Sunday, July 28, 2013

Looking at Life Through Rosé-Tinted Glasses

Vin rosé makes up 87% of all wine produced in Provence. Over 140 million bottles of AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) rosé are made here each year - and that doesn't even include basic vin de table and slightly higher quality vin de pays. It's now drunk more widely in France than white wine (and not only in summer). And so, to raise a glass to Provence's favourite tipple, we've compiled ten fun facts about it. Click here to read more

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Tour de France Continues... at Sea

The Tour de France cycling race might be over (congratulations, Chris!) but the Tour de France à la Voile, the annual sailing race around the coast of France, is still in full cry and it arrives in Provence at the end of the week with stages in La Seyne sur Mer and Marseille, where the race finishes. And both desintations are setting up "activity villages" with viewing points and plenty of fun family activities. Click here to read more

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chasing the Sun at Marseille's Children's Museum

The Children's Museum in Marseille is one of the city's best-kept secrets. Tucked away in the Panier (Old Town), in the Préau des Accoules, a vaulted former Jesuit college dating back to the 17th century, it's one of the liveliest spots in town for families with kids. The museum puts on two themed shows a year, with games and family activities, and these are often linked to "grown-up" exhibitions elsewhere in Marseille. The current event is a case in point. Click here to read more

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Stormin' Bastille Day in Marseille

The 14 July, Bastille Day, is always the pretext for a bit of a party and 2013 is no exception:  Marseille is planning some extra-special celebrations to mark the year of European Capital of Culture that start at 9.30am and rock on late in the evening. Click here to read more

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Films Al Fresco

Among the greatest pleasures of summer evenings in Provence are the open-air screenings which pop up all over the region and at which warm, balmy weather is virtually guaranteed. Aix en Provence in particular organises Instants d'Eté, a two-month programme of film screenings all over town, and the even better news is that admission is free. If you don't speak French, you'll need to be a bit selective here, as the commercial films will almost certainly be dubbed rather than subtitled. However there are a number of screenings which can be enjoyed by one and all.  Click here to read more

Friday, July 5, 2013

International Dance & Folklore in Marseille

The first thing to say is that there is no castle at Château Gombert. A village dating back to the 12th century, it once had a château but nothing now remains of it. Today it's a pleasant, well-heeled suburb of Marseille with a faintly rural feel. But Château Gombert is reputed for one thing: its enthusiasm for folklore. Apart from a notable museum, it has several vibrant festivals, one of which starts tonight. Now in its 49th year, the International Festival of Folklore - actually more of a dance festival - features troupes from countries all over the world including Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia. Click here to read more

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Classic Love Story Set On Marseille's Old Port

Set on the Old Port of Marseille, Marcel Pagnol's much-loved Marius, Fanny, César trilogy is one of the classic pieces of literature about Provence, with its tender, bawdy stories of sailors, loud-mouth card players, a poignant life-long love affair and, well, very much else besides. And now there is a brand-new version directed by and starring Daniel (Jean de Florette) Auteuil, which opens in Provence today and the rest of France next Wednesday. Auteuil and Pagnol go back a very long way. Click here to read more

Monday, July 1, 2013

Music on the Frioul Islands

The festival season in Provence is running at full steam right now and we'll be posting regularly on what's going on. First up is MIMI, an eccentric festival of avant-garde music, now in its 28th year. The setting for these open-air concerts is the beautiful Caroline Hospital on Marseille's Frioul Islands. And the programme is as eclectic as ever. Click here to read more