If you’re looking to escape the Parisian city life, Provence is a fantastic little getaway just a mini car ride away from the city centre. The sun-soaked town is home to delicious food, drinks, sightseeing, and has served as an inspiration for artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. So, why should you visit this beautiful city southeast of France?
49 Rue Sainte, 13001 Marseille
There is no denying that the French are renowned for their food, especially bouillabaisse which originated in nearby port city, Marseille. This traditional fish stew contains a variety of vegetables, herbs, spices, and most importantly, shellfish. Enjoy it with a side of local red wine, which is sure to keep you full for the evening.
Where: Cité du Livre
8-10 Rue Des Allumettes, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Who would’ve thought that Provence is home to one of the coolest bookstores in the entire world? This quaint bookstore is known for its amazing architecture which consists of three large books originating in France: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Stranger by Albert Camus, and The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere.
Where: Carrieres de Lumieres
Route de Maillane, 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
A trip to Provence wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the many multimedia galleries. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, there are exhibitions by Gustav Klimt, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and even contemporary artists showing off their work.
Where: Etablissement Thermal
Les Thermes, 12110 Cransac
The picturesque lavender fields of Provence are just one of the best places to relax and recharge at the end of your trip. Digne les Bains is also home to the famous thermal pools which offer mud, seaweed and even lavender soaks.
Where: Provence Wine Tours
42 Boulevard Chave, 13005 Marseille
Well, why shouldn’t wine have its own category? Wine is made from local grapes, and wine tours are one of the best ways to test out some of the best Provence has to offer. The best time to go on a wine tour is between April-September, so make sure to book your tickets accordingly!
Images via Tumblr, Indulgy, Flickr, Wine Tasting Provence, Carrieres de Lumieres
Bookworld, Australia’s biggest bookstore, has released the annual list of the most well-read cities in Australia for 2013-14, with some interesting results.
Canberra topped the list for the second year in a row, with Melbourne, a UNESCO City of Literature, making the most movement from last year jumping from #7 to #2. New additions to the Top 10 list, which is compiled using sales data of over 500,000 Australian customers over the past year, include Newcastle and Sydney.
Australia’s most well-read cities, in the correct order, are:
- Sunshine Coast
Some quick and interesting facts from our research:
- Canberra was again the literary capital of the year, as the only city to have 4 literary titles making the top 10, with Eyrie by Tim Winton topping the sales list
- In a marked departure from last year’s trends, the only city still reading 50 Shades of Grey is Brisbane
- Perth and Darwin dropped out of the Top 10 to #13 and #17 respectively
- The Sunshine Coast was the most interested in health and food books – with The Fast Diet and Make Peace with Your Plate the two bestselling books
- Toowoomba proves its family focus with the most kids book sales for any of the cities
- Newcastle-Maitland debuted onto the list at #4 with sales of Boganaire: The Rise and Fall of Nathan Tinkler about the Hunter Valley Region self-made billionaire, boosting their position
- Geelong moved up one position to #3 thanks to Hold the Line: My Story by Matthew Scarlett, local Geelong Cats superstar
- Save with Jamie was the number one book overall, appearing in the Top 10 for every city and topping the list in 5 cities
- The most popular kids book was Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 8: Hard Luck, followed by YA novel The Fault in our Stars
- Burial Rites was the clear superstar in ebooks, coming in as the most downloaded eBook ebook in 7 out of the 10 cities
Image via giveagradeago.com
Winter is the perfect excuse to take the afternoon off and cuddle with a good book and a warm cup of tea. It’s often difficult to find a book that has an engaging storyline, with characters that you can invest your time in as the series goes on. We’ve scoured through some books which will leave you swooning for days after you’ve finished reading them.
The Bronze Horseman
The classic tale set in Leningrad, Russia just as World War II starts to take it’s first casualties. Amongst the chaos, Tatiana meets Alexander Belov, a soldier in the Red Army who is completely enamoured by her during their first meeting at a bus stop. The story follows their journey to escape the Leningrad blockade and finally be together. A great read for someone that is interested in anything related to World War II. The book is followed by a sequel called The Bridge To Holy Cross, and a prequel called The Summer Garden.
This popular book by Ian McEwan was made into a successful movie starring Keira Knightley who brought her character Cecilia to life. The story starts off on a hot day in the summer of 1935, where a young girl Briony suspects her sister Cecilia is with their landscaper, Robbie. He is subsequently arrested and Briony must live with the lie she fabricated as a child, for her entire life. A spectacular read, which is engaging right up the the last page.
A Single Man
A middle-aged professor is in the midst of a mid-life crisis after the death of his partner, for which he slowly begins to ease into single life. He begins to rely on his friends and students at university to overcome his obstacles, and get his life back together after losing a loved one. The book explores the major themes of love, acceptance and loss. Designer Tom Ford made A Single Man into a film in 2009, which was portrayed wonderfully by Colin Firth.
Author Belinda Alexandra has created a novel which highlights the delicate relationship of mother and daughter overcoming difficult familial obstacles through life. From the harshness of Cold War Russia, to life in post-war Australia the book uses love, family and romance to create an intense storyline which anyone could relate to.
The Other Boleyn Girl
You’ve probably heard about this one before, the story of two sisters competing for the greatest prize they could think of, the love and power of a king. Mary and Anne battle it out to secure the position of wife to King Henry VIII, but this comes at a price. A thrilling read which will keep you interested long after you’ve finished reading.
Which books are on your next reading list?
Image via Olicious Life
By Felicia Sapountzis