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It is the wealthiest and most populated region of France with 11.7 million inhabitants, and composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area. Economically, Île-de-France is the world's 4th and Europe's 1st wealthiest and largest regional economy: in 2009, its total GDP was €552 billion (US$768.9 billion). Created as the "District of the Paris Region" in 1961; it was renamed after the historic province of "Isle of France" in 1976.
Its inhabitants are referred to as "Franciliens". The river Seine runs through the Ile-De-France: it has many tributaries which include the rivers Oise and Aube. The river Seine has its mouth in the English channel and has its source in the 'Massif central'. It is Frances second largest river after the Loire.
Île-de-France is twinned with Warsaw in Poland and Beijing in China.

It is composed of eight departments centered around its innermost department and capital, Paris:

Paris (75): THE romantic city, with famous buildings such as La Défense, l’Obélisque, l’Arc de Triomphe, la Tour Eiffel, la Tour Montparnasse, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, it is one the most important city and region of France.
Paris has an annual 30 million foreign visitors, and is the most visited city in the world.




Hauts-de-Seine (92): Capital: Nanterre. Located in the western inner suburbs of Paris, it is small, densely populated and contains the modern office, theatre and shopping complex known as La Défense.


Seine-Saint-Denis (93): Capital: Bobigny. At the north-east of Paris, it has a surface area of only 236 km², making it one of the smallest departments in France.


Val-de-Marne (94): Capital: Créteil. With its guinguettes (cafés, usually open-air with a dance floor) on the banks of the Marne, boat trips, parks, it is an ideal destination for lovely strolls.


Seine-et-Marne (77): Capital: Melun. Home of the famous Château de Fontainebleau (see picture below) and Disneyland Paris. Named after the Seine and Marne rivers, it covers 49% of the Ile-de-France’s land area: thus it is where most agricultural activity occurs within the region. Cereals and sugar beet are the principal exports from Seine-et-Marne. It has some natural reserves, notably Brie and Gâtinais.

Yvelines (78): Capital: Versailles. Yvelines is home to one of France's best known golf courses, La Tuilerie Bignon, in the village of Saint-Nom-La-Breteche. You can find the palace of Versailles (see picture below), Château of Maison-Lafitte, Château Villette, and also the artists’ houses of Emile Zola, André Derain, Maurice Ravel and Alexandre Dumas among others.

chateau de Versailles

Essonne (91): Capital: Evry. Its main sights are the Ecole Polytechnique, the Château de Montlhéry, the Forest of Sénart (3,500 hectares).


Val-d’Oise (95): Capital: Pontoise. Home to the only Most Beautiful Villages of Ile-de-France: La Roche-Guyon.



As for Markets, there is a lot happening: here are many open-air and covered markets in Paris selling fresh produce, fish, shellfish, meats, cheeses, fresh-cut flowers and breads.
There are also markets specialising in gourmet produce, bio and organic foods, handcrafted items, antiques, clothing and accessories, house wares and a variety of second-hand goods. Some useful websites are listed at the end, here are only a few ideas for you to have a look at:

Vintage Clothing, second-hand goods: Place d’Aligre between rue de Charenton and rue Crozatier (12th Arrondissement). Metro Ledru-Rollin.
Monday to Saturday, 7.30 am to 1.30 pm.

Flowers: Place de la Madeleine (Arr 8). Metro Madeleine.
Sunday to Friday, 8 am to 7.30 pm.

Philately: Avenue des Champs-Elysées, at the corner of avenue Marigny and avenue Gabriel (Arr 8). Metro Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau.
All day Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Produce Market: Marché Bourse, Place de la Bourse. Metro Bourse.
Tuesdays and Fridays, 12.30 to 8 pm.



Traditional events (the dates are subject to change every year):
Marché de Noel, Arpajon (91) 21 and 22 November.

Fest-Noz de Printemps, Trappes (78), 19 March: it is a Breton traditional festival, with dancing in groups and live musicians playing acoustic instruments.



Fete du Moulin, Arpajon, (91), 28 June.


Fete de la Musique, Paris (75), every June: is a lively street music festival held every June in Paris , and one of the year's most popular events in the city of light.


Fete Médiévale, Saclay (91), 6 and 7 June: medieval event with music, songs, dance, juggling, stilt walkers, hawkers, etc...


Journées du Patrimoine, Jouarre (77), 18-19-20 Septembre.


Paris Plage (75), every Summer: since 2002, a full-fledged beach complete with sand, parasols, games, and even beachside cafes is set up on stretches of the Seine River. In 2007, a new site at La Villette opens, extending the Paris beach northward. "Paris Plage", as it is known in French, attracts millions of visitors a year and has become an essential fixture of summer in Paris.




Les coquelicots de Nemours: it is a red sweet made from poppies since 1848.



The Sucre d’orge (rock candy) from Morey sur Loing, made since the XVIIth century, has good properties for relieving a sore throat.




The French Onion Soup is a typical Parisian dish: in the old days revelers would come to the market at Les Halles for a bowl at dawn after the clubs closed.

Here is the recipe for you to try!


Serves 6 people.

1 pound onions, sliced
1 clove minced garlic
4 tablespoons butter
A pinch of sugar
3 pints beef stock
10 fluid ounces dry white wine
Salt and pepper
A baguette, sliced
8 ounces grated gruyère cheese


Gently sauté the onions, garlic, and a pinch of sugar in butter until the onions turn brown.

Add the stock, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low heat for an hour or so. In the meantime, grill slices of baguette.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with slices of grilled baguette and gruyère cheese, then broil till bubbling.



Provins (Seine et Marne) is a rose producer specialist: with a rose petals jam, rose-flavoured honey or rose sweets.

Last but not least, let us mention some flavoursome cheeses: the Brie from Melun, the Brie from Meau, and the Coulommiers.


Table linen from Ile de France:

Toile de Jouy, sometimes abbreviated to simply "toile", is the fabric and table linen style of Ile de France. On a plain background, a repeated pattern depicts a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic by a lake or an arrangement of flowers. The pattern portion consists of a single colour, most often black, dark red, or blue.

Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 1700s. In the French language, the phrase literally means "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas", a town not far from Paris. Although it has been continuously produced since then, it experienced a surge in popularity in recent years.

Toile de Jouy cotton fabric for tablecloths, curtains and upholstery in our collection: http://www.lepinparasol.com/toile_de_jouy_tablecloths.htm
green toile de jouy tablecloth blue ecru toile de jouy tablecloth toile de jouy with red flowers on beige background
Green and brown toile de Jouy tablecloth

Blue and white toile de Jouy tablecloth

Red and beige toile de Jouy tablecloth
toile de jouy red white tablecloth beige flowers toile de jouy fabric
Red and ecru toile de Jouy tablecloth Brown and beige toile de Jouy tablecloth

Green and brown toile de Jouy tablecloth

You can see our entire collection on this page of our website:

To get a price for any other size or place an order:

Contact & Order


Useful websites:

General tourism:




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Catherine Castelain
Date Last Modified: 4/3/15
Le Pin Parasol
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