UNESCO Sites in Avignon Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) Most people associate popes with Rome. But key to Avignon’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) is an interesting and very important part of European and papal history. The story…
Historic Roman landmarks in Arles, France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Although Provence is more famous as a spring and summer travel destination, Mr. TWS and I discovered that December is a wonderful time to visit this region in the south of France, especially to experience its Christmas traditions and festivities.
Of all the Provençal Christmas traditions that Mr. TWS and I learned about during our France trip last December, the santons (“little saints”) impressed us the most. We came away with an appreciation for the art and craft of these clay figurines created by santonniers and for their importance in the culture as a tradition passed down through generations.
Christmas sweets have a key part in most cultures and Mr. TWS and I have indulged in many during our holiday travels. When we visited Provence last December, we had plenty to taste of what is certainly one of the most delicious of Christmas traditions in Provence, the 13 desserts.
Top things to do in Avignon and the Vaucluse area of Provence — especially in the off-season
The third day of our busy Provence trip brought us to Aix-en-Provence. As soon as we arrived on this weekday morning in December, we noticed the bustling, upbeat vibe of the city as people were shopping the markets, strolling the streets, and socializing in cafés.
“Marseille is a way of life”. It’s the playing of pétanque (similar to bocce), the imbibing of pastis (an anise liqueur developed in Marseille as a substitute for the banned absinthe in 1915), the savoring of Bouillabaisse (for which Marseille is famous), and a certain “joie de vivre”. It is also a way of life that embraces the diversity of this melting pot on the Mediterranean and its rich culture, history, and art — giving an ample number of reasons for its designation as a 2013 European Capital of Culture.