This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.
On today's show Elyse and Annie talk about home and share their thoughts on the most beautiful places in Toulouse, Southwest France. And when we say "places" we mean the French meaning of the word: plazas, squares, esplanades. The places where people gather for a coffee or a celebration.
The Place du Capitole in Toulouse is always included in lists of the most wonderful plazas in Southwest France, but there are many more in Toulouse alone. So on today's show we get beyond the "10 Best" list and get to know France how it really is, with its famous and not-so-famous public squares.
- Places mentioned on this episode
- Plazas and Clean Water
- Plazas Are the Soul of Cities
- Cars and City Plazas in Toulouse
Toulouse Plazas Mentioned on this Episode
- Place du Capitole
- Place Saint Georges
- Place Saint-Etienne
- Place Wilson
- Place de la Trinité
- Place de l'Europe
- Place Saint-Pierre
Plazas and Clean Water
One of the things Elyse reveals is that for many hundreds of years, the only place where you could get running clean water in Toulouse was the Griffoul fountain on Place Saint-Étienne, and that was controlled by the clergy. Never mind running water in every home! To get water you had to walk miles and carry it back. Just imagine what that would do to your lifestyle and productivity!
Plazas Are the Soul of Cities
We also discuss how French "places" have a soul. Some of them are grand and "mineral" while others invite the passer-by to linger and enjoy the shade and the benches. Some plazas in Toulouse attract mostly older and more sedate visitors, while others attract young people and hustle and bustle. There are the plazas where you want to sit and linger and the ones that you cross just to get from one place to another. Annie and Elyse are surprised to find out they don't linger on the same ones!
Cars and City Plazas in Toulouse, Southwest France
And what do cars do to public squares in France? What happens when a city re-routes traffic and gets rid of cars around a major plaza?