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I love a Diane Lane travel rom-com. Okay, so there are only two: Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) and Paris Can Wait (2016). And while the former is a superior film in my book, the Paris Can Wait filming locations are so prolific and pretty. It takes home the gold in the locations category.
Paris Can Wait follows Diane Lane’s Anne who finds herself road-tripping from Cannes to Paris with her husband’s colleague. What should be a nine-hour drive turns into a meandering overnight expedition of riverside picnics, UNESCO World Heritage sites, Roman ruins and fine dining. The film’s plot could easily be a French road trip itinerary.
Director Eleanor Coppola (yes, wife of Francis Ford) cooks a sickly sweet movie that does not quite leave you satisfied at the end. But she shot Paris Can Wait entirely on location.
What the film lacks in nutritional value, it more than makes up for in authentic and gorgeous filming locations across the south of France including Cannes, Lyon, Vienne, Vezelay and of course Paris. So, let’s dive into the Paris Can Wait film locations!
Where Was Paris Can Wait Filmed in France?
Paris Can Wait Filming Locations in France
1. Hotel in Cannes
The first Paris Can Wait filming location is in Cannes, specifically the hotel where Anne and her husband Michael (Alec Baldwin) are staying. He’s a film producer and he is in town for the famous Cannes Film Festival, the 68th edition.
I cannot find the hotel where they stayed, but the view from their hotel room window is actually of the Cannes skyline. This makes me think their hotel is not on the Croisette but somewhere where the coastline rounds off so you can look back on the town. The hotel has blue umbrellas too. Not knowing which hotel it is will drive me up the wall.
But I’ve had the great pleasure of attending the Cannes Film Festival and wrote many, many guides on the experience which you can find below.
2. Croisette, Cannes
On their way to their private aeroplane, Anne and Michael’s taxi drives down the Croisette, the main road/strip that runs parallel to Cannes beach. They drive past the Hotel Carlton, which featured in To Catch a Thief (1955). Unfortunately, I am not sure of the restaurant in Cannes where Jacques, Anne’s driver and road trip companion, takes her.
3. Montagne Sainte-Victoire
Back on the road, Jacques points out Saint-Victoire Mountain range to Anne. This means they must be driving down the A8 road. Jacques tells us that Cézanne painted a beautiful picture of this mountain.
Jacques has turned off the A8 and is now driving along the D973Y. He points out a hilltop town with “old stone walls and a castle” which is Lauris. He continues his historic commentary by explaining that Provence has its name because it was a “province” of Rome. I’m assuming that Lauris was a former Roman hangout.
Read next: Marie Antoinette Filming Locations in France
5. Pont Du Gard
Anne can’t hide her excitement at driving through lavender fields, which are extremely close to the next Paris Can Wait film location. Jacques takes her to Pont du Gard, an aqueduct the Romans built in the 1st century. It’s an impressively intact structure and a popular tourist attraction. This is where Anne and Jacques stumble across an ice cream cart and Jacques tells her to order the noisette (hazelnut), cassis (blackcurrant) and fraise des bois (wild strawberry) flavours.
So, she gets three ice cream cones! Why the heck not, right?
6. Pont Routier de Lattre de Tassigny, Vienne
Their last stop of the day is Vienne, a former major hub for the Romans. They drive across the Pont Routier de Lattre de Tassigny bridge to enter the city. You can clearly see The Chapel of Our Lady of Pipet on top of the hill and Abbaye de Saint-André-le-Bas de Vienne on the banks of the river.
7. Les Jardins D’epicure, Bray-et-Lû
The Paris Can Wait restaurant locations are definitely the most sought after among fans, yet so few are named in the film! Luckily, I know one. Unluckily, it is not on their road-tripping route in real life. The hotel where Anne and Jacques stay and dine in Vienne is Les Jardins D’Epicure in Bray-et-Lû, just northwest of Paris.
How do I know this? Well, the name is written on the backs of their menus. You don’t have to be Sherlock to crack that code. Plus, the lobby is identical to the lobby in the film down to the wood panelling and floor tiles. So you will have a mammoth detour to visit this Paris Can Wait filming location!
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8. Pyramide de Vienne, 20-22 Rond-Point de la Pyramide, Vienne
The next day, Jacques continues his duties as Anne’s tour guide, despite her keenness to reach Paris ASAP. He takes her to see the Pyramide de Vienne, an old Roman ruin in the middle of a roundabout in the town. Apparently (again, according to Jacques), it marked the centre of a Roman circus. I think a Roman circus is different to the kinds of circuses we modern folk are familiar with.
Many of the Paris Can Wait locations seem to be Roman ruins or Roman-related, don’t they?
9. Road next to Dordogne River, near Castelnaud-la-Chapelle
I assumed the spot where Anne and Jacques picnic when their car breaks down was next to the Rhône river as it makes logistical sense for them to be near this river between Vienne and Lyon. But of course, this is a movie! Logistical sense isn’t a priority. Ramon in the comments believes this picnicking spot is somewhere he’s visited – on the Dordogne River between Beynac-et-Cazenac and Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. Even though this location would be so far from all the others, it looks so much like the location in the film that I have to note it down!
I’ve pinned the precise location where I think Coppola shot this scene but I’m not 100% certain because there are one or two small differences e.g. a sign in the background and markings on the road. If you have any more info, do let me know!
10. Musée Lumière, Lyon
Despite his car breaking down, Jacques manages to get back on the road with a hire car and the pair end up in Lyon. Still not halfway to Paris yet! Their first stop is somewhere I am dying to visit in Lyon: Musée Lumière. The film museum is built on the old Lumière factory site. If you didn’t know, Auguste and Louis Lumière invented and developed pioneering cinematography equipment. Their 1895 screening in Paris is probably the first projected film screening ever.
11. Les Halles de Lyon, Lyon
Anne, Jacques, and Jacques’ friend Martine head to Les Halles de Lyon, a produce market in Lyon that dates back to 1859. They sample some cheeses and have a quick look around.
12. Bouchon Lyonnais, Lyon
Then, the threesome head to a Bouchon Lyonnais. These types of restaurants in Lyon serve traditional Lyonnais food and are often decorated with gingham table cloths and heavy wooden furniture. Again, I searched high and low on Google Street View looking for the same Bouchon the characters visit in the film, but I just can’t find it. L’acteur – Bouchon Lyonnais looks similar, but it isn’t the place. If you are looking for a good Bouchon in Lyon, Le Café des Fédérations is supposed to be an institution.
13. Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, Lyon
When Martine discovers Anne loves textiles and fashion, she encourages her to visit Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, the fabric and textiles museum in Lyon.
14. Vézelay Abbey, Vézelay
Anne spots a sign for Vézelay and asks Jacques if they can take a detour. Also known as La Basilique de Vézelay, this church and the town of Vézelay are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Vézelay Abbey is a Romanesque basilica dating back to the 11th century and (apparently) holds the remains of Mary Magdalene.
Unfortunately, I don’t know where the Paris Can Wait restaurant in Vézelay is located. It is a very, very small town so I would not be surprised if it is elsewhere.
15. Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Paris couldn’t wait any longer! Anne and Jacques finally arrive in Paris and it only took them two long days. Their first view of Paris is the famous Arc de Triomphe which stands in Place Charles de Gaulle.
16. 7 Rue des Arènes, Paris
The last of the Paris Can Wait filming locations in France is Anne and Michael’s friend’s apartment in Paris. Their address is 7 Rue des Arènes and it is where Jacques says goodbye to Anne. The big question is… Did they say goodbye forever or just goodbye for now?
And those are all the top Paris Can Wait filming locations in France! Have you watched the movie or visited any of the filming locations? Let me know in the comments below!