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.
Shot at Saint Paul de Mausole in Saint Rémy de Provence, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last year of his life, a new film starring Juliette Binoche spotlights
another troubled artist: Camille Claudel (1864-1943), a talented
sculptress who was also the mistress of Auguste Rodin. In 1913 Camille's
family, who did not approve either of her artistic ambitions or of her
relationship with Rodin, committed her to a mental institution,
apparently against her will. She spent the last 30 years of her life
there. Click here to read more.
I can't help puzzling over chocolate fashion shows such as the ones in Marseille later this month. Won't the exquisite confections melt under the catwalk spotlights? Will spectators break off tasty frills and hems to snack on as the models sweep past? Are models allow to touch the stuff, or would the resulting kilos and acne terminate their careers? And, above all, what on earth does a choc frock feel like to wear? Anyway, if you want to see one, click here to read more.