Nice, France

A Flâneur in Old Nice

Whether I turn left or right in Vieux Nice I get lost. No matter that I’ve walked throughout its labyrinthine lanes, browsing the shops and dining at most of the restaurants in this ‘village’ within a city. Its...

The Train Stations of Paris, Reborn

Entering a Paris train station in 1846, you would have been as likely to meet an elegant bourgeois couple in rustling silks as a gun-slinging hunter and his baying hounds setting out for a weekend’s shooting in the countryside, such...

The Santons of Provence: A History

In Provence the holiday season belongs to the colorful world of santons—santous or santoùos in Provençal, “little saints” to the rest of us. A wrinkle, the shining dot of an eye, a graceful pose,...
Popular Montorgueil Terrace, Le Compas

Parisian Walkways: Rue Montorgueil

Like so many flâneurs before and after him, France’s father of literary realism, Honoré de Balzac, spent a lifetime walking the streets of Paris, drawing inspiration from the cobblestones and the human spectacles he saw played out in boutique windows, street...
An Erté 'costume collectif'

From Fashion to Movies: Erté & the History of Art Deco in Paris

The world’s first Art Déco building was the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées built in Paris prior to the First World War. Between the two wars, the style was popularized by designers and artists who used...

After Marie Antoinette

From the children of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette to the pretenders to the French throne today, a look at the fate of the French monarchy
The Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Montmartre

Parisian Walkways: Forgotten Montmartre

Once the haunt of supremely influential artists, Montmartre somehow manages to retain its Belle Époque allure.  On a sunny Sunday afternoon in 1876, Pierre-Auguste Renoir set up his easel at an open-air café on the top of the Butte...
Menton

The French Riviera in Winter

Those who winter in the South of France sojourn in the shadow of greats. The blazing winter sun tempted 19th-century celebrity to the Côte d’Azur: royalty, nobility, artists, authors. Just as café follows déjeuner, the merely wealthy followed the fabulously...
Aerial view of Le Mans

5 Fascinating Roman Sites in France

Le Mans: Painted city Naturally, when the name of Le Mans is mentioned, one immediately thinks of the world-famous 24-hour endurance race or iconic images of Steve McQueen in his Gulf Oil overalls. And while the event...
Toile de Jouy

Made in France: La Toile de Jouy

The name toile de Jouy, now commonly used generically, stems from the village of Jouy-en-Josas, just south of Versailles, where the fabric was manufactured and where the Toile de Jouy Museum now perpetuates the story. The fabric has come...