A Mosaic, a Puzzle, and a Mystery
Provence is a mosaic. An iridescent light composition of all colors and shades is made of the celestial azure and the piercingly bright blue of the sea; hot, almost white rays of the subtropical sun, and warm pastel tones of local stones; bright greenery of young grapes and dense purple lavender fields.
Provence is a puzzle. It is woven of so many contradictory fragments that it is very difficult to understand how everything here is tied together in a single place: the Roman theaters and Christian churches, the eternal noise of the Cote d’Azur and the eternal tranquility of the most beautiful villages of Luberon, the scorching summer heat and cold winter.
Provence is a mystery. It is often called the least French region. And there is a grain of truth in it: for the last three millennia, many peoples considered Provence their own but it survived all of its owners and always remained itself. Others consider Provence the real France, its essence, and symbol. And they are also right: endless lavender fields, the Croisette, and the beaches of Nice have long become trademarks of the country. They are no less recognizable than the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower.
Attractions of Provence
Famous events of Provence are the holiday of lemons in February and the Theater Festival in July. During the holiday of lemons, the small seaside town of Menton becomes a desirable destination for half a million tourists. It is not surprising because not every day you can see hundreds of sculptures built from lemons and taste the dishes of local cuisine made of lemons as well. The theatre festival in Avignon completes the half-year begun by the Menton festivities. For a few weeks, the provincial city attracts the attention not only of France but of the whole world. This festival has long received the status of an international one. A characteristic feature of this festival is democracy. Unlike the prim of Nice, everyone can try to be an actor here. During the festival, narrow medieval streets get temporarily transformed into improvised theatrical stages.
If you are not enthusiastic about the noise and fuss, Provence is ready to offer you the tranquility of Gordes, Menerbes, and Roussillon, members of the “The Most Beautiful Villages of France” association. There are also perfectly preserved monuments of the Roman era in Orange and Arles. The masterpieces of the Middle Ages are the palace of the Avignon popes and the castle of King Rene Good in Tarascon. You can enjoy the silence and expanse of lavender fields blossoming from June to September. Thirty centuries of history have not passed for Provence for free – it knows how to make anyone fall in love with it.