Most people travel to a destination in hopes of viewing interesting sights, but in Grasse, France, it is beautiful and intriguing scents that are the big attraction. This centuries old village in Provence is the perfume capital of the world. Not only is this charming town home to approximately 30 perfume factories, it is also surrounded by fields of sweet-smelling flowers, including jasmine, roses lavender and tuberoses. In fact, Grasse is known for producing approximately two-thirds of the aromas that France uses in the making of its perfumes and the manufacturing of flavorings for food.
Paris and art go together like wine and cheese, or romance and the quaint, cobbled streets of the Left Bank. There are a host of current and future exhibits being staged in the city on the Seine. While the permanent collections in the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay rival anything you'll find in the museums in New York and London, it's the special exhibits and one-time retrospectives in Paris that no serious art lover should miss. Whether you enjoy Flemish landscapes, color-drenched Impressionism, Surrealism or the haunting, urban landscapes of Edward Hopper, Paris has an art exhibit for you. Here are 5 that shouldn't be missed.
Stately and sold, mysterious and majestic: the 37 bridges of Paris that span the Seine River are a mixture of architectural styles, symbolism and history. The 482-mile Seine River cuts right through the center of Paris from east to west, originating in the hills that surround Dijon, in southwestern France, and flowing to the English Channel at the port cities of Honfleur and Le Havre. Combining form with function, the bridges of Paris are impossible to ignore and difficult not to be enchanted by. Below are just a few of our favorites:
Delicately balanced wine, farmhouse aged cheese, lavender, poplar trees, and world-renown light that every artist from Van Gogh to Picasso has immortalized in their paintings -yes, it's just another day in southern France. Southern France is dotted with walled cities, lush vineyards and the sun baked ruins of Roman architecture. However, towering above these many historic splendors and cultural touchstones is food. Provence is the gastronomic core of France, so perusing open air markets for black truffles or whiling away the day eating at a Michelin Star restaurant is common, and not just something that hardcore foodies do. Needless to say, while most tourists choose to visit Provence's small towns and villages by train or car, why not opt for a unique and more glamorous mode of transportation on a fully crewed barge?
From the glamour of Cannes to the glitz of Saint Tropez, the French Riviera is as famous for its fast cars and chic celebrities as it is for the Mediterraneans azure blue waters and charming villages. Enjoy the best of both worlds with a customized Barge Cruise and French Riviera vacation. Whether you live like a celebrity in St-Tropez, stroll through the quiet perfumed streets of Grasse or simply soak up the Mediterranean sun, a vacation in the French Riviera is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.