This grand thoroughfare—named after the medieval trade of rope-making—was expanded under Louis XIV and again during the Third Republic, and flourished as a magnet for high society with its fashionable hotels, cafés and department stores. Once known as the Champs-Élysées of Marseille, it’s still among the grandest streets in the city, though its glory has slightly faded. Along the stretch closest to the Vieux Port, there are many shops where you can pick up a bar of the famous soap, savon de Marseille, or a bag of navettes, the orange-blossom-flavored, boat-shaped cookies that are a local specialty.
By Lisa Cheng
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