FRANCE

Parisians flock to painters’ haven of Barbizon for breath of fresh air

Parisians stroll around Barbizon enjoying an extended weekend during the Ascension holiday.
Parisians stroll around Barbizon enjoying an extended weekend during the Ascension holiday. © France 24

After two months of lockdown and with the French capital's gardens still shut to the public, Parisians starved of nature are flocking to the picturesque village of Barbizon, a gateway to the vast forest of Fontainebleau and a magnet for art lovers. Relieved by the sudden influx of visitors, local business owners are now hoping for the prompt return of foreign tourists, who made up more than a third of all visitors before the pandemic. FRANCE 24’s Jonathan Walsh and Emerald Maxwell report.