It was so cold the other morning, I could hardly feel my fingers and toes after just a short walk around the 1st arrondissement. Nearly stumbling past street cleaners and shivering tourists, I made my way along Rue Vivienne seeking refuge from the wintery temps and peeked into the first open doorway, and there as inviting and aglow as a genie's magic lamp was Galerie Vivienne, one of the prettiest passageways in all of Paris with its mosaic tiled floors, luminous glass roof and brass lamps, reminiscent of old Paris.
About 15 glass-covered shopping arcades (passages couverts) still exist around the city, each unique and beautiful in their own way. They were constructed between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries as covered streets to shop, dine and gain protection from outside elements. Although the passageway of Galerie Vivienne isn't heated, the establishments are, and I was able to defrost inside a wonderful toy store called Si Tu Veux (If You Want). Within the gallery are also bookshops, a lovely tea room and novelty and home stores that make this particular gallery worth a visit... not to mention the string lights and shiny holiday ornaments still adorn the potted trees :)