Marie de Médicis' nostalgia for her native Tuscany gave rise to the "Luco", a 23-hectare garden directly inspired by the Boboli gardens, topped by an elegant Italian-style palace, now the Senate.
The surrounding neighbourhood, which stretches between Boulevard Vaugirard and Montparnasse, is the most elegant and affluent in Paris, infused with the serenity, gentleness and nonchalant Italian elegance of the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Since then, it has been the green lung, the chic and lively heart of Paris, a place of pleasure and relaxation that rhythms the lives of its residents.
For the little ones, it's synonymous with a thousand and one rides, from swings and ponies to playgrounds and the stainless steel puppet theatre that has enchanted generations of young Parisians.
It also offers courses in tree-raising and bee-keeping, with a large apiary in the garden, as well as tennis and pétanque for older children in fine weather.
You can have lunch or a snack at one of the many tables and tearooms dotted around the garden, take a stroll or relax in the garden depending on the weather, or just walk through it for the pleasure of drowning out the noise of Paris.
Between the Haussmann breakthroughs of the Boulevards that frame it, the history of Paris unfolds in architecture, a faithful gallery of all the styles and eras that have shaped Paris, from the Gallic tomb or the Roman oven discovered in the 20th century, in the gardens of the Senate that bear witness to the Gallo-Roman period, to the buildings inspired by the Viennese secession on rue Vavin or the post-Haussmann modern buildings on rue Guynemer.
This variety of architectural styles is matched by its elegance. Here, more than anywhere else in Paris, property is prestigious, sought-after and rarely negotiated, and prices reflect this status: they are constantly on the rise.
Central, with a wide range of cultural activities and a stone's throw from the best schools in Paris, this residential district attracts families, generations of Parisians and refined foreigners.
The garden provides a pleasant rhythm to the life of the district, where you can walk through the rose garden, stay to enjoy temporary exhibitions, entertain your children or read.
Le Luco is the metronome and the reassuring stop-off in the district, a breath of fresh air in Parisian life.
The bazaar of Marin Montagut on rue Madame is a delightful reminder of Paris in your dreams, and you can head to the Closerie des Lilas to try and find the exact spot where Hemingway, overcome with admiration, spied James Joyce.
Stop for tea at Treize au jardin, Bread & Roses or Mamie gâteaux before taking in the Musée Zadkine, and if the weather is fine, stop off at Sadaharu Aoki to load up on sweets to enjoy on the lawn of the Jardin des Explorateurs.
Not to be missed
Walk along the Jardin des Explorateurs to admire the remarkable buildings of the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Institute of Art and Archaeology, before stopping off at the Closerie des Lilas to try and find the exact spot where Ernest Hemingway admiringly tried to catch a glimpse of James Joyce.