It's hot here in Provence!
The people of Marseille and sunshine – a genuine love story
We've all heard someone from Marseille saying to a foreigner (foreigner = someone who does not live in Marseille) "but the weather's not nice where you live, it's always sunny here!"
Sunshine is one of our region's top assets and the thing that means we can spend our lives sipping aperitifs on café terraces, sunbathing in the 'calanques' fjords, playing boules with our mates and napping in a hammock… And it's the sunshine that gives the people of Provence their legendary joie de vivre too!
The sunny 'Vieux Port'
Did you know our region bathes in sunshine 233 days a year? That's a record for France, not to mention the fact that sunlight has a big impact on our mood.
It is scientifically proven that light is very important to humans: someone who lives in a place where the sun rarely shines will tend to be irritable, tired and even depressed… Just look at the Parisians! (only joking). Conversely, people who live in sunny climes tend to be more positive, cheerful and dynamic!
Most activities in our beautiful city revolve around the sun, so you can see just how important it is:
- Boules: you simply can't play boules in the rain
- Aperitif: a nicely-chilled rosé in the rain is meaningless
- Beach: you can't swim when it's cold
- BBQ: cooking a beef rib in a downpour is simply silly
- Walking in the 'calanques' fjords: not at all sexy in a raincoat
- Sport: the siesta is our national sport and you can't nap properly in a storm
- Fishing: getting your rod out in the wind isn't the best idea
- Tanning: you're welcome to try without sunshine
- Doing nothing: boring when the weather's bad
And that's why the word 'soleil' rhymes with 'Marseille'!
The life in the sun
Sun on the sea
Apart from being important to people, sunshine has also had a huge influence on our Mediterranean culture.
Our region's climate has inspired many artists. Top names that come to mind are Paul Cézanne, who strived to render the quality of light of the South using his very special colour blends, Vincent Courdouan, known for his very detailed skies, Georges Braque with his chunky and colourful splashes of colour, Louis-Mathieu Verdilhan and his dazzling blues and François Nardi, who loved depicting sun-drenched landscapes.
The sun has also carved out our Mediterranean cuisine: the local vegetables, produce and recipes all exhale heat and good humour. Here are just a few examples: Tapenade and Panisse, perfect with the aperitif, Anchoïade, traditionally served on Fridays, Bouillabaisse when the day's catch is good, Soupe au Pistou in summer, Pan Bagnat for a picnic on the beach, old-fashioned Octopus.
"The sun makes me sing, you make me sweat" – Provencal saying
Things to do
Le Mas du Soleil
Salon de Provence
The ancient Clos Angelussi - an 18th-century building on the heights of Saint-Côme - still has a wonderful Tuscan flavour to it. Within these walls redolent of provincial Sundays and the love of a job well done, French master chef Francis Robin embodies a certain philosophy of gastronomy where…
Mer et Soleil
Sausset les Pins
Au sud-ouest d'Aix en Provence, entre Marseille et Camargue, la Côte Bleue apparait comme un écrin de nature encore préservé. Moins fréquentée que la Côte d'Azur, elle dispose de criques intimistes, de petits ports tranquilles et de paysages sauvages propices à de superbes randonnées.…