Located in the south of France, Arles is the classic French town everyone has dreamed of, including Van Gogh. When Van Gogh arrived in Arles in 1888, it was at yet another low point in his life. He was drinking too much, smoking too much and wanted to get away from Paris, which had simply worn him out. In Arles he hoped to start a utopian artists colony and invited friend Paul Gauguin to join him. What enchanted Van Gogh most about Arles and the surrounding countryside is also what captured my imagination – the vibrant colors and light. There’s just something unique about this small town in southern France that makes it an artist’s dream.
Tag Archives: Provence
Last June I went on what’s become (close to) an annual trip to Provence. Because it was early summer, the weather allowed for a lot of outdoor activity. As seems to be the case with every visit, I had some new experiences and, of course, enjoyed some of the old. Here is a sampling…
Whether you call it the French Riviera or the Côte d’Azur, France’s Mediterranean coast from Cannes to Nice and beyond has an almost mythically glamorous appeal. The beautiful people (le Beau Monde) have flocked here for generations. And if Ernest Hemingway, David Niven, Joan Collins and Elton John have all holidayed here then, frankly, who are we to argue?
What to do with a week in the south of France? Not a bad question to be faced with. Having had the fortune of visiting Provence on a semi-regular basis for almost a decade now, I can tell you that travelers could spend months – even years – exploring this region and all it has to offer. Unfortunately, for most of us vacations are limited to a week or two at a time. The challenge is seeing everything a place has to offer and getting in a good amount of rest and relaxation. Provence is perfect for both.
So the south of France, the Cote d’Azur. I know what you’re thinking: expensive, clichéd. Think again. I agreed to go there for a week’s holiday with a friend mainly because I’d never been and it’s one of those famous places that’s in all the books and movies and gossip magazines. Oh, and because I [...]