Il de la Cite & Ile Saint-Louis are the two islands that sit in the Seine River, which separate the Left Bank from the Right Bank. Il de la Cite the center of Paris and home to both Sainte-Chapelle, a 13th century Gothic chapel, and the famous Notre Dame. Ile Saint-Louis is filled with elegant and impressive 17th century homes. Each of them is oriented facing outward so that it has a view of the river. Homes in this neighborhood are very discrete and have been handed down through wealthy families for generations. In my opinion, this was the most authentic Paris neighborhood that we visited. We escaped the tourists on Il de la Cite who were jostling for the best view of Notre Dame and walked the quiet streets lined with the most adorable shops. The shoppers here were locals interested in picking up chocolates for dinner guests, a toy for a birthday party, and housewares for their kitchen. I definitely contemplated buying another suitcase so that I could do some serious shopping here!
The warm day required a stop in at Amorino for some gelato. I got quite used to daily gelato during our travels through Italy and was happy to resume the practice. Amorino is an Italian chain known for crafting unique, rose shaped ice cream cones. You get to pick as many flavors as you want and the experienced ice cream attendee will skillfully craft each scoop into a beautiful rose!
Most visitors miss Ile Saint Louis & I’m so glad that we didn’t! It ended up being the best shopping that we did in all of our travels & was such a peaceful, hidden neighborhoods. One of my favorite authors is Cara Black. She has a series of mystery novels that take place throughout Paris. The main heroine lives in a drafty apartment on Ile Saint Louis that was handed down to her from her grandfather. I figured that since we were so close when we visited Notre Dame, why not stroll the streets right out of my favorite novel!