The new line is set to open by The most direct “northern” route, which would take around four hours, would cut through the Provence hinterland along the Arc valley, past the south side of Mount Sainte-Victoire to Nice. President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke out last year in favour of the “southern” route via Marseille and Toulon. However, hostilities were declared last month after Eric Ciotti, president of the Alpes-Maritimes regional council, claimed that the government had changed its mind and plumped for the cheaper, more direct route through the Provence hinterland. The response was swift. A few days later, around 5, people gathered at the Aix-en-Provence station to protest against the reported decision. Among the protesters were winegrowers from the Sainte-Victoire appelation, who say their vineyards will be ruined by the new line. Earlier this week, 86 local politicians travelled to Paris in tricolour sashes to meet the environment minister, Jean-Louis Borloo. She argued that in reality the southern line would not cost more, as huge amounts would have to be spent to prevent damaging a local microelectronics factory with rail vibrations, while the extra two million passengers who would take trains to Toulon and Marseille would make up the shortfall.
History of Provence
See Article History Alternative Titles: Area city proper, 93 square miles square kilometres ; metropolitan area , square miles square kilometres. After Provence joined the Kingdom of France in the 15th century, Marseille retained a separate administration and continually engaged in spirited revolt against kings or governments that threatened its liberties.
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Prehistoric Provence[ edit ] The entrance to the Cosquer Cave , decorated with paintings of auks , bison, seals and outlines of hands dating to 27, to 19, BC, is located 37 meters under the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Cassis. A bronze-age dolmen to BC near Draguignan The coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1. Two ice ages came and went, the sea level changed dramatically.
At the beginning of the Paleolithic, the sea level in western Provence was meters higher than today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped to to metres below the sea level today. The cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence were regularly flooded by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion. In , a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille.
The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, seals, auks, horses and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27, and 19, BC. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other easily hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits, snails and wild sheep.
Once they settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about BC they created the first pottery made in France. They were farmers and warriors, and gradually displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands.
Adventures in Italy, France and Switzerland
It was a huge hit. So much so that it returns in on February to Marseille, one of just four cities hosting the event this year. This year you’ll have to pay for a ticket: Can’t make it to Marseille in mid-February? Watch the clip below to get the flavour of this thrilling race. This display is orchestrated by Groupe F, a world-renowned company of pyrotechnicians from Provence, and should be something pretty special.
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There, a fine selection of chrome-flashing Mercedes-Benz SLs will be awaiting you for the first drive. On winding country roads, through pine forests and along white sandstone you will make it to the picturesque village of Maussane-les-Alpilles, where settlements dating back to Ancient Rome have been unearthed. Vincent van Gogh spent several years of his life in nearby Saint-Remy-de-Provence, where famous astrologer Nostradamus was born in Few medieval towns have reached modern age similarly well conserved with a surrounding intact wall, an amazing legacy of buildings and history.
Avignon is known for hosting the Pope during the great Western Schism of to , and we will explore the town at the hand of a knowledgeable guide. After lunch, the route leads north-east into high Provence with its small canyons, hills and blossoming lavender fields. Tiny little villages on the way offer plenty of coffee stop and shopping opportunities, before arriving at the village of Gordes.
The latter is perched up on a rock overlooking the Luberon almost like a watchman, a perfect scenery. Did you know that they are the only horse breed able to graze under water?
There is an intercom security access. The living space is furnished with two sofas and a coffee table. There is a TV French Channels and a round marble dining table.
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Trafalgar guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available on the day that you book. Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Departure 13 July will be in Paris on Bastille Day. Celebrations will be taking place throughout Paris. Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange flights to arrive on or before Day 1. Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount.
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Festival d’Aix-en-Provence[ edit ] An important opera festival, the Festival international d’Art Lyrique , founded in , now ranks with those in Bayreuth , Salzburg and Glyndebourne. The current director is Bernard Foccroulle , director of la Monnaie in Brussels. The festival takes place in late June and July each year.
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Southern France Tours
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Aix-en-Provence (French with its narrow, irregular streets and its old mansions dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, lies to the north. Situated on this avenue, which is lined on one side with banks and on the other with cafés, Those are six seater vehicles that circulate at a .
The French Riviera moves at a faster pace, with glitzy beaches, sophisticated nightlife and dazzling views of the Mediterranean Sea. Travel is best from March to November, with average summer temperatures in the low 70s F. Self-Guided Car Tours If you’re a busy but independent-minded traveler, consider a self-guided driving package that takes care of the all the reservations and vacation planning for you.
Self-guided car vacations typically include a rental car, accommodations, itineraries and a few perks such as a boat ride or dinner at a renowned local restaurant. Walking Tours Take time to smell the fields of lavender by exploring southern France’s scenic countryside on foot. Country Walkers offers a Provence tour that takes you through its ancient cobblestone streets of Medieval cities, sun-drenched vineyards and country farms.
The multi-day excursion includes meals, accommodations and treks through Provence’s back roads and tiny villages. Along the way, you’ll enjoy private wine tastings and local cuisine, explore Roman archaeological sites, shop for lavender honey at an outdoor market and tour castles dating back to the Middle Ages. This trip is best for active travelers comfortable walking up to eight miles per day. Culinary Tours Sophisticated gastronomes and enthusiastic home cooks alike can explore southern France’s rich culinary heritage through cooking or gourmet food tours.