Until 19 September 2010 Arles. After 20 years of archaeological digs, led by Luc Long, in the Rhone River, treasures have been unveiled at the Musée d’Arles Antique. www.arles-antique.cg13.fr
Olive oil based soaps have been manufactured in Marseille since the 17th century. The city once had a monopoly in the soap making industry and supplied all of France and it’s colonies. Using local ingredients which included olive oil, salt and salicorne ashes from the Camargue, the trade grew both in Marseille and neighbouring cities.
The salt business started in Salin-de-Giraud in 1856 to produce caustic soda which is required to refine bauxite which in turn is used in the production of aluminium. It was the founder of Pechiney (now owned by the Montreal based aluminium giant Alcan) that started the salt production in the Camargue.
February is when the mimosa is in full bloom in Provence. Although not indigenous to France mimosa has taken a liking to the climate. There are over 300 different varieties apparently. Many thrive along the coast. To get a glimpse of it all, I suggest you take the Route des Mimosas which is actually a 130 km stretch of both floral coast line and back country. Driving the entire distance may not appeal to everyone so here are a few not to be missed stops along that drive.