Is Paris the most romantic city on earth?
Many have confidently declared this opinion and millions have fallen in line, agreeing with it. There are few dissenters and even fewer alternative suggestions put forward. So if the majority rule is to be believed – then Paris is probably, the most romantic city in the world.
But what is it about this ‘ville magnifique’ (magnificent city), that qualifies this reputation? If you had to put it into words what would you say?
When people are asked whether Paris is the most romantic city in the world, often the response is initially a pause, followed by a quizzical expression and then, after considering what seems like many mental options, the words “it just is!” come tumbling from the mouth. Some say it is the history, others say the ambience, the culture, the architecture even, and so many believe the Seine is the secret of its reputation. But, is water running through the centre of the city, which admittedly looks beautiful under the moonlight, truly the reason behind Paris’ romantic ideal?
Maybe Paris is the most romantic city in the world simply because of its art. The art of love, creativity and passion. The art of being sensual and the city’s unrelenting appreciation for the beauty in all things on a grand scale. The ability to be able to project that art into everything without wavering? Could this lie at the heart of its reputation?
Perhaps it is the consistency with which the French are able to do this that warrants this title for their capital city; and by default all the references and associations with the city no matter how distant are just simply reinforcing this belief.
Here are MLP’s top reasons as to why Paris has the reputation of being so intoxicatingly romantic.
Venus de Milo
Aphrodite, otherwise known as, Venus de Milo is probably the most famous ancient Greek statue in the world. Created around 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty (Venus). No prizes for guessing where the most romantic sculpture in the world can be found! The Louvre. Paris.
The French Kiss
What other country in the world, has a kiss named after it? The answer is none! The most intimate and ‘romantique ‘ kiss is called a French kiss because, allegedly, at the beginning of the 20th century, the French had a reputation for adventurous and passionate sex practices. The French call it ‘un baiser amoureux ‘ (a lovers kiss) or ‘un baiser avec la langue’ (a kiss with a tongue). In 2013, The Petit Robert French dictionary added the word ‘galocher ‘– to kiss with tongues – the first time a single word has been used to describe the practice.
Robert Doisneau – The Kiss
Speaking of kissing, this iconic image that adorned the bedroom of so many “cool” students in the 70’s and 80’s and probably even today, could not possibly be ignored. This photograph alone oozes romance and its location…outside the famous Hotel de Ville in Paris, further reminds of us of why the city has the reputation as a city for lovers.
Doisneau was a famous French photographer in the 50’s and was commissioned by Life Magazine to take shots of couples in Paris. He saw this couple and captured them instantly.
Locks of love
Despite the recent tearing down of the railings bearing locks of love along various bridges throughout Paris it was Paris that started the craze! We all have fond memories of seeing thousands of locks attached with declarations of love, shared by romantic couples. “Just you for me” A&C 2012, “Love you always” Ben and Jules and so on.
Honestly, it was one of the most truly romantic gestures on mass that we had seen in a long time and it was here in the French capital…quelle suprise!!
If you want to smell romantic, then just dab a little Chanel NO.5 behind each ear and you’re good to go. Coco, the inspiring French woman who went to Paris to create this global fashion and fragrance brand, even had Marilyn Munroe telling the world “All I wear to bed is Chanel”. Says it all really!
Victor Hugo – Les Miserables
This epic tale of love, steeped in a moral maze of social and economic challenges, illustrates the art and skill amongst the French literati that conjures up the image of a city of romance. The love story of Cosette, Marius and Valjean located in Paris in the 1800’s is arguably one of the most romantic stories ever written.
Feeling the romance of Paris? Apparently, Bowie did! he was meant to have proposed to Iman right here in the city. And then, of course, we have the most romantic movies and the music! Who can forget the breathless warbling of Serge Gainsbourgh and his female singing partner singing je t’aime? Aas much as one tries, it is still etched into our memories non? For those who have fortunately forgotten it, here is a reminder!
We look forward to hearing your views.
Avec Amour MLP