By Wendy Dubreuil. Aix-en-Provence may call to mind fountain-side cafés, the work of Cézanne, aristocratic palaces and the scent of lavender, but just several miles from the sunny heart of town lies a cautionary tale: the Camp des Milles, the only large French interment and deportation camp from WWII that is preserved and open to the public.
From the bulls in the Camargue to the olive trees of Provence, from the vineyards of the Rhone Valley to the lemon trees of Menton and from the fig trees of Solliès to the apple orchards of Haute Durance, the agriculture of southeast France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) offers a variety of stunning landscapes and notable products to travelers in search of local and regional gastronomy.
France may be a deeply secular nation, but everyone gets into the spirit of what are called “the end of the year holidays” (les fêtes de fin d’année), meaning Christmas and more. Let’s take a tour of the Christmas season in France through Alsace, Champagne, Lille, Lyon, Provence, Nice and Paris.
The Provençal college town of Aix-en-Provence, celebrated for Cézanne, bel canto and fountain-side cafés, puts the finishing touches on a massive urban renewal project. Corinne LaBalme sets out beyond the town's tawny-tinted 17th-18th century façades to discover 21st-century Aix.
Thanks to a ruined fortress, shop-filled alleys, an expansive view over the plain and an enchanting sound-and-light show in the Quarries of Lights, Les-Baux-de-Provence is an in-season crowd pleaser. Corinne LaBalme takes us off-season Oustau de Baumanière and La Cabro d’Or, sister Relais & Chateaux-member resorts with all the trimming.
The North American Travel Journalists Association has announced that Gary Lee Kraut, editor of France Revisited, won GOLD in the 2013 Annual NATJA Awards Competition for best article written for the internet in the Culinary Travel category. His winning article “Drome Provencale: Eat Like a Sixth Grader, Drink Like a Wine Enthusiast” was published on France Revisited. Kraut’s article “Biarritz: The Surfing Lesson” was a finalist in the Sports and Recreation category.
I don't often show pictures of myself with celebrities, artists, winegrowers, chefs, politicians or other living icons that I meet in the course of my work, but that’s the best way to introduce the beautiful local Diva that I met the other day while in Orange, in the Vaucluse area of Provence.
A tour of some of France’s most lively of the Christmas markets: Alsace (Strasbourg, Colmar, Mulhouse), Champagne (Reims), Provence (Avignon, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence) and Paris.
This 3-part article received the 2013 GOLD AWARD for best culinary travel article written for the internet, awarded by the North American Travel Journalists Association. * * *Part 1: In which the author has lunch at a middle school cafeteria in the Provencal town of Nyons, realizes that he can’t remember anything from sixth grade and goes to talk to the principal.
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