Hidden in the Quartier Latin, this is a beautiful and truly surprising place to enjoy Paris during summer. Did you know Paris has a Roman arena? Well here it is, named after the Latin name of Paris: Lutetia, or Lutèce in French.
The amphitheater dates from the first century, when it was designed to host over 15,000 spectators that would come to see fights between humans and animals, and humans against each other. Nowadays nothing reminds you of this rather violent past and it has become a park that is accessible freely and feels particularly peaceful, as it is isolated from street noise and surrounded by trees.
Instead of gladiators the arena is now the stage of Frenchmen playing pétanque or boys practicing football. Also it is occasionally the arena for cultural events, such as the festival Les Nuits Des Arènes, a theater festival that wants to enhance political debate, held during the first week of September. This festival was a nice discovery for me last year, but also when there is no special event going on it is a great place to just relax and meditate.