rovence is the region of contrasts - the beaches and sophistication of the Cote d'Azur, fields of lavender, Flamingos, cowboys and the white horses of the Camargue, Wine and Good Food, Skiing in the Alpes in winter, the gorges of the Verdon, the gentle air of the Luberon mountains with its lavender and farms called bastides.
Departments and Main Towns
Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04) - main towns Digne, Castellane, Forcalquier, Gréoux, Moustiers, Verdon area,
Haute-Alpes (05) - main towns Gap, Briançon,
Alpes-Maritime (06) - main towns Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Grasse.
Bouches de Rhône (13) - main towns Marseille, Aix, Arles, Stes Maries, Salon, and the Camargue area
Var (83)- main towns Toulon, St Tropez, Fréjus, Hyères, St Raphaël,
Vaucluse (84) - main towns Avignon, Orange, Vaison, Apt and the Luberon regioni
When you think of summer you think also of summer wines and Provence is most famous for its Rosé Wine and produces half of the Rosé wine in France. 80% of its wine production is Vin Rosé. Côtes de Provence is its best known. Other wines of the region are from Bandol and Bellet. Bandol produces a strong red wine and the vineyards producing this were first planted by the Romans. Bellet is a small area in the hills above Nice, difficult to cultivate mechanically and so the production levels are low. Bandol and Bellet are red, white and rosé. The Bellet red is little known, does not keep above ten years but is considered quite delightful.
Well with all those hills and herbs it is not surprising that the cheeses from Provence are produced mainly from goats and ewes and frequently flavoured with herbs!
Olives and subsequently Olive Oil
Honey - particularly delightful when produced from the lavender growing areas
Saffron made from Crocuses
Rice from the Camargue
Melons and lots and lots of other sun drenched fruit
Génépi - an alcholic drink made from the flowers of the Génépi harvested in July
Soupe au Pistou
Muscat de Ventoux
With flowers in abundance, lavender and herbs mixed with fruits and summer sun, it is hardly surprising that perfume production is significant. Just 15 kilometres north of Cannes, Grasses is the perfume centre of France. Discover the history of perfume at the Muse International de la Parfumerie. Chanel - famous for its perfumes such as Chanel No 5, have their own farm, producing the Jasmine and Rose de Mai, which are the basis of this perfume. Fragonard, Galimard, Mane, and Moulinard are all based in Grasse and are the four foremost perfumeries in France.
à la revisto !