Provence - France

Provence (Provençal Occitan: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of southeastern France on the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The traditional region of Provence comprises the départements of Var, Vaucluse, and Bouches-du-Rhône and parts of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes. Provence is so named because it was one of the first provinces outside of Rome Italy.// HistoryProvence has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Remains of a settlement dating to between 270

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Discussion on Provence

Courtney F :

Traveling to SA on my honeymoon. Staying 2 nights in Hermanus. Should we stay at Auberge Provence or Ocean 11? Help, we torn!

Darth Vader :
"Auberge Provence seems to be the most romantic of the two to me. It is a five star guesthouse, which means that it has the highest rating it can achieve. I must be honest, I have never stayed there but it looks lovely. Here is a bit more info about them."
LadyInRed :

Please let me know which of these are your favorite cities in Provence are, and why: Nimes, Arles, Les Baux-de-Provence, Orange, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, St. Tropez, Cassis, Cannes, Monaco, Antibes, Nice, Montpellier (not Provence, but close by). I will be traveling to Provence this August and am trying to decide which of these cities to go to. I am female, in my early 20s, and will be traveling alone, on a budget, via train and bus. I will only have about 5 days to tour the Provence region. I would like a combination of sightseeing, visiting ruins and/or castles, and sandy beaches, but am not a big fan of museums. Thanks!

Brummy :
"Well, I think I can help you. I was born in Aix-en-Provence and have always lived there. So, Aix-en-Provence is the city you MUST visit. The city is very nice with pedestrian streets; the cathedral is not that big but very nice too; the "hôtel de ville" square, with the clocktower; all the small squares; the fountains at each street corner; the Mazarin district with the houses from the XVIIIth century, the Saint Jean de Malte church, the 4 dolphins square. And the majestic Cours Mirabeau: the main street under the trees and all the cafés. And at the end of it the Rotonde, a big fountain! That's such a lovely city! The countryside is very nice as well, with small villages, typical markets, and the Sainte Victoire Mountain, famous worldwide thanks to painter Cezanne. Maybe if you decide to come I could show you the city (oh, about me, I'm 24, male, now living in the UK, but coming back at mom and dad's house (in aix!) at the end of June). Then you have Marseille close to Aix. Lots of people don't like this city. But there are lots of interesting places to go. First the old port with the restaurants and bars, then the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica that dominates the city. And there is the corniche, an avenue along the seashore, and the Prado with its beaches, bars, pubs, restaurants. There's a lot of things to do in Marseille, but you need a guide. Cassis is a very pretty village by the sea. You can visit the Calanques, this kind of tiny fjord. Very beautiful and great to have a swim in! I don't really know the other cities. Avignon is very interesting, especially if you like history. Nimes, Arles and Orange are famous for their roman origins. Les Baux de Provence is a very pretty village. I advise you not to go to Saint Tropez. There are too much tourists; it's just a small pretty village as you can see hundreds on the coast. Cannes is famous for the festival and the beaches. I don't know Nice, but it's a bit like Cannes. Antibes doesn't have anything special except for the Marineland. Monaco? That's not France!! I don't know Monaco, but I think it's a very beautiful city, I mean, country! Montpellier is not really in Provence. The area is very nice too. But I prefer Provence!! The city is very nice as well. But Provence is mainly the country, the small villages. It's better to have a car and to travel accross Provence. If you have to pick some cities, choose Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Nice and Monaco. It's easy to travel from one to the other. And if you want more details, do not hesitate to contact me, I'd be pleased to help you more!"
alan :
"Any of the towns you mention are good to visit I like Aix en Provence try here"
the avenger71 :
"Hi, I spend every summer in Aix en Provence, and I would recommend to spend a day there, especially a Saturday when the market is there but there are a lot of things you could visit: Baux de Provence is a must see it's just amazing. Avignon is great for the Pope palace which is very impressive and only 15 miles from Baux de provence. Nimes, Arles, may be for the "arenes" but other than that... Orange, no Antibes, no St. Tropez is OK but Touristic and to get there in August takes hours..., Cassis, especially the "Calanques" on a boat is a must see. Cannes, Monaco, Nice, I would only pick one of the Three, may be Monaco although a bit far. If you have a chance to also see "gorges du Verdon" or "Pont du Gard" you may like that... great sight seeing Voila, don't hesitate to shoot me an email if you have any questions Montpellier not worth it if you have only 5 days"
Yeva :
"I'm an American living in Marseille right now, and I've been to almost all of the cities you've listed. Here are my 2 cents on what you should see: Les Baux-de-Provence -- completely overflowing with tourists (especially in August), but worth the visit anyway since it's such a beautiful medieval village. Don't go to Baux without visiting the castle, the Cathedrale d'Image and exploring the Val d'Enfer. The negative side is, it's hard to get to Baux wihtout a car. No trains go there and buses are quite rare I believe. Arles -- You can spend a full day in Arles discovering the ancient Romans. There is a huge Roman arena in the center of the city, there are ruins of a Roman amphitheater as well as Roman baths. You can also go to the "Musee d'Arles et de la Provence antiques" to find out more about the rich history of this region.Then you can go to the medieval exhibits like the church of St. Trophime, and then go to the abbey right next to the church. Oh, and don't forget to see the hospital Van Gogh stayed at when he went crazy. Every August in Arles there is a photography festival, so if you're interested in that you should check out the dates because it is definitely worth it. You'll be able to visit the sites and see the photography exhibits at the same time! Aix-en-Provence -- I've lived there for about a year. It's a very nice town, you'll spend most of the time just walking around though. There is a beautiful church and many fountains that are worth a quick look. Marseille -- this is the city I live in. It's a very nice city, but you have to know where to go as it can also be a dangerous city at times. Many people don't like Marseille because they think that it's dirty and the people can sometimes be obnoxious, but I say they just don't know where to go. Marseille hides some very nice treasures in its belly, but as the person before me said, you will most likely need a guide. Monaco -- boring, too expensive, and the people aren't nice. St. Tropez -- the same Nice -- nice city to visit, I've been there once and found it kind of boring personally, but it might also be that I didn't really try to explore it when I was there. Got the impression that it was mostly about the beaches. Avignon -- a must. You have to see the magnificent Pope's palace as well as The Musée Carnavalet with it s magnificent collection of Renaissance paintings. Also the pont d'Avignon, since you will be in Avignon. Nimes -- eh... Cassis -- go there if you're into hiking, the callanques of Cassis are very beautiful but the village itself isn't very interesting. A word of caution, the Cassis train station isn't very close to the village and you will have to walk for quite a while. As for Antibes, Montpellier, Orange -- I've never been to these cities."
Baiocchi :
"I'd say Nîmes, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence Nice and Monaco. Even though other places are worth visiting but not very convenient to reach."
blake_hanson_2005 :
"Bonjour From France! Vist Flayosc et Nice or Saint Tropez very pretty. Aix-en-Provence very nice! Saint Tropez pretty expencive budget wisely! Very pretty in Flayosc about 150 km from Nice when you fly (if you go to Côte d' Azur areoport) you can see the Mediterranian Sea very pretty! Castles all over the place!!! It is so pretty their! Can get a little hot though so bring sun screen! Au Revoir Île-de-france is very pretty too!"
jr :
"Last Summer I spent a week in Antibes. Used it as a base for travel along the coast. Very accesible city, great markets, restaurants, shopping and a beach....lot of lovely yachts. Train station in town allowed for access to Nice, Monaco. We also had a car and took a fabulous trip to Eze. I enjoyed the old town area of Nice, however it was much more of city as is Monaco, verses village feel of old walled city of Antibes."
Christina : :

For my french class I have to make a Provence dish. Any ideas? (Provence is a south-of-the-border france country) My teacher also said that unless it's a dessert, food from Provence usually has garlic in it!

Minna V :
"Bouillabaisse; a stew of mixed mediterranean fish, tomatoes and herbs (can be a complicated dish to make) Ratatouille; a veggie stew w/ eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomotoes, onion and garlic (more of a side dish than a main course) Or my all time favourite; salad Nicoise: fresh seared tuna steak with fingerling potatoes, green beans, boiled egg and black olives"
Mistress of Spices :
"Provencal Chicken ********************************************************************** "
Francoise :
"I'll show you a simple and quick version of Provence recipe. It's called Poulet a la Provencale.( chicken in a Provencale style ) Prepare a whole chicken, chop it into medium size pieces then marinate with salt pepper,herb de Provence ,olive oil for 30 minutes. Prepare this vegs for the sauce : 2 green, 2 yellow,2 red peppers,1 stalk of celery, 2 carrots , 2 onions, clove of garlic, 8 olives, 2 tins of whole plum tomatoes, 1 glass of cooking white wine, 4 spoon of olive oil, tomato puree,chopped parsley.,salt, pepper, herb de Provence. Chop peppers into strips, carrots ,onions and celery into dices,crush the garlic, then heat the casserole with olive oil, fry garlic and onion first, then add other vegs slowly, cook for 2 minutes, then pour the 2 tins of tomatoes and cook till boiled. Add white wine , olive oil. Then add tomato puree to thicken the sauce. Add olives, salt , pepper and herb de Provence to seasoning. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. In the mean time, lightly coat chicken with flour and fry them until golden. Place the fried chicken on a deep long dish and pour the sauce with the vegetable over. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top."

 

Comments on Provence

marsian
Date: 2008-02-05 19:15:58

Artist Jennifer Young, known for her vibrant landscape paintings of France, Italy, and the American south, shares a painting demonstration slideshow of one of her recent Provence paintings. This is an interesting demonstration showing the development of her colorful painting of an outdoor cafe scene in the French Provincial village of Roussillon.


bravely
Date: 2008-02-05 19:15:58

Artist Jennifer Young shares a new painting of a lovely pathway lined with wildflowers, set in the Luberon Valley of Provence. She also shares some of her impressions of the Village of Lourmarin, where she stayed and painted on location.


ameya44
Date: 2008-02-05 19:15:58

A top French Riviera hotel on the island of Porquerolles, and some reasons you might like to go there


attick
Date: 2008-02-05 19:15:58

Great info about toursim in the South of France.




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