Provence & Tradition
Provence is rich in traditions. Seen from afar, its image can be rather folkloric and comical, but once you're here, you really experience the authenticity of our charming villages, food markets, lavender fields, 'Savon de Marseille' soap, 'Calanques' fjords, Feria and 'Santon' figurines. Let yourself be cradled by the story of Provence – it will make you want to linger forever!
Intro: Markets adorn the Bouches-du-Rhône area, just like 'santon' figurines, sea and lavender… They are an integral part of local culture. Held in every town, they offer the local inhabitants and producers a regular chance to get together. They are a stage for all types of local products, whether food or craftwork. Among the shiny pottery and Provencal fabrics, you'll come across sun-packed fruit and vegetables, spices and, of course, Herbes de Provence. A cornerstone of sustainable tourism, they are also the best way to discover the local specialities.
Made in Marseille, Made in Provence and now a protected name!
It's like Bouillabaisse – Marseille without the OM is simply impossible. In the skin of a lady supporter.
Between Bad Boys and Mia... Rap in Marseille
Today, the city's 'rap lifestyle' has progressively developed into a major movement, adapting itself to the Marseille's changing codes and moods, as illustrated by Bouga's Belsunce Breakdown in 2000.
Lights, Camera, Action! Provence and the Movies
From gangster films to picturesque comedies, let's take a wide angle on the movies written and filmed in Provence!
Marseille boasts the Bouillabaisse - rocky, chalky, iodine-scented, hot-tempered and impetuous -, while Aix-en-Provence prides in concocting 'Calisson' candies: little, almond-scented delicacies, with their perfectly-cut, angled sides, smooth surface and voluptuous texture.
A few hints for a “mode in Provence” style
The bouillabaisse of Marseille
So, is Bouillabaisse really a poor man's dish as popular folklore would have it? And is there just one kind of Bouillabaisse?
The Three Kings Cake
Cake, charms, tradition, the Three Wise Men; everything you need to know about Epiphany in Provence
Chichis and panisses
L’Estaque is a quarter of Marseille; a little village in its own right set right at the very end of the city, far from the madding crowds. Soberly lined up midway between the port and café terraces, three little stalls sell 'chichis' and 'panisses' here
Art de vivre
It's lyrical, endearing and funny – just like the people of Marseille! We have a strong accent and we're more than proud of it.
The herbs de Provence
When Gilbert Bécaud sang the praises of Provence's food markets, evoking the scents of fennel and iodine, the Provence of 1957 had no idea it was about to give birth to one of its most enigmatic treasures, whose reputation has largely exceeded the region's frontiers.
Marseille and the South of France without cicadas is quite simply unthinkable.
Yes, here in Provence we love and pride in our clichés! Our siestas are like no other, we speak with a Pagnol accent, we defend the Olympique de Marseille football team even if we hate football, we play boules at all ages and we invented the pizza truck! In short, you'll know you're in Provence once you've read this!
Sunshine, one of the fundamentals of life in the South… The proof : the people of Marseille and sunshine : a genuine love story.
Art de Vivre
The 'Calanques' – a life-size picture postcard
The rap in Marseille part 1
Between Bad Boys and Mia... Rap in Marseille
If you're really from Marseille, you just have to love it!
The Feria is a traditional and popular bull fiesta and much more. Enjoy the show in the arena and streets.
The Sea Urchin
They're not easy to fish or select and it's impossible to tell whether the spikes hide weeny or good-sized tongues. What's more, nobody in the Mediterranean has ever managed to breed them… Let's set sail to discover the temperamental star of the local sea urchin festivals!
Born in 1839, Cézanne went to school in Aix where he met Emile Zola. After passing his literary baccalaureate, he followed the future writer to Paris in 1961: he wanted to become a painter.
If there is one speciality found more or less throughout the Mediterranean basin, it has to be 'Boutargue' (spelt with a 'B' if you're from Provence or a 'P' if you're from Paris – no matter, everyone knows what it is)
art de vivre
How could we talk about 'Pétanque' – the local name for boules – without talking about Marseille and vice-versa?
The Siesta, a national sport: find out why the afternoon nap is a genuine religion here and how to do it in style
Art de vivre
The dictionary definition of 'Cagole' goes like this: "Young lady with a provocative and vulgar attitude". And we're going to go a bit further, because the 'Cagole' isn't just that…
Villages of Provence
The villages of Provence evoke the typical atmosphere portrayed in the films of the great Marcel Pagnol. They are redolent of the very special ambience of the South.
Provence's typical dishes have every ingredient you need for a successful meal. Whether you're planning a picnic or a dinner party, you'll find all the flavours of the South on the local markets and in our restaurants: olives, sardines, rosé wines, Herbes de Provence and pastis! Here's a foretaste of what's waiting in your plate in Provence.
In the footsteps of Marcel Pagnol
But what our tourist doesn't know, is that the REAL speciality of Marseille isn't Bouillabaisse. No, no, no, our speciality is PIZZA, which we call 'LA PITSS'!
The Marseille Thriller Novel
In the Nineties, Marseille's cultural life was at its heights: people partied the night away at the 'Fiesta des Suds', the 'Friche de Belle de Mai' artistic laboratory was under way and the city had two of its very own musical spokesmen in the shape of 'Massilia Sound System' and 'IAM'. Within just a few months, four novels set to become the flagships of a new literary wave – the 'Polar Marseillais' (Marseille Thriller) - were published.
It's no coincidence if the South has inspired so many artists, writers and poets... it is the epitome of a peaceful, chill and stress-free lifestyle. Even Aznavour concurred: "It seems to me that misery would be easier to handle in the sunshine".
Christmas in Provence and 'Santon' Figurines
From the decorated table to 'Santon' figurines – a Merry Christmas in Provence!
Rosé, is the colour of summer. Finer by the year, Provence's rosés are chic, casual and loved by all and Provence is France's leading rosé wine producer
The Marseille Thriller Novel – Crime School (PART2)
One of the benchmarks of this literary genre is undoubtedly its call to citizenship. The Marseille thriller is heir to the neo-noir crime novel movement led by Daeninckx, Fajardie, Jonquet and Pouy, which emerged after the uprisings of May 1968.
Sardines, the Fish That Sparked Many a Tail…The Mediterranean's famous little blue fish is the stuff both legends and culinary delights are made of
Lavender colours and perfumes, happiness is in the lavender field, the flower that smells of Provence!
The Thirteen Desserts
Back home, as if by magic, thirteen desserts are laid out on the table, on three tablecloths.
The MEDITERRANEAN SEA
If you want to bathe in turquoise waters (no need to go far, it's almost like Tahiti here – yes, alright, almost…)
Watered down or served as a shot, this aniseed aperitif is an intrinsic part of life in Provence
Olives, olives everywhere. Olive oil, olive soap and olives with herbs…! Provence has always eaten olives, from the pre-Christian era to current day.