round portico of a stone church Santa Maria dell Pace Rome

The Sibyls, Santa Maria della Pace, Rome

Tucked between the Piazza Navona and via dei Coronari, in my favorite area of Rome, sit Santa Maria della Pace and the Chiostro del Bramante. After visiting these two gems, my slow travel itinerary would include meandering through the lanes, visiting antique shops on via dei Coronari, and enjoying lunch at an outdoor table while admiring Renaissance and Baroque...

portico of 18th century Saint-Ephrem church Paris

Finding Satie in Paris

On our second night in Paris, the piano concert program at Église Saint-Éphrem-le-Syriaque in the Latin Quarter included Satie, Chopin, and Beethoven. Almost exactly four years ago to the day, we’d attended our first classical concert in a Parisian church there, all six of Bach’s Cello Concertos, one of our most treasured memories. Filled with anticipation, we retraced our...

park pink petunias stone urns balustrade chairs trees Jardin du Luxembourg

A Day in the Jardin du Luxembourg: Part 1

We enjoyed another amazing brunch of avocado toast, bright green vegetable-laden risotto, juice, and coffee at Judy Cantine Qualitarienne. Sitting next to the window we watched the Sunday rhythm of the street, people walking dogs, families on their way to a day of fun, people sunning themselves on the terrace across the street. As we left the restaurant the...

cobblestone street pastel houses and shutters Arles

A Day Trip to Arles

As the train pulled into the station at Arles on a mild November morning, I found myself entirely unprepared. I’d set off for a day trip to Arles from Montpellier on a whim, intending to go where the wind blew me, finding joy in discovering things for myself, a true flâneur. Usually, I do more planning, but it had...

Castel Sant'Angelo Rome river bridge angels ancient Roman building sunset

A Winter Day in Rome

One night, I dreamed that I was alone in the darkened streets of Rome. Rounding a corner, there was the Pantheon, lit up in the night, its enormity and beauty breathtaking. Stunned, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to see it if only in a dream. What was I doing there? Why was I alone? It would be...

Rue de Sevigne ©ruedevarenne.com

The Marais: An unexpected meeting

Many travelers love getting to know people wherever they go. However, when traveling alone I tend to keep to myself for safety’s sake. I have, however, been blessed to meet some incredible people, particularly colleagues, but also a small handful strangers. I once had an unusual experience in the Place des Vosges, in the Marais district of Paris, that...

Slow travel: A nap in Paris ©ruedevarenne.com

Slow travel: A Nap in Paris

Last summer, as we prepared for our fall trip to Paris, we decided to put the slow travel philosophy into practice. For the past couple of years, I’ve been reading and listening to podcasts about the slow living movement. It encompasses elements of mindfulness, inspiring you to be selective about how you spend your time, to take life at a more...

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