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Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

Paris' Latin Quarter

Paris' so-called Latin Quarter is located on the left bank of the Seine River around the Sorbonne University. The neighborhood got its name from the university, whose classes were originally conducted in Latin. Today, the university still thrives and is surrounded by interesting shops, bookstores and a plethora of cafes and ethnic restaurants.

Stroll the streets of the quarter. Unlike the grand boulevards in most sections of Paris, the streets in the Latin Quarter are narrow and winding, many still paved with cobblestones. The central plaza and meeting place of the quarter is the Place Saint-Michel, which is usually full of students, street performers and tourists.

Enjoy an ethnic restaurant. The streets leading away from the Place Saint-Michel are lined with small bistros and ethnic restaurants, representing the many nationalities that call Paris home. You'll find Greek, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian and many other specialties here.

See a play at the Odeon Theater. The Odeon Theater, opened in 1782 as the first home of the "Comedie Francaise." Today, the theater produces a full season of dramas, comedies and musical revues, most of which are performed in French.

Browse the shelves at Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. The Latin Quarter is known for its many bookstores and none is more famous than the English language Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, located just steps away from the Seine. The bookstore has a long history. Located near the Odeon Theater during the 1920's and 1930's, the bookstore was a favorite haunt of Hemmingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and other Americans living in Paris between the wars. The authors have gone, but the ghosts--and the books--remain.

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