The choir of the Saint Roch church which was started in 1653 and completed in 1754. It is located on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris and was pillaged during the Revolution.
Saint Roch church, Paris.
Saint Roch church, Paris, looking back towards the entrance showing the organ pipes above the door.
The Opera Garnier.
Imagine my surprise at seeing a 1967 Mustang in front of the Opera Garnier! It was being used to promote a new Diesel cologne. I spoke with the owner and learned that the car was originally owned by a US soldier and was used for racing at one time. I have no idea what the chicken was doing there.
This is the view from the rooftop terrace at the Galeries Lafayette. We came up here to get some air after the fashion show which was incredibly hot and stuffy.
The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.
Shops along the Champs-Élysées.
This was taken while walking to the Rodin Museum.
Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker", cast in 1902 and displayed in the Musée Rodin. It is meant to represent Dante and also appears in Rodin's "Gates of Hell" sculpture.
Tourists taking a break near the pond in the garden of the Rodin Museum in Paris. The central statue is "Ugolino and his children" and was created circa 1881. Driven crazy by hunger, Ugolino, Count of Gheradesca, devoured his dead children, a crime for which he was eternally damned.
The dome of the church at Les Invalides from the gardens of the Musée Rodin.
The entrance of the Église de la Madeleine.
"Baptism of Christ" by François Rude in the Église de la Madeleine, Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris from the left bank showing the south rose window.
Browsing the shelves at Shakespeare and Company.
The Pantheon was completed in 1790 and is the burial place for French national heroes.
Parisians doing what they do best - relaxing and enjoying life in the Luxembourg gardens.
The Luxembourg Palace, home of the French Senate.
The Chapel of the Virgin in the church of Saint Eustache, just north of Les Halles shopping centre.
Here we are in Verzenay beside the Moet & Chandon vineyards.
The vineyards of Veuve Cliquot in Verzenay, France. This is Grand Cru land that is among the finest in the world for growing grapes.
This machine trims the grass that grows between the rows of vines.
Frédérique Mouzon of Jean Claude Mouzon winery in Verzenay checks for sediment in the champagne. Our guide, Trong Nguyen interpreted for us.
Another bottle of champagne? Why not!? I'm not driving!
The Taittinger winery has 3 million bottles of wine stored in 16 km of caves. This niche stores 70,000 bottles, all moved by hand.
The choir of the cathedral of Reims.
The jamb statues to the right of the main portal of Reims Cathedral depict Mary visiting Elizabeth on the right and the annunciation with the angel Gabriel and Mary on the left.
Sampling macarons at Pierre Herme. These are pricy but the best around with my favourite flavour being sweet pea and mint. Of course I had to try quite a few to come up with a favourite...
L'Escargot Montorgueil opened in 1832, selling escargot and shellfish. It was converted to a restaurant in 1874 and is designated as a historical building. I had the classic parsley and garlic escargot which were excellent.
The patisserie Stohrer is the oldest bakery in France and has been at this location since 1730. The cherry tart I had was indescribably good!
The Passage des Jacobins houses a police station, offices and many shops, including an automobile dealership.
We celebrated our 26th anniversary with dinner at Guy Savoy. Chef Savoy came to our table to congratulate us personally whereupon my wife asked if we could take a photo. He enthusiastically agreed and invited us in to the kitchen to have it taken. The three Michelin star food was beyond description however, so was the price. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
You'll never guess what these are because I sure didn't recognize their name in French on the menu. If you guessed "bull's testicles" then you're right! They're actually delicious.
Monet's "Water Lillies" in the Musée de l'Orangerie. The paintings are beautifully displayed in two oval rooms under diffused, natural light. The museum also houses the exceptional Paul Guillaume collection of impressionist paintings.
The Code of Hammurabi in the Louvre dates back to 1700 BC. It specifies laws, punishments and how to deal with contract disputes.
The crowds that gather at the Mona Lisa can be daunting.
These are the lines for the elevators of the Eiffel Tower at 11:30 AM. It's much faster to climb the 670 stairs to the second level.
This is a Wallace fountain, financed by Richard Wallace and designed by Charles-Auguste Lebourg, that provides drinking water to thirsty Parisians and tourists. This one is located outside the entrance to the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
The girl in the centre was serenading us with some of Edith Piaf's most famous songs and doing an exceptional job.
The grave of Oscar Wilde has a placard on it asking people not to deface the memorial, but to no avail. It's covered with kisses and messages of gratitude from the thousands of people who visit it.
We had a picnic of fresh baguette, goat cheese and wine in Père Lachaise Cemetery. A wonderful lunch on our anniversary day.
The grave of Frederic Chopin in Père Lachaise Cemetery is very popular with visitors.
The grave of Gioachino Rossini, or "Signor Crescendo", in Père Lachaise Cemetery
The Eiffel Tower shot while crossing the Seine.
The iconic tower, done in an old-time film style.
The passerelle Debilly (Debilly bridge) is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine not far from the Eiffel tower. You can see the Arc de Triomphe in the upper left.
The Duomo of Florence, started in 1296 and completed in 1436 with the addition of Brunelleschi's magnificent dome.
The interior of the dome of the Cathedral of Florence was decorated by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. It was completed in 1579.
Climbing to the top of the Duomo in Florence, between the two layers of Brunelleschi's dome.
The view from the top of the Duomo of Florence. The Piazzale Michelangelo is visible in the top left; the tower of the Bargello is left centre; the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio is to the right. You can see the roof-top terrace of our hotel at the base of the Bargello tower.
The Duomo of Florence from the Boboli Gardens.
The Ponte Vecchio crosses the Arno River in Florence, lined with jewellery shops and tourists. The upper portion is part of the Vasari corridor that allowed the Medici family to walk from the Palazzo Pitti to the Palazzo Vecchio without having to see, or be seen by, the riff-raff.
The Arno River with the Ponte Vecchio at sunset from the Ponte alle Grazie.
The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge in Florence and houses jewellery and souvenir shops. Above the shops runs the Vasari Corridor that connects the Palazzo Pitti and the Palazzo Vecchio. This allowed the Medici family to move from one palazzo to the other without having to step outside.
This is looking east towards the Ponte alle Grazie at sunset, walking along the Arno River. The Piazzale Michelangelo is the hill in the left third and if you look real close, you can see the bronze replica of David.
Florence sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo. From left to right are the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo and Santa Croce
This is the replica David in bronze set in the Piazzale Michelangelo that overlooks Florence from the south side of the Arno river.
Florence at sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
Florence sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo.
The statue of Hercules and Cacus at the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence. The statue was unveiled in 1534 to mixed reactions. Cellini claimed that Hercules' back resembled a "sack full of melons".
This panel from the "Gates of Paradise" east door of the baptistry of Florence depicts Moses receiving the Ten Commandments from God. The doors are reproductions, replacing the originals completed by Ghiberti in 1452. The bust in the top right is a self portrait of Ghiberti.
This pillar in the lobby of the Grand Hotel Cavour in Florence shows the high water mark from the 1966 floods.
The Duomo of Pisa with the famous leaning bell tower in the background.
Everybody has to take the "holding up the tower" photo when in Pisa. I think it's the law.
The view from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa.
The Santa Maria della Spina Church, Pisa. Built in 1230 and moved to its present location in 1871. It housed a thorn supposedly from Jesus' crown of thorns, brought back by a crusader.
I did a significant amount of scientific research to determine the best gelato in Florence and my conclusion is that the best is found at Perche No! Their raspberry was fantastic, closely followed by their green tea.
Donatello's "David", circa 1440, is the first free-standing male nude statue since antiquity. It's in the Bargello.
The Etruscan "Chimera of Arezzo" was discovered in 1553 and is believed to have been cast around 400 BC. It's in the National Archaeological Museum in Florence.
This plaque in the Piazza del Signoria in Florence marks the spot where Girolamo Savonarola, the leader of the "Bonfire of the Vanities", was burned at the stake on May 23rd, 1498.
A replica of Michelangelo's David has been in the Piazza della Signoria since 1910.
These are the original statues that graced the facade of the church of Orsanmichele. They're now stored on the second floor and copies are in their original location. From left to right they are, St. John the Baptist by Lorenzo Ghiberti; Christ and St. Thomas by Andrea del Verrocchio; St. Luke by Giambologna. Each statue represents the patron saint of the guild who commissioned it.
The Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, contains the famous and influential frescoes painted by Masaccio and Masolino.
The line for the Accademia Gallery, home of Michelangelo's David, was enormous. And this is the line for those with reservations! We had the Firenze card so were admitted immediately with no lining up at all.
Legend has it that this image, called "L'Importuno", was carved by Michelangelo on the side of the Palazzo Vecchio. It's behind the statue of Hercules and Cacus, near the corner of the building.
The back of the Pitti Palace, from the Boboli Gardens.
The Grotta di Buontalenti in the Boboli gardens contains replicas of Michelangelo's Prisoners. The statue at the far back is "Paris and Helen" by Vincenzo de'Rossi.
This sculpture in the Boboli Gardens of Cosimo de Medici's court dwarf Morgante riding a tortoise is a copy of the original made by Valerio Cioli in 1564.
Someone has carved an image of Dante into the paving stones in front of the Dante House.
This is the Cathedral of Siena, looking back towards the nave from Nicola Pisano's pulpit. The black and white stripe motif represents the colours of the flag and coat of arms of Siena.
This marble pulpit in the Duomo of Siena was carved by Nicola Pisano in 1268.
The Piazza del Campo in Siena, home of the Palio di Siena horse race.
The Salone dei Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio was built in 1494 as a meeting place for the 500 members of the Grand Council of Florence.