Boulevard des Italiens

For the 1896 film, see Boulevard des Italiens (film).

Coordinates: 48°52′17.11″N 2°20′13.19″E / 48.8714194°N 2.3369972°E / 48.8714194; 2.3369972

Boulevard des Italiens

Buildings on the Boulevard des Italiens at the start of the 20th century
Arrondissement 2nd, 9th
From Boulevard Montmartre
To Boulevard des Capucines
Located near the Métro stations: Opéra and Richelieu - Drouot.

The boulevard des Italiens is one of the four 'grands boulevards' in Paris, a chain running east west and also including boulevard de la Madeleine, Boulevard des Capucines and boulevard Montmartre. The origin of the name is the théâtre des Italiens built on it in 1783, shortly before the French Revolution (now replaced by the Opéra-Comique).


The boulevard's former names were:

Throughout the 19th century the boulevard was a meeting place for the elegant elite of Paris (a role that lasted until the First World War).

It was to replace Muscadins and Merveilleuses at the time of the Directoire, Gandins at the Restauration, Dandies during the reign of Louis-Philippe 1st, women in crinolines during the Second Empire.

That time was also a major epoque for several famous Cafés: Café de Paris, café Tortoni (the café Tortoni in Buenos Aires takes its name from that in Paris), café Frascati, café Français, Maison dorée among others. Upon completion of boulevard Haussmann in the 1920s these establishments disappeared to be replaced by other buildings, particularly financial ones.

Notable places

lThe "Maison dorée", with the "café Tortoni" on the left and the "café Riche" on the right (c. 1900s).

At the junction with rue Laffitte, a nice view of the Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, which seems to be placed on the top of the Church Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, whereas in fact, it is much more distant.[1]

At the corner of rue de la Chaussée d'Antin was the Dépôt des Gardes-françaises (French Guards' barracks) built by the colonel Duke of Biron in 1764. It gave the name of the boulevard for some years. On 12 July 1789, a platoon of the guards saved his colonel, Duchâtelet, from popular riots.[3]

At the corner of rue Louis-le-Grand, Palais Berlitz, built in the style of the 1930s in place of the Pavillon de Hanovre of the 18th century, which has been disassembled and rebuilt in the park of Sceaux.


  1. Paris, le guide vert. Éditions Michelin. ISBN 2-06-700352-6.
  2. Paris: 300 façades pour les curieux, Christine Bonneton editor, by Hélène Hatte & Frédéric Tran, June 2008, 17, avenue Théophile Gautier - Paris, 190 p., ISBN 978-2-86253-429-9.
  3. Le boulevard des Italiens on the website
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