PARIS (AP) — The French presidential wine cellar holds 14,000 bottles regarded as so precious, few people are allowed to enter the room. Flower bouquets are displayed at the presidential palace only for a couple of hours so they always look fresh. And the president's chefs use 150-year-old copper pans.
These and other behind-the-scenes quirks of the Elysee Palace are getting a rare airing this weekend, when the home of French presidents since 1848 opens its doors to a small, but lucky group of ordinary citizens.
On Saturday and Sunday, a few hundred visitors are being allowed to enter the underground kitchen, cellar and florist rooms.
They'll also be able to buy souvenirs from a new boutique to help finance palace renovations expected to cost 100 million euros ($117 million).