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Walking Tours

Introduction: Based on a series called City Walks: Paris 50 adventures on foot by Christina Henry de Tessan (Chronicle Books, Reineck and Reineck, 2004), our OURI group for the project “Hemingway in Paris,” the third generation to work on the University of Tampa Hemingway Study, decided to create three Walking Tours for fans of Hemingway visiting Paris. These can be found below. 


Walking Tour One: A typical day in the life of young Ernest Hemingway

Begin at the Café Delmas, what was previously the Café Des Amateurs, 2 place de la Contrescarpe. The very first chapter of A Moveable Feast begins here, with Hemingway describing the café derogatorily as “the cesspool of the rue Mouffetard, that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe.” This was one of Heminway’s writing spots, and not far is a building where he had a room in which he wrote, “the hotel where Verlaine had died where you had a room on the top floor where you worked.” See this, and the plaques outside of it at 39 rue Descartes. In the opening chapter, he describes writing in this room and then moving out into the city: “I walked down past the Lycee Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St. Etienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Pantheon and cut in for shelter to the right and finally came out on the lee side of the Boulevard St. Michel and worked on down it past the Cluny and the Boulevard St. Germain until I came to a good café that I knew on the Place St. Michel.”  Follow in Hemingway’s footsteps. We aren’t sure which café this was, but he describes writing well here (on what appears to be the story “Up in Michigan,” while eating oysters and drinking white wine) and then “[making] it the shortest way back up the Montagne Ste. Genevieve… to the flat at the top of the hill.” This flat would have been 74 rue Cardinal Lemoine, where he lived with Hadley, his first wife, in these early years in Paris, before the arrival of their son, Bumby. 


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Street scene of Rue Mouffetard, early 20th C.


Image Source: Roger Viollet

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Inside view from Café Delmas


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 


Street view of Café Delmas


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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Patrons mingling and drinking some café in Café Delmas


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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A street view of the Verlaine home where Hemingway lived from 1921-25


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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A seating area in Café Delmas, decorated with flower wallpaper


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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A Hemingway plauqe outside La Maison de Verlaine


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 


The walk from the beginning of Rue de Mouffetard, which starts at the bottom of the hill from Avenue des Gobelins, and leads up to the Place de la Contrescarpe.


The interior view of Cafe Delmas, located in Place de la Contrescarpe.


Starting from Hemingway's apartment just around the corner from Place de la Contrescarpe, the video follows the walk from his home to La Maison de Verlaine on then to the Pantheon.

Walking Tour Two: Literary Hubs

There are several places that Hemingway describes in A Moveable Feast for their importance to the literary scene at the time. Let’s begin at 27 rue de Fleurus, the home where young Hemingway often visited Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas. Hemingway and Hadley would come to visit with the pair, and while Hadley was entertained by Alice, Hemingway and Stein would discuss publication and style. From there you can walk to the site of the original Shakespeare and Company, “the library and bookstore” where Sylvia Beach, who had published James Joyce’s Ulysses, served as a menor of a different kind, by lending young Hemingway classics by Dostoyevsky, DH Lawrence, and other important works that contributed to the writer’s education at 12 rue de l’Odeon. Sylvia Beach and Hemingway discuss Joyce’s habit of eating at Michaud’s, a fancy restaurant located at the corner of rue Jacob and the rue des Saints-Pères, “today Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères” (Source:, 29 rue des St. Peres. Beach also says that the writer Valery Larbaud (1881-1957) “lived there” so it may have been a hotel at some point. In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway mentions seeing the famed writer James Joyce eating with his family at Michaud’s, and it is also supposedly at this restaurant that he had F. Scott Fitzgerald had a very memorable trip to the men’s room: in A Moveable Feast, Hemingway implies that Fitzgerald wanted him to assure him of the size of his manhood after his wife Zelda made disparaging remarks. If you still have energy, you might walk along the Seine, to see the modern day location of the Shakespeare and Company, bookstore at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie.


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A street view of Gertrude Stein's home where Hemingway, among others, frequented for literary advice and mentoring


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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A street view of Sylvia Beach's home


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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A plaque out Beach's home which reads,"In this house Miss. Sylvia Beach published James Joyce's Ulysses 


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 


A plaque out of Stein's home which reads,"American writer. Lived here with her brother Léo Stein then with Alice B. Toklas. Here she received numerous artists and writers." 


Image Source: Chandler Culotta 


Starting at Gertrude Stein's former home in Paris, this path leads through the Luxembourg Gardens to the St. Sulpice Catholic Church and ends at 12 rue de l'Odeon.


Sylvia Beach and Hemingway outside Shakespeare & Co.

Walking Tour Three: Shadowing the characters of The Sun Also Rises

Any of the Paris chapters in Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises would make for a lovely walking tour, as part of what Hemingway is doing in the book is painting a portrait of the life of the expatriate community. The characters actually do little else that drift from bar to cafe to restaurant. But for this exercise, we have chosen to focus on the initial appearance of the love interest of our narrator, Jake Barnes. Jake is in an unnamed “dancing club… in the Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève” with some friends, when the Lady Brett Ashley comes in with a group of men. After some discussion about where to go, Jake and Brett jump in a cab, “The taxi went up the hill, passed the lighted square, then on into the dark, still climbing, then levelled out onto a dark street behind St. Etienne du Mont…passed the trees and the standing bus at the Place de la Contrescarpe, then turned onto the cobbles of the Rue Mouffetard.” But once they arrive at the destination they had given the driver, Parc Montsouris, [2 Rue Gazan], they tell him to go to The Select, 99 Boulevard du Montparnasse. There, they run into the same group of people they had just left at the dancing club, lending a sense of futility to their trip. There are various bars in this area: the Rotonde [105 Bd Montparnasse], the Dome [108 Bd Montparnasse], the closed restaurant Lavigne’s 159 boulevard du Montparnasse and a bit further on Closerie de Lilas [171 boulevard du Montparnasse]. Jake mentions here passing the statue of Marshal Ney, at 20 Av. de l'Observatoire en route to his flat on Boulevard St. Michel. This statue, which is mentioned also in chapters 7 and 9 of A Moveable Feast, clearly made an impression upon Hemingway as a young writer. 

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A newspaper sketch showing the unveiling of the Marshal Ney statue in the Luxembourg Gardens, December, 1853.


Image Source:

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Marshal Ney Statue in present-day

Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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Le Select

Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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Café de la Rotonde

Image Source: Chandler Culotta 

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Le Dôme Café

Image Source: Chandler Culotta 


From the Statue du Maréchal Nay on the corner of Bd. du Montparnasse and Av. de l'Observatoire, this route follows Bd. du Montparnasse west to Le Select, Café de la Rotonde, and Le Dôme Café.

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