Above is a tribute to Van Gogh's A Starry Night by Arman, the French painter, sculptor and artist whose work is currently on exhibit in Les Baux de Provence. This photo was provided by the Arman Foundation whom I thank. But in no way does this image fully capture the impressive size and power of the artwork.
The online ticket sales for this world renowned music festival which runs from July 5 - 25, 2011 open at NOON (French time) on January 28th , 2011 www.festival-aix.com.
The village of Allauch, located on the outskirts of Marseille which was made famous by Marcel Pagnol in his novels turned movies « Manon des Sources » and «Jean de Florette», is hosting their tradition La Journée de l’Ane. Roughly translated it’s Donkey Day - a day when the villagers pay tribute to the animal that the ancestors most relied upon to haul water, merchandise and building supplies up the rocky slopes of the surrounding hills.
My friend, Jill Steenhuis, an Atlanta native, who has lived in Aix-en-Provence for 30 years, is on her way to Jackson, Dallas, Houston, Austin and Atlanta for a few shows. Have a look at her website to view the locations and times of each exhibit: www.jillsteenhuis.com In 1980 it was Cézanne’s Mont Sainte Victoire paintings that inspired Jill to go to France. And she's been painting Provencal scenes and teaching ever since.
Corsica, the Var and the Ardeche have the largest production of sweet chestnuts in France. The chestnuts can be ground into flour and used in the preparation of local specialties. Historically not all regions of France had access to wheat flour so the chestnut was one of the few sources of carbohydrates.
Although there are little remnants of the forced labour camps known as the Bagne in Toulon, their history remains a fascinating and integral part of the city’s identity. The Toulon Bagne were established in 1748 and abandoned in 1873. The French penitentiary system which was managed by the Navy built labour camps in Toulon, Brest and Rochefort before moving overseas.