Once you have tackled the loveliness that is Sacré-Cœur, move on to explore the “butte” of this village-like neighborhood. Click here for my first post on Montmartre.
Try to set aside at least a half a day to really soak up this lively and eclectic locale on the hill above Paris. There is so much to see, and you won’t want to be rushed. From the basilica, veer left towards the Place du Tertre where artists set up to paint, draw and sculpt their treasures. You can simply wander through, or sit for your own portrait. This square is surrounded by cafes, boutiques, and galleries.
A lot of the artists are quite friendly, and most have a bunch of artwork for you to look through to find just the right piece to take home with you. This gentleman shown below stuck to his guns when my aunt tried to negotiate the price of this lovely Parisian piece. There are artists of all mediums – from oil, to water color, to charcoal and pencil – you name it!
There are also caricature artists, musicians, and performance artists, depending on the time of day.
It is no coincidence that Montmartre is currently a hotbed of artists. Rather it is somewhat meant to be… kismet if you will. The area’s history goes back to the likes of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, and Edgar Degas. During the Belle Epoque era of the late 19th century, artists flocked to live and be inspired in Montmartre. The cheap rent didn’t hurt either. Most of these artists abandoned the area after World War I, but the creative, bohemian souls of these artists seem to remain.
Below is the famed and iconic “Le Consulat” restaurant, framed by the gorgeous blue sky of Paris!
This cafe can be packed with tourists, but its charm is undeniable. And the historic pride of the cafe’s prior artistic customers are highlighted on the side of the building.
Another gorgeous restaurant just across the alley from Le Consulat, is La Bonne Franquette. Not surprisingly, this locale was also a favorite haunt of the artists of the past, in fact Vincent van Gogh painted his famous “La Guinguette” from this very spot!
The signage is very charming ~
“Love, Eat, Drink & Sing” ~ what more do we really need?
There’s just too much to share about this charming area overlooking the center of Paris – another installment will be coming soon! Bonsoir mes amis 🙂
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