An abrivado is a special event in Provençal towns, where French cowboys called gardians run bulls through the streets and into the arena. It’s an exciting test of horsemanship that not all gardians can master.
Even more exciting is the Gaso de Taureaux. Here, instead of running through the streets, the bulls are driven through a lake. It’s not clear why—maybe they need to freshen up?
Read the whole story at Perfectly Provence.
I was honored to be interviewed recently by AngloInfo, a great website with lots of resources for English-speakers working and living abroad. They asked me about my part-time expat life, split between California and Provence, and how it came about.
You can read the interview here.
“The bull has escaped!”
I looked up to see a thousand pounds of anger barreling down the street at me. Everyone scattered, frantically jumping over the metal barriers to safety. The bull thundered past, followed by closely by French cowboys on horseback. It was a terrifying moment, the kind you remember all your life.
Read the rest of the story at Perfectly Provence.
Despite having deep Catholic roots, France has the third-largest Jewish population in the world, after Israel and the United States. Jewish communities have existed in the country since the first century and it has long been a center of Jewish learning.
You might think that Paris, with its famous Marais neighborhood, is the center of French Jewish life. And while that is true today, it hasn’t always been. For centuries, it was Provence.
Read more about Jewish history in Provence at Frenchly.
This past spring I had the pleasure of meeting Janice Chung in Provence. Jan runs the great website France Travel Tips, with information about things to see and do all over the country. I love reading her stories about hidden corners of France that most tourists never see. An example is this story about sculptured seaside rocks in Brittany.
If you aren’t already a subscriber to Jan’s website, you should be!
There are a lot of great restaurants in Provence, with Michelin stars galore, like Le Petit Nice in Marseille and Baumanière in Les Baux. But for my money, the best fine dining in Provence is at L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel in Arles. Val and I go there every year to celebrate her birthday and it’s always great.
Find out all about L’Atelier at The Provence Post.
Provence shares Christmas traditions with the rest of France, like sapins de Noël (Christmas trees) and Père Noël (Father Christmas.) But they also have unique ones of their own. Thirteen desserts? Little dolls that fooled the zealots of French Revolution?
Read all about it at The Good Life France.
Everyone wants to go to Paris when they go to France. It’s one of the world’s great cities, with the Eiffel Tower, romantic cafés, great museums… what’s not to like? (Okay, the Parisians not so much, but the rest is great.) But you’d be wrong to put Paris at the top of the list. Instead, you should follow the insiders who know better and head south to Provence. Here’s why.
Read the rest of the story at Frenchly.
Patricia Sands is a wonderful author and an inspiration to all of us who write about Provence. She liked my book (I’m thrilled!) and I had the honor of being interviewed by her recently. You can read the interview on Patricia’s blog here.
Val and I are lucky–some of our best friends are French, people we’ve met while living in Provence.
We are sometimes asked, “How did you do it? Aren’t the French kind of standoffish?”
The answer is Non! There are wonderful people in France just like everywhere.
Having lived abroad twice now, we’ve learned a few things about making friends in a new country. Anyone can do it! If you’d like to know how, check out my article at The Planet D.