View of Mediterranean Resort, Nice, France
Beautiful Old Town of Provence
Cafe on Sidewalk in French Village, Provence
- France is already known for its excellence in cuisine, art, and culture, but Provence’s coastal culture mingled with traditional French standards creates a unique environment warmed by the sun and the scent of lavender in the air. The cuisine of Provence, like all French cuisine, is to the highest culinary standards, with an emphasis on seafood from its local waters. One dish that exemplifies the region is bouillabaisse, a soup made from rockfish broth and containing at least four different types of seafood topped with spicy rouille.
- Originally a dish for the poor, daube has become a favorite dish, especially during the cold winters. A less expensive cut of beef is braised in red wine with root vegetables and herbs, which depend on the recipe and can vary from olives to lavender to orange peel. The oldest recipes call for white wine to be used instead of red wine, and white wine is still used today when making daube with lamb instead of beef.
- Of course when you’re on the coast of France, you should visit the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea that lap the shores of Provence. The weather in the region of Provence is generally warm and mild, with very little snow in the winter, which creates the ideal temperature to play on the beach almost year round! In the winter, however, there are strong winds that blow down the Rhône Valley and can reach in excess of one hundred kilometers.
- Provence graces the border to the Alps, the longest and highest mountain range in Europe. The Alps stretch over 8 countries, including Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, as well as the region of Provence. Hannibal and Napoleon both crossed the Alps with their armies (although only Hannibal crossed on the backs of elephants!) The Alps have also been home to many Winter Olympic games in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.
- If you would prefer to look at architecture rather than nature, then Provence has many beautiful historical buildings for you to explore. Château des Baux-de-Provence is a crumbling medieval ruin built in the 10th century and destroyed in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIII. You can climb and explore the decaying fortress, from the fallen towers to the empty dungeons. Demonstrations of medieval weaponry and fighting, including catapults, are demonstrated throughout the day for visitors.
- The Théâtre Antique d’Orange is located in Orange, an ancient theater built by the Romans and is still standing today. Founded in 40 BCE, Théâtre Antique d’Orange was used not only as entertainment for the locals, but as a way for Romans to integrate their own culture and as a distraction for the citizens from politics. Today it is used for both local performances and as an art and history museum.
- One of the biggest events in Provence is the Cannes Film Festival, an event in May where the world’s top actors, directors, and producers all travel to Cannes to promote over 2000 films. Founded in 1939 as a political statement to Mussolini’s propaganda films, it was cancelled the day it opened because of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Films are separated into “in competition” and “out of competition” sections, with only a few “in competition” films competing for the Palme d’Or, an award that goes to the film that most progresses cinema as an art. Although you can’t get in to the official events, those reserved for those in the movie industry, Cannes still offers many activities surrounding this silver-screen gala for the “little people”, including screenings of classic films in local restaurants and the outdoors.
- Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Villa Eprhussi de Rothschild was built by Baroness Beatrice Rothschild, the child of a wealthy banking family who married a banker of her own and created collections of art, furniture, and rare porcelain. When she passed away in 1934, Beatrice donated the villa and all of its rare collections to Académie des Beaux Arts of the Institute of France. It is open to the public and boasts nine different gardens, all with different themes, and hosts a “Painters’ Day” in June for artists looking for inspiration to find it in their gardens. Even if you’re not an artist, one of these nine spectacular gardens is sure to take your breath away!
The Jewels of the French Riviera
Come marvel in the dazzling shores of the French Riviera with this France tour package. Pebble beaches, mega-yacht filled marinas, colorful flower markets, chic open-air cafes, rich and famous glitterati… get whisked away with this France vacation and have a dream adventure of a lifetime! You may say au revoir to France, but we know you’ll be back soon!