They say that life flashes before your eyes when you're about to die. It's a common saying, which has found its way into our lexicon as an indicator of grave danger. And, do you know, it makes a lot of sense. It's one of those untenable truths that we all understand. In the few times you may have been in danger, things kind of slow down; somehow your mind processes life quickly, clearly, and it reaffirms indelible memories in your mind. Whether this is down to some function of psychology or otherworldly phenomena, who knows? Mortality can be a powerful motivator and muse. Author Melvin Francis' autobiographical tale, A Week (And A Bit) In Provence, captures this idea of life flashing before one's eyes, but in a unique and endearing way. Adjured to write his memoirs after a procedure to unblock arteries in the heart, the work stands as a tribute to Francis' friend John, who died of the same condition a few years prior. The author could have made the surgery a coda for his presentation. However, he chose to place it front and centre. His duration in hospital is the very instrument of reflection - it's a metaphorical and real flashing of life before the reader's eyes. In the prologue, an alarmed Francis is in the hospital. It's shortly after Christmas, and he is watching his angioplasty on a pair of monitors above his head. The beginning of the 'Week-And-A-Bit' is on Boxing Day when he is rushed to the hospital and told he has heart disease. Mr. Francis digresses by telling us a little about himself. Primarily, we understand how he and his wife (both known as 'She' and 'Me' throughout the work) have come to live in Vidauban, France. We read of life in Provence; it's fun to see Francis, an Englishman, relating tales of French life. We learn of their new neighbours and friends back home, about wild mushrooms and tales of skiing. With a keen knack for making things flow, the author drives us through little vignettes of personal history in a narrative fashion. One thing makes him think of something else, which is the genesis for the next story. In between these chains-of-thought we are pulled into the sterile environment of the hospital in France. Francis examines the experience with a dry wit and humour, before, once again, being reminded of a new story to tell. We hear about the young man's first job at the gas board. Simple little nods to antiquated machinery and officious bosses. We read of the observations of irritating neighbours; the game of one-upmanship with Ray will have you laughing out loud. It is in these little moments, within the greater themes of location, occupation, and people, that A Week (And A Bit) In Provence really shines. These are the times when the author applies his experience and insight to life. These moments are quirky, funny, an example being their family-member by-marriage, Ed. The author laments his character as much as his fashion sense, branding him with the soubriquet, Dick Ed! When we do get to the hospital and procedures, they are described comprehensively, but with a tongue-in-cheek quality. As with much of the work, he uses French phrases and dialogue. It is entertaining to see some serious moments between him and his doctor in French. Not only do they manage to infuse the French... attitude, they also lend a comical aspect. Many of the exchanges make sense, and fit perfectly in the scheme of how we would imagine an Englishman abroad to react. Despite the serious context in which the work is presented, the author's humour and attitude seem to get him through. This capability is clearly garnered from a life's worth or experience. A Week (And A Bit) In Provence is extremely funny, charming and poignant. It is not a dry recount of someone who thinks history owes them an ear. Ultimately, this is homage to a dear friend, and epistle to a beloved wife, wrapped up in an interesting collection of extraordinarily humorous tales.
The bestselling author of Lunch in Paris takes us on another delicious journey, this time to the heart of Provence. Ten years ago, New Yorker Elizabeth Bard followed a handsome Frenchman up a spiral staircase to a love nest in the heart of Paris. Now, with a baby on the way and the world's flakiest croissant around the corner, Elizabeth is sure she's found her "forever place." But life has other plans. On a last romantic jaunt before the baby arrives, the couple take a trip to the tiny Provencal village of Céreste. A chance encounter leads them to the wartime home of a famous poet, a tale of a buried manuscript and a garden full of heirloom roses. Under the spell of the house and its unique history, in less time than it takes to flip a crepe, Elizabeth and Gwendal decide to move-lock, stock and Le Creuset-to the French countryside. When the couple and their newborn son arrive in Provence, they discover a land of blue skies, lavender fields and peaches that taste like sunshine. Seduced by the local ingredients, they begin a new adventure as culinary entrepreneurs, starting their own artisanal ice cream shop and experimenting with flavors like saffron, sheep's milk yogurt and fruity olive oil. Filled with enticing recipes for stuffed zucchini flowers, fig tart and honey and thyme ice cream, Picnic in Provence is the story of everything that happens after the happily ever after: an American learning the tricks of French motherhood, a family finding a new professional passion, and a cook's initiation into classic Provencal cuisine. With wit, humor and scoop of wild strawberry sorbet, Bard reminds us that life-in and out of the kitchen-is a rendez-vous with the unexpected.
Praise for Fodor's Exploring Guides "Authoritatively written and superbly presented...Worthy reading before, during, or after a trip." -- Philadelphia Inquirer "Absolutely gorgeous. Fun, colorful, and sophisticated." -- Chicago Tribune Fodor's Exploring Guides are the most up-to-date, full-color guidebooks available. Covering destinations around the world, these guides are loaded with photos, essays on culture and history, descriptions of sights, and practical information. Full-color photos make these great guides to buy if you're still planning your itinerary (let the photos help you choose!) and they are perfect companions to general guidebooks, like Fodor's Gold Guides. What to See Extraordinary coverage of history and culture Itineraries, walks and excursions, on and off the beaten path Architecture and art Where to Stay Quick tips in every price range Where to Eat Savvy picks for all budgets The Basics Getting there and getting around When to go & what to pack
Get inspired and plan your next trip with Fodor’s ebook travel guide to Provence & the French Riviera (including the Alpilles, Arles, Marseille, and the Central Coast, with highlights in between). Intelligent Planning: Discover all of the essential, up-to-date travel insights you expect in a Fodor’s guide, including Fodor’s Choice dining and lodging, top experiences and attractions, and detailed planning advice. Easy Navigation for E-Readers: Whether you’re reading this ebook from start to finish or jumping from chapter to chapter as you develop your itinerary, Fodor’s makes it easy to find the information you need with a single touch. In addition to a traditional main table of contents for the ebook, each chapter opens with its own table of contents, making it easy to browse. Full-Color Photos and Maps: It’s hard not to fall in love with Provence & the French Riviera as you flip through a vivid full-color photo album. Explore the layout of city centers and popular neighborhoods with easy-to-read full-color maps. Plus get an overview of French geography with the convenient atlas at the end of the ebook. What’s Covered? Get to Know Provence & the French Riviera: Famed for its Lavender Route, the honey-gold hill towns of the Luberon, and vibrant cities like Aix and Marseilles, Provence was dazzlingly abstracted in geometric daubs of paint by van Gogh and Cézanne. Still haunted by the genius of van Gogh, Arles remains fiercely Provençal and is famed for its folklore events. The spiky Alpilles mountains guard treasures like les Bauz-de-Provence: be bewitched by its ville morte (dead town) and luxurious l’Oustau de la Baumanière inn. Avignon and the Vaucluse are the heart of Provençal delights. Presided over by its medieval Palais des Papes, Avignon is an ideal gateway for exploring the nearby Roman ruins of Orange. About 10 miles east of Avignon is the Sorgue Valley, where everybody goes “flea”-ing in the famous antiques market at l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. For one day, join all those fashionable folk for whom café squatting, people watching, and boutique shopping are a way of life in Aix-en-Provence (one of France’s 10 richest towns). Enjoy the elegant 18th-century streets, then track the spirit of Cézanne at his famous studio and nearby Mont Ste-Victoire. Head south to become a Calanques castaway before diving into Marseille, one of France’s most vibrant and colorful cities. The French Riviera can supply the visitor with everything his heart desires—and his purse can stand. Home to sophisticated resorts beloved by billionaires, remote hill villages colonized by artists, Mediterranean beaches, and magnificent views, the Côte d’Azur stretches from Marseille to Menton. Thrust out like two gigantic arms, divided by the Valley of the Var at Nice, the Alpes-Maritime peaks protect the length of that favored coast from St-Tropez to the Italian frontier. Note: This ebook edition is adapted from Fodor's Provence & the French Riviera, 9th Edition but differs in some content. Additionally, the ebook edition includes photographs and maps that will appear on black-and-white devices but are optimized for devices that support full-color images.
You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might go--they've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us! Come along with Frommer's, and we'll help you discover the best of Provence: fabulous regional cuisine, Roman baths, Gothic cathedrals, vineyards, the landscapes of Van Gogh, and much more. We've combined the rustic pleasures and rich artistic heritage of Provence with the glamour of the Riviera, from the beaches of St-Tropez to the Cannes Film Festival. With Frommer's in hand, you'll discover wonderful places to stay in all price ranges, charming small towns off the beaten track, the very best regional dining, amazing musems and historic treasures, antique shops, and the hottest nightlife on the Riviera. No matter what your budget, Frommer's makes it easy to explore this sunny corner of France, with accurate maps, suggested itineraries, a handy glossary of French phrases, and all the practical tips you need.
Color resonates in the pure light of the Proven al sun. Rich earth tones, bountiful harvests, and bright vegetable stalls make Provence one of the most celebrated and adored regions in the world. Filled with stunning color photographs, "Colors of Provence" captures the true vibrancy of the French countryside, revealing the many elements that make up its authentic palette. 145+ color photos.
The Complete Guide to the Villages, Beaches, and Resort Towns
Author: Nancy Van Itallie
Category: Provence (France)
Includes top hotels, inns, and pensions for all budgets; restaurants, cafes, and brasseries; Roman amphitheaters, baths, and aqueducts; perched medieval villages, castles, and churches; the glamorous towns of the Cote d'Azur, including St. Tropez, Nice, Cannes, and Monte Carlo; the liveliest nightlife along the coast, and more.
An experienced team of French researchers out on the road each summer helps to make this guide is more up-to-date than any regular guidebook. Recommendations are included for more than 4,000 hotels and restaurants. 30 maps.