Tende in France

22 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, French Riviera Reading Time:  6 minutes

© panoramio.com - villlamania/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – villlamania/cc-by-3.0

Tende is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France. Tende is located within Mercantour National Park in the French Alps. The mountainous commune is bordered by Italy to the north, with the boundary determined by the watershed line between the two countries. This line of mountain tops contains more than 20 summits exceeding 2,000 meters (6,600 feet).   read more…

Theme Week Provence

20 October 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, French Riviera, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  14 minutes

Moustiers Sainte Marie © Nepomuk

Moustiers Sainte Marie © Nepomuk

Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River on the west to the Italian border on the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, and includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse. The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. It was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence until 1481, when it became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, particularly in the interior of the region. The original Roman province was called Gallia Transalpina, then Gallia Narbonensis, or simply Provincia Nostra (‘Our Province’) or Provincia. It extended from the Alps to the Pyrenees and north to the Vaucluse, with its capital in Narbo Martius (present-day Narbonne). In the 1940s, Provence underwent a cultural renewal, with the founding of the Avignon Festival of theatre (1947), the reopening of the Cannes Film Festival (begun in 1939), and many other major events. With the building of new highways, particularly the Paris Marseille autoroute which opened in 1970, Provence became destination for mass tourism from all over Europe. Many Europeans, particularly from Britain, bought summer houses in Provence. The arrival of the TGV high-speed trains shortened the trip from Paris to Marseille to less than four hours. Most of Provence has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers, mild winters, little snow, and abundant sunshine. Within Provence there are micro-climates and local variations, ranging from the Alpine climate inland from Nice to the continental climate in the northern Vaucluse. The winds of Provence are an important feature of the climate, particularly the mistral, a cold, dry wind which, especially in the winter, blows down the Rhône Valley to the Bouches-du-Rhône and the Var Departments, and often reaches over one hundred kilometres an hour.   read more…

With the Train des Pignes from Nice to Digne-les-Bains

5 October 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, French Riviera Reading Time:  11 minutes

Route map © Chemins de Fer de Provence

Route map © Chemins de Fer de Provence

This 1-meter gauge railway runs between Nice and Digne-les-Bains, 151 km, and takes about three hours. The track follows rushing rivers and steep-sided mountain valleys, many not accessible by car, and the view is magnificent. The ride is an adventure. The stations are old, tiny and personal, with everything on a human level. The name Train des Pignes comes from the pinecones, once used for tinder to start the steam engines.   read more…

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