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France 2014

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Velleron, France
Early summer in Provence--cicadas in the trees and lines of lavender stretching to the horizon under a Van Gogh sky...Clichéd it might be, but the setting is heady...
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84100 Orange, France
Orange is a charming little town, located in the south of France. Although it may not be as sophisticated as some of the more tourist-driven towns and villages in Provence, it has one of the most well-maintained Roman theaters in Europe. It also...
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06360 Èze, France
The garden of Èze (also known as the exotic garden) is a jewel. If the grounds and the view over the Mediterranean don't take your breath away, check for a pulse! Going early is recommended, if only to have the garden to yourself and as few other...
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156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France
This odd-looking blimp is actually a quenelle de brochet, one of the quintessential foods of Lyon. They're big dumplings made out of pike fish, covered in Sauce Nantua, a classic French sauce made with crayfish. Daniel et Denise, owned by an...
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23 Rue Jean Larrive, 69003 Lyon, France
Best frites (aka French fries) EVER. They were hand-cut by the 87-year old owner, Madame Giraud. I wrote about her in my AFAR article about Lyon's bouchons. These frites were pure heaven paired with Madame's steak with brown butter. (Yes, I did...
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Montagne Sainte-Victoire, 13126 Vauvenargues, France
From any corner of Aix-en-Provence, they say, you can see the Mont St. Victoire. I don't know if that's entirely true, but the white limestone mountain does seem to be everywhere when I live in Aix for a few months, peeking over olive groves and...
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Chapitre, 13001 Marseille, France
While living in Paris as an undergrad, I bought a train ticket to Marseille on a whim. It was a weekend trip, and I didn’t take anyone with me, nor meet anyone there -- no plans at all. The countryside passed in sweet silence on the 3-hour TGV...
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Without a doubt Versailles is the most luxurious palace in Europe, built to astound visitors and impress the king's subjects into awed submission with crystal chandeliers, gilt, and fine art. This opulent monument is also attractive...
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77300 Fontainebleau, France
A quick 40-minute train ride from the Gare de Lyon in central Paris takes you to one of the best day trips out of the city: a forest preserve surrounding a palace that dates back nine centuries. The Forêt de Fontainebleau offers a hundred square...
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41700 Cheverny, France
We were in the Loire Valley for the wedding of friends, and the one day when there were no real festivities, we planned to bike from Blois (where we were staying) to Chateau de Cheverny. It had been some time since I'd biked a long distance, let...
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Aix-en-Provence, France
So much fun picking up local fruits & vegetables from the farmer's market at Place Richelme.
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84250 Le Thor, France
Ahh, to lie in a hammock on a summer afternoon in the South of France... My wife and I had gone to visit friends who lived in LeThor, a town of a few thousand on the banks of the Sorgue River in Provence. (Between the very visited cities of...
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5 Place Gabrielle Andéol, 84190 Gigondas, France
A friend of ours in Avignon took us on an amazing tour of this small part of the Rhone wine region. It included lunch at l'Oustalet (restaurantoustalet.com)in the small town of Gigondas. We sat outdoors and had an amazing meal. The place settings...
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3 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
While on a trip to the wonderful Provence region of France, one of the best days was the day we visited Saint-Remy. It is beautiful in itself, but one of the true gems of the area is Joel Durand's chocolate shop. We had the honor of a private...
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13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
A sundial in the medieval center of St.-Rémy-de-Provence...Its inscription distills the allure of the South of France: "It is always time to do nothing." Relax. Find a hammock, sip a pastis, inhale the lavender-scented air...
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Route de Sorgues, 84230 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Every guest room in this 19th-century castle (whose name means “small rocks”) overlooks the vineyards of France’s famous wine region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just outside Avignon. The kingly decor includes canopied beds, and bathrooms built into the...
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108 Quai du Port, 13002 Marseille, France
It isn’t wine or cocktails that mark happy hour for locals in Marseille but Pastis, the anise-flavored drink of choice first commercialized by Paul Ricard during the prohibition of absinthe. Ricard’s recipe and formula– star anise, licorice root;...
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36 Rue Gaston de Saporta, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
This café, settled in the best people-watching location on Rue Gaston de Saporta, is absolutely my favorite place in Aix, maybe even the world. Get there early on a weekday morning, as their outdoor seating makes for an amazing place to watch the...