Books on ProvenceGuest PostInspire: Art & Culture

8 Must-Read Books About Provence

Travel and Literature: two passions that usually go hand in hand! After all, surprising stories are what we look for in books and the most diverse scenarios in the world. One of the most inspiring places in this context is Provence. Lavender fields, mountain inland villages, historic cities, nature parks, acclaimed cuisine, and exceptional wines. So many attractions make Provence the most visited region in France, after Paris. Together with Côte d’Azur, it receives 31 million tourists a year, which represents 15% of French tourism.

This article includes eight (8) must-read books about Provence for a slice of French literary heaven on earth.

A Provence Reading List

1. Markets of Provence: Food, Antiques, Crafts, and More! by Marjorie R. Williams
Complete with detailed maps and sorted by days of the week, this pocketable guide gives you all the details you need to explore this Mediterranean region. Provence is renowned for its bright light, vivid colours, rich heritage, and flavorful food and wines, and, since the Middle Ages, the markets have become the beating heart of Provençal life.

2. Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France, by Peter Mayle
In this book, Mayle shares with the reader a whole new bunch of adventures, discoveries and culinary delights. The refreshment breaks include an unforgettable lunch at a converted gas station, a rendezvous with the very finest bouillabaisse, and trips to weekly markets. There’s a fun Marseille tour, a thorough olive oil tutorial, a hunt for the perfect corkscrew and excellent suggestions for splendid local products.

3. The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence, by Michael Jacobs
In this book, the reader discovers that the real Provençal spirit is found in its culture. Provence is a region of extraordinary beauty and distinction which has intrigued outsiders since the earliest ages. The author discovers the best-loved of all French provinces in the dazzling sunshine that falls over the tightly clustered terracotta roofs and the velvety shade beneath the magnificent plane trees.

4. Two Towns in Provence, by M. F. K. Fisher
Over the years, M. F. K. Fisher spent much of her time living and travelling across France and ruminating on French cuisine, French etiquette, French locations and, of course, the French themselves, appropriately, entertainingly and with deep and well-informed love. Here she explores Aix-en-Provence and Marseille in her singularly perceptive, evocative fashion.

5. Provençal Escapes, by Caroline Clifton-Mogg and Christopher Drake
This book features 22 lovely homes in the city. The architectural styles displayed range from the cozy romanticism of restored stone farm buildings to the clean simplicity of contemporary pared-down architecture, from the traditional elegance of a chateau to the tempting eclecticism of a small holiday retreat overlooking the Cote d’Azur region’s sparkling shore. An enticing book for all those seduced by Provencal lifestyles.

6. Living in Provence, by Dane McDowell and Christian Sarramon
A Provençal house may mean the palace of a cardinal or a simple cabin screened by trees. The spirit of those places is what’s relevant. This book contains sections about landscapes, interiors, and valuable details about restaurants, hotels, and guesthouses, as well as the best sources of authentic Provence-style decoration.

7. Lavender: Fragrance of Provence, by Hans Silvester
In the French region of Provence, the fragrance of lavender fills the air. In all four seasons, Hans Silvester has captured lavender capturing the plant’s shifting colours, shapes and formal elegance.

8. The Most Beautiful Country Towns of Provence, by Helena Attlee and Alex Ramsay
In the west of the province, marked by the Roman influence and home to the vibrant regional centers of Arles and Uzes, is where this magnificently illustrated book starts. In the center of Provence, the Var and Vaucluse departments are attractions such as L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, famous for its antique markets, and Hyeres, one of the Riviera’s first resorts.

Provence is an excellent option for those who want to know France outside of Paris. One of the best times to visit Provence is between June and August. In addition to the climate being very pleasant with little rain, the days are long, and the cities are in full bloom. Hopefully, these books will help you with planning your trip!


Beatrice Potter is a book blogger at Academized.com and Assignment writing services. Beatrice writes about European lifestyles, especially in the different regions of France. She has recently bought a house in Provence and is now focusing most of her work in divulging the region’s beauty and cultural richness.


Hungry for more reading about Provence?

Here is our complete list of books that we have read and would recommend to anyone who wants a “dose” of Provence. Whether you have visited the region or always dreamed of doing so. This collection includes cookbooks, guidebooks, memoirs, love stories, mysteries and more.

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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