Please don't trivialize Paris.
It is obvious that is beautiful, majestic, fascinating, inspiring.
But for this very reason to be discovered a little deeper, without letting oneself be dazzled by that shimmering veil enveloping the city and which could prevent from revealing those hidden and precious corners of her.
Let's start by saying that I spent there seven days out of two weeks in one of the coldest months, January, still managing to get around.
Where did I stay? In two hotels with the same management: Malone Hotels, period buildings located in very beautiful and evocative spots.
The first stay was at the Hotel Relais Bosquet, characterized by a nice view of the iconic Eiffel Tower with the Champ-de-Mars park in the 7th arrondissement crossing the Seine not far from the Champs-Elysées. Nothing more Parisian for a stay in the Ville Lumiere.
These days I wore outfits from the Italian brand Via Masini 80. The perfect pull to contrast the winter cold, which I combined with a white pleated skirt, both pieces from the fall winter 2023 collection.
I then stayed at the Hotel de l'Empereur, still in the same area but with a view of the Invalides, where Napoleon rests, who despite the many wars and battles of his reign, has still an important fascination for the French, and not only.
In the two hotels, I could relax, always in style, thanks to the Carami collection suits, which accompanied me during the many commitments of this stay.
From these two hotels, it is very convenient to reach different spots in Paris.
For example, I had the opportunity to visit the area where the design stores are concentrated, which presented their new collections during the Maison & Object fair, one of the professional reasons to be in Paris, and which are all located in Rue du Bac.
So I attended an event of Maxalto, a refined brand, Italian but with a very French allure that revealed its brand new collections and Arclinea with its kitchen solutions having a contemporary look in its completely renovated store.
At Maison & Object it was a pleasure to meet with Daniela Poletti of Vetrofuso at her stand where I could admire the unique handcrafted and artistic creations. Dishes, home decor, bijoux, and much more, exclusively in Murano glass with unique colors and designs, inspired by nature.
Paris is the city of fashion and I could not miss visiting one of the most legendary addresses in Paris. The symbol for the Dior maison and temple of Parisian fashion, 30 Avenue Montaigne was the place dearest to Monsieur Christian Dior, in those salons on February 12, 1947, the couturier presented his New Look to the world and gave life to a revolutionary style for the era. That's where the Dior dream began.
The brand new Galerie Dior is a real museum dedicated to the history of the maison and to the creations that made it a legend.
The project designed by architect Peter Marino is characterized by its spaces flooded with light, white, flowers and beauty in which the codes of the maison dialogue with art and architectural virtuosity. The over 10,000 square meters celebrate the excellence and savoir-faire of the French brand like never before, sealing the many souls and the most authentic DNA of the Dior world within a single place.
Still on Avenue Montaigne, I had lunch in one of the coolest places, the Avenue, which during the fashion week is a real show, both for the celebrities who pass by and for the looks that can be seen, including accessories, expensive pieces and some bolder extravagance.
Here too I sat at the table for several hours, in fact I changed three, chatting with my neighbors who were different from time to time and always very glamorous. I didn't miss the french fries "les allumettes" which eaten in this setting seem a bit less unhealthy.
Paris has many souls and from the luxurious world of Dior I moved to a characteristic district: the Marais, 4th arrondissement. It was the Jewish quarter of Paris and there are still pastry shops with their particular sweets and the typical "delicatessen". Even if the neighborhood has lost its original characteristics, there are still many very special little shops. The main shopping street is Rue des Francs-Bourgeois: a curiosity, this is one of the few areas in Paris where shops can also open on Sundays (the French are very strict about this) and this is precisely due to the Jewish origins of the neighborhood since the Jewish religion celebrates the Sabbath.
Near the beautiful Place de Vosges, the oldest in Paris where Victor Hugo lived, a passage that never fails in my Parisian stays, and not far from the Bastille, I came across a flea market, another very Parisian experience.
The stalls were in Boulevard Beaumarchais with lots of vintage clothes and the classic "brocanterie".
I didn't miss an opportunity to make a real bargain, buying this refined French coat, never worn and at the crazy price of €30!!
A style that I like to mention, outside the big brands known to all, is that of the stylist Vanessa Bruno, Italian-Danish origins, who wants to be defined as "Effortless Sophistication", chic but at the same time degagé as they say in French, in short a perfect summary of Parisian allure. I have several pieces by this designer in my closet and I never fail to visit her boutique in the Marais on Rue du Temple to admire her creations that are very suited to my style.
When traveling you need to have effective products in your beauty case. In both of my stays, I used Icona Milano Make-up, products I can't live without and combine long-lasting formulations with an extremely natural make-up that respects one's complexion, and with sticks for quick touch-ups during the endless days!
Bianca Baykam's jewels accompanied me in these Parisian days, with their unique style made with high-quality stones and materials. Each piece is designed to embellish the look and enhance the features of the wearer, as with the earrings in the photo.
These days were not only pleasure, but also business meetings, one of these with Gambettes Box, completely sustainable tights with a very innovative business model. Their offices, beautiful and all female, are in an area that is always very fascinating: Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement.
A neighborhood that unites the sacred with the profane. With the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur from which you can enjoy an unmissable view of the city and the Pigalle area with the famous Moulin Rouge.
In these busy and worldly days, I have also found time for a moment
of recollection in the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Médaille-Miraculeuse. It's a very small chapel, but it's one of the best-known pilgrimage sites in Paris: to give you an idea, it welcomes nearly two million visitors a year and is located at 140 Rue du Bac, in a shopping area near the Le Bon Marché department store.
In 1830, Catherine Labouré, a young woman then in her twenties, began to regularly attend the chapel to pray. During this year, Catherine will see the Virgin several times: in one of her meetings, Mary entrusts her with a mission, of having a medal minted in her name. Two years later, when the city of Paris and its region were hit by a terrible cholera epidemic, the bishop granted the Sisters of Charity the right to organize a distribution of his medals. Miracle! Shortly after the distribution, there are many healings and the epidemic decreased. From then on, Parisians, convinced of its benefits, declared these medals "miraculous".
Catherine will be beatified in 1933, the medals minted since then are billions and I have taken some to give to my loved ones.
In Paris, pastry shops are art and one that I recommend is Notre Patisserie, in the 7th arrondissement, with its turquoise facade, tastefully furnished interiors and above all its mouth-watering creations and truly unmissable "viennoiseries". A large window allows customers to marvel at the making of their products.
I sat on Saturday morning like a true Parisian at the Cafè du Trocadero, spending four hours there, wearing the rings from the new Unoaerre collection, with the back and forth of Parisians who have this habit on Saturdays, and meet friends sitting in these cafés.
In the evening a taxi and a comfortable flight to Linate took me back to Milan, but always ready to leave: à la prochaine!