Lavender fields, hilltop villages and spectacular rocky fjords, rosé wine and bouillabaisse, Cézanne and Van Gogh, cutting edge rap and hip-hop music, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, pétanque, scuba diving and Olympique de Marseille: Provence is a vibrant mix of romantic tradition and surprising, fast-changing modernity. This is an insider's guide to the best of it, from a professional journalist living there.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
A Toast to the Popes of Avignon
I've been investigating the wine-drinking habits of the Avignon Popes - and they make for surprisingly diverting reading. First off, I was astonished by the phenomenal amount of wine consumed in the Palais des Papes. Also revealing was the extent to each which Pope has his own personal preferences - one of them was, it's said, reluctant to take the papacy back to Rome because of the inferior quality of Italian wine! And of course the Popes collectively worked small miracles to improve viticulture in the area. Click here to read more.