On Sunday July 18th 2010 the village of Valensole will be celebrating the harvest of this years lavender crop. The parade will be followed by distilling demonstrations using antique copper stills. It's a festive and fragrant occasion to discover the virtues of this aromatic plant that thrives in Provence.
Behind the Scenes in Provence
Provence Confidential has been blogging about restaurant launches, cooking classes, food festivals, Provençal wines and spirits as well as tradition and folklore since 2008.
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If you haven't seen the BBC Walk on the Wild side series you can watch part it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAcSDYKPkZc) or you can drive 2 hours north of Aix en Provence into the Parc National des Ecrins and watch these incredibly playful marmottes interact.
From June 4-6, 2010 the owners of France's most remarkable gardens (a designation awarded by the Ministry of Culture) open their doors to all garden enthusiasts. Over 1.5 million people are expected to visit the most spectacular gardens in France. There are over 2000 gardens open for the occasion. 50 of them are located in Provence.
April 29, 2010 - The 40th Annual Rose Festival welcomes rose growers from around the world to compete for the prizes of most beautiful rose and sweetest smelling rose. From May 13th to 16th, 2010 the city of Grasse, known as the Perfume Capital of the World, will welcome over 14 000 visitors. Last year over 63 000 cut roses were on display throughout the town.
What better way to start your trip to Provence then by having a bite to eat at the elegant landmark restaurant Le Train Bleu located inside the Gare de Lyon in Paris. The restaurant was built in 1900 for the World Exhibition by PLM (Paris-Lyon-Marseille) which has since become the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer). It’s a grandiose restaurant serving 500 meals a day.
L'Hôtel-Dieu de Marseille was a hospital built just above the Vieux Port in the 12th Century. It underwent several renovations in the 18thC with the introduction of wrought iron works which are still visible today. A statue of Jacques Daviel, the eye surgeon who was the first to perform crystalline lens removal in cataract operation at this facility in 1745 stands in front of hospital.