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Flaneur Around Fitzroy

Home > Melbourne > Architecture | Coffee | Free | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor | Walks
by Si-mon (subscribe)
Freelancer and dreamer from Melbourne
Published July 30th 2012
French for a day in Fitzroy
Flâneur, the French word with no direct English translation, but loosely translated is the act of strolling or wandering, usually in an urban setting.

Flâneur is a great word that evokes images of strolling around aimlessly, and stumbling upon things that one may not usually stumble upon. With this attitude in mind, and a spare day on my agenda, I decided to flâneur around Fitzroy.

Much is made of Brunswick Street, with all its shops, bars and café's, and it is rightfully the heart of Fitzroy. But take a walk a few blocks either side of Brunswick Street, and a true flâneuring paradise is opened up. With far less foot traffic and even less cars to distract you, you can take in the beautiful tree lined and terraced house streets. With the gentrification of the area, some of these old terrace house's have been transformed into ultra modern version's what they used to be, but right next door to the new and pristine, is the old and run down, which adds to the charm of these quaint Fitzroy streets.

If you keep flâneuring down these streets you come to old cobblestone lanes in all their European glory. Bach Lane is a perfect example of this. Wandering down Bach Lane is like wandering down an old cobbled European street, and you almost feel as though you should look out for horse and carts around every corner. Sprinkled with street art, Bach Lane is like a less popular version, but equally as impressive, as the many lanes in the CBD that are earmarked as tourist hotspots. The most important difference is that apart from a few locals, you are likely to have the views to yourself.

After flâneuring around for a while, it is time to really familiarize yourself with Fitzroy's history, and this can happen in the many pubs and café's that are located off of Brunswick Street. The Rose, The Napier, Marquis of Lorne and The Standard are all examples of well established Fitzroy watering holes that ooze more of this old world charm.

Once you have been refreshed in one of the many establishments, keep strolling to take in some of the more impressive architecture Fitzroy has to offer. The Fitzroy town hall is a hugely impressive building located at 201 Napier Street. As a Heritage listed building that was first built in 1863, it truly is an astonishing building. With its huge columns and breathtaking detail, it certainly is a building that needs to be when getting to know Fitzroy.

So take a day to flâneur around Fitzroy. Strap on some comfy shoes and aimlessly wander around Fitzroy in whatever manner you desire, because with flâneuring, there really are no rules.
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Why? Get to know all of Fitzroy
Where: Fitzroy VIC 3065
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