The Galerie Vero-Dodat is one of the smaller of the covered passages that remain in Paris, and I think probably the most charming of them all.
It was built in 1826 by Monsieurs Vero et Dodat, two pork butchers from neighboring streets who hoped to profit from the popularity of the nearby Palais Royal. It’s decorated in the neoclassical style, and is only 80 metres long – the impression of depth is given by the diagonal black and white floor tiles and the fact that all the shops have the same facades. It was also one of the first to be lit by gas lamps as soon as it opened, something of a novelty at the time.
Take a look at the ceiling, the non-glazed section is decorated with paintings of Hermes, the god of commerce, and Apollo, god of the arts.
You’ll also find the Paris flagship store of Christian Louboutin here, as well as several interesting fashion, art and design boutiques. Like the other passages, it feels like a small island within the city, if you have a free afternoon and enjoy a walk, get a map and visit several of them, they are all different and each very beautiful in their own way.
And if you’re feeling hungry, especially if it’s around brunch time, when you come out onto the rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, pop into Claus just opposite. You may not get a table if you haven’t reserved, but they do coffee and cakes to go (try their shop and takeaway just opened across the road), and everything is delicious!
- Galerie Vero-Dodat, 75001 Paris. Enter by 19 rue Jean Jacques Rousseau or 2 rue du Bouloi. metro: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre or Louvre Rivoli