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. Occasionally the place is the decor of a festival or concert, but most of the time it is a place for me to meditate a little – even if it’s just five minutes whilst going home.