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Understated Elegance

Provence, located in the south of France, is one of France’s most beautiful provinces. It’s perhaps most famous for its striking, fragrant lavender fields which bloom in early summer. But you don’t have to time your visit to the lavender; the region offers plenty more to see and do.

The delightful city of Aix-en-Provence is a highlight in the region with its Cours Mirabeau, a miniature Champs-Elysees, which is alive with restaurants and shops. On the coast of Provence you’ll find the fishing village of Cassis, where you can take a boat tour of the harbor. And further west you’ll find Marseille, France’s oldest city and an important trading port throughout history.

Other notable destinations include the Roman city of Arles, the city of Avignon with its famous medieval bridge, the Pont d’Avignon, and Les Baux de Provence, a fortified hilltop village. And throughout your Provence villa vacation, you can enjoy regional produce like olives and truffles, as well as famous Provençal dishes such as bouillabaisse and boeuf en daube, which, like Provence, are meant to be savored.

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Provencal Cuisine

Characterized by fresh, flavorful vegetables, seafood, herbs, and generous servings of olive oil, Provencal cuisine has many specialty dishes. Below, a few of the most well known and well loved.

Salade Nicoise – a salad of tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Nicoise olives, tuna, and anchovies in a vinaigrette dressing

Bouillabaisse – a seafood stew (types of fish vary between regions) characterized by a saffron-infused tomato broth

Ratatouille – stewed vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, onion, zucchini, bell peppers) in garlic and herb-infused olive oil

Daube – a stew made with beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbs, traditionally made in a terracotta daubière

Tapenade – a spread (traditionally served on bread) made of finely chopped olives, anchovies, capers, and olive oil