In his new book A Passion for Paris David Downie embarks on an irreverent secular pilgrimage to the most romantic sites in Paris, weaving his own observations of the city's most alluring parks, atmospheric cafes and inspiring vistas with those of literary lights Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, Charles Baudelaire and other great Romantics. In this interview he answers our questions about Paris, revealing some unexpectedly romantic spots, from aisle seats to cemeteries.
How did your own love affair with Paris begin?
In the fall of 1976, on a dark and stormy night... the affair was not love at first sight for either of us. I was 18 and bent by the weight of the world.