Gem on Rue de la Paix

Colors, flowers, elegance, balance: what sounds like a stroll through the Luxembourg Garden or a glimpse into the lobby of a palatial hotel is, this morning, an encounter with Isabelle Langlois in her shop on rue de la Paix, Paris’s runway for high jewelry.

The March Equinox at Saint Sulpice Church

The March equinox, also known as the vernal or spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, occurred today. That’s the moment when the sun is...

Private Paris & France Tours

Award-winning travel writer and editor Gary Lee Kraut is the go-to guy for individuals and agencies seeking personalized tours, events and advice in Paris and throughout France.

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