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BlogDestinationsTravel spotlight: Provence, France

Travel spotlight: Provence, France

May 11, 2015 by Laura Barber

Known for its stunning lavender fields, Mediterranean coast, and distinct cultural identity, Provence is one of France’s most unique provinces. With a warm climate, charming cities, and close proximity to both mountains and the coast, it’s no surprise that this alluring region is consistently named one of the country’s top spots to visit. Read on to take a closer look at this captivating corner of the world.

Lavender in Provence

Historical significance

Imperial ties

Home to the first Roman settlement outside of Italy, Provence is dotted with ancient monuments—including the spectacular Pont du Gard and Pont Julien, a stone arch bridge constructed in 3 B.C., which was used for car traffic until 2005.

Artistic connections

With its iconic lavender fields and dramatic landscapes, Provence has provided inspiration for some of the world’s greatest painters over the years—including Cézanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Renoir.

Cultural heritage

La Marseillaise

The city that the French national anthem is named after, Marseille, is located on the Provençal coast. Originally called “Chant de guerre pour l’Armée du Rhin” (in English: War Song for the Army of the Rhine), the song got its current title after it was sung by volunteers from Marseille as they marched on Paris during the French Revolution.

Occitan roots

Until the beginning of the 20th century, Provençal, a dialect of the Occitan language, was widely spoken throughout the region. Today, the number of speakers hovers around 500,000.

Stimulating cities


A resort town on the French Riviera, Cannes is known for its azure waters and lavish lifestyle. Each May, prominent filmmakers and actors gather here for the invitation-only Cannes International Film Festival.


In 2013, this picturesque commune was named the “European Capital of Culture” as part of an annual initiative launched by the European Union in 1985. Aix is also home to Montagne Sainte-Victoire, the mountain made famous by the work of Paul Cézanne.

Have you ever been on a trip to Provence? Let us know on Facebook!

About the author | Laura Barber
It all began on a school trip to London in 7th grade. Since that first jaunt across the pond, Laura has been hooked on all things travel (and British for that matter). When she's not at work using her words to help people find their own adventures, she can be found running 5ks, refining her cribbage game, or rewatching The Office for the 100th time.

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