The Riviera’s Gardens and Parks: Best Botanical Sites on the Mediterranean Coast

The French Riviera is a garden-lover’s paradise, a sun-soaked horticultural heaven lined on its southern edge by the twinkling Mediterranean. From Antibes to Cagnes-sur-Mer, Gourdon to Grasse and Nice to Beaulieu there are some 80 gardens and parks open to...

How Monet’s Garden Grew

Dazzling drifts of color greet the eye in the flower garden that Monet called Le Clos Normand.
Chateau du Rivau

Château du Rivau: A Gem Amongst the Loire Valley Castles

Planning a trip to the magnificent Loire Valley? Just two hours southwest of Paris, the "Valley of Kings"-- a UNESCO World Heritage site-- boasts stunning castles along the mighty Loire river. Avoid the tourist...

Le Dernier Mot: Shopping Delights in La Motte

"I think the translation is ‘hardware store’,” I say to my dad as we enter our town’s old quincaillerie. Ducking beneath the rainbow of market baskets which hang over the entrance, my belle-mère is giddy: “I used to...
The River Nive weaves its way through Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in Pays Basque

Great Travel Destinations: French Basque Country

Europe’s best surfing, the chic coastal town of Biarritz, the proud Basque culture and language, the rolling foothills of the Pyrenees, even a ski resort… the French Pays Basque is one of France’s most varied and distinct...
Abbaye Saint-Georges de Boscherville

Travel in Normandy: Treasures of the Seine Valley

When you think of Normandy, do you think of the D-Day landing beaches and Mont Saint Michel? Or perhaps Rouen’s gothic cathedral, the Bayeux tapestry, Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny and the picturesque port...

From the 1906 Fire to the Internet, French Libraries in San Francisco Reinvent Themselves

The oldest French library in the San Francisco Bay Area is located at the Alliance Française San Francisco (AFSF.)  The newest French library is found at the Alliance Française Silicon Valley (AFSCV.) What they...
The English-style Jardin Lecoque

Travel to Clermont-Ferrand: Gateway to the Auvergne

Ask a Parisienne what she knows about Clermont-Ferrand, and her first response might be, “Well, of course I haven’t actually been there.” Then she might wrinkle her nose. “But isn’t it rather… industrial?” The impression seems confirmed on the...

A History of the Breton Stripe

Fresh, nautical and undeniably chic, la marinière worn by the sailors in the French Navy is the shirt we call the Breton stripe. For over 150 years these stripes have been seen on board the ships of the Marine Nationale...

The Ninth Art?

For an understanding of Charles de Gaulle’s middle way during the Cold War, Astérix might seem an unlikely place to start. After all, Astérix is set in Roman-occupied Gaul, 2,000 years before the general’s...