The boulevard des Italiens is one of the four 'grands boulevards' in Paris, a chain running east west and also including boulevard de la Madeleine, Boulevard des Capucines and boulevard Montmartre. The origin of the name is the théâtre des Italiens built on it in 1783, shortly before the French Revolution (now replaced by the Opéra-Comique).
Its former names were :
Throughout the 19th century the boulevard was a meeting place for the elegant elite of Paris (a role that lasted until the First World War).
It was to replace Muscadins and Merveilleuses at the time of the Directoire, Gandins at the Restauration, Dandies during the reign of Louis-Philippe 1st, women in crinolines during the Second Empire.
That time was also a major epoque for several famous Cafés: Café de Paris, café Tortoni (the café Tortoni in Buenos Aires takes its name from that in Paris), café Frascati, café Français, Maison dorée among others. Upon completion of boulevard Haussmann in the 1920s these establishments disappeared to be replaced by other buildings, particularly financial ones.