LIFESTYLES: markets, food and wine
Wine tours, gourmet tours, market visits, and shopping trips are all a part of life in Provence.
Local markets are a feast to the eyes with their colored fruits and vegetables, their scents and the picturesque people. Every village and city has its market. Flea markets, antique fairs and artisan markets play an important part in the life of local people. Visiting Aix-en-Provence on a market day is a delightful spectacle.
Going to l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue on a Sunday morning is paradise as there are more than 300 successful antique dealers, many with an international reputation. Strolling around on a Sunday morning is sheer bliss. You’ll find in these markets all the specialities that make Provence famous: Provencal fabrics with bright colors, potteries, vegetal soaps, olive oil, goat cheese, herbs, honey, olive oil, lavender, and much more. All are worth taking back as a souvenir of Provence.
The markets invite us to taste the delicious Provencal cooking and local wines. Everywhere you will be seduced by a sunny terrace or a shady vine arbour to savour delicious Provencal specialities so completely Mediterranean, but at the same time so specifically Provencal, such as bouillabaisse, tapenade, anchoiade, stuffed vegetables, brandade de morue, eggplant cake, ratatouille, etc.
With a nice local wine… Since Provence possesses the oldest vineyards of France, there are quality wines of all the three colours. The Greeks and the Romans developed wine growing in the area. This activity has stayed alive throughout centuries. The perfect growing conditions explain this success: a poor earth , the sun, perfect ventilation with the “mistral” wind, and good rainfall.
Among the eleven appellations of Provence, are very prestigious labels, such as the Southern Rhône Valley, with Châteauneuf du Pape for example. Others are well worth discovering. They all give an opportunity to make unforgettable trips throughout the marvellous Provencal domains, fabulous countrysides, delightful villages, seeing many ancient monuments and meeting passionate wine growers. Another way to discover Provence!