small piazza church Christmas lights ladies at outdoor cafe table

Vegan & Gluten-Free: Rome

When we decided to visit Rome while in Europe this winter, I worried I wouldn’t find many vegan and gluten-free options. As I embarked on my research, I learned that Italy has a very high rate of Celiac’s Disease and food safety is taken seriously. Many restaurants offer gluten-free pasta and pizza. Though if you have Celiac’s Disease you...

Art Nouveau Paris Metro sign, rainy pavement, stone building in background

Paris: Le Haut Marais

Le Haut Marais, also known as the upper Marais, comprises the northern portion of the 3rd arrondissement. It makes a lovely home base in Paris. The area feels more like a neighborhood than the better known, more crowded and touristy section of the Marais in the 4th arrondissement. Le Haut Marias is filled with historic architecture, museums, restaurants (many...

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 of all six of Bach’s Cello Concertos; one of our most treasured memories. Filled with anticipation, we retraced...

view from window light iron scroll work autumn trees

Happy Birthday, RUE DE VARENNE

A year ago today I published my first post on RUE DE VARENNE. Suddenly, my reflections, travel tips, and photographs had a place to come together and be shared with others. As a child writing poems and stories in my bedroom, and a creative writing major in college just before the internet became widely available, I never imagined I’d...

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...

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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