Travelling the World Piece by Piece: Day 6 – Provence

Provence, France

It is Day Six of our World Tour and we are in the beautiful French region of Provence. France is the number one tourist destination in the world with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the French Riviera topping many bucket lists of places to see. I guess it is surprising then that we only had one puzzle from France – not even the Eiffel Tower! Oh well, that’s just how it worked out. Provence though, is also a very popular region for tourists. It has been a part of France for over 500 years, yet it still retains much of its own cultural and linguistic identity. Back during the time of the Romans it was called Provincia Romana, so you can see how it got its name. It is a predominantly rural area with lots of agricultural industries such as wine, olives and lavender. Its picturesque views, mediterranean climate and relaxed lifestyle have been a major drawcard for artists, writers and others since the nineteenth century.  

It was the Romans who brought lavender to Provence and it acclimatised so well that it virtually grows wild. During the Middle Ages the locals started using lavender and by the end of the nineteenth century had begun cultivating it on lavender farms. During the 1900s they started building distilleries and now Provence produces over 170 tonnes of lavender oil every year. There is even a Lavender Festival that is held every year in mid August. I just love that rustic scene of Provence pictured above. Strolling through fields of lavender on a beautiful summer’s day – ah, peace and tranquility. 

As well as the Romans, Provence has also been heavily influenced by Italian and Greek culture. Marseille, the largest city in Provence, was actually founded by the Greeks around 600 BCE, so the cuisine of Provence bears far greater similarity to the famous Mediterranean diet than to traditional French cuisine. Guess that’s how olives came to be associated with Provence too. It’s also a great wine producing area – definitely going on my bucket list then! Apparently Provence has been producing wine for over 2000 years. Rosé appears to be their specialty, although they do produce other wines too.

Good food, good wine, beautiful scenery – Provence looks like the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. You can discover more about the region here at Provence Life. Next time we will be visiting a house with a view and touching on a little family history as we continue travelling the world piece by piece.

Happy Travelling

5 thoughts on “Travelling the World Piece by Piece: Day 6 – Provence

  1. Do you know the meditation/midfulness etc app, Calm? My husband subscribed after his cardiologist suggested he try a mindfulness app. Among other things, Calm has “sleep stories” and the first one we listened too was Stephen Fry talking about lavender fields in Provence. It was so interesting I stayed awake to the end! One day I’d love to go to Provence in lavender season. We’ve been to Paris, and I’d go again, but my bigger dream is to revisit the south of France where I’ve only been for a few days.

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    • I often think the best way to visit other places would be to tour around slowly, a bit like the grey nomads do in Australia, staying in a place for a few days, soaking up the atmosphere and discovering the spots never mentioned on itineraries. Probably an expensive way of doing it, but I think you would come away with a much deeper appreciation for another culture. It’s on my “will probably never happen” list, but I hope you get back to France one day.


      • This is what we try to do. We pick a few places and stay three to five nights there. I don’t really think it’s more expensive – if you are still away for the same amount of time? It’s just that you see a few places in depth rather than a lot of the country. (We’ve been to Japan 4 times, as I might have said … and we are gradually picking off more and more of the country this way.) It’s less exhausting because all that packing and unpacking, checking in and checking out, is tiring AND all that activity wastes precious sightseeing time too.

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