Fleur de Lys
Lifestyle: Art & CultureMargo Lestz

French History of the Fleur de Lys: The Iris of Kings

By Margo Lestz The fleur de lys is a stylized flower that has a long association with the kings of France. There are two spellings for this floral emblem – fleur de lis and fleur de lys. Both can be used to refer to the botanical lily flower or the symbol. “Fleur de …

READ MORE →
French Fashion Striped Tops-onion-johnnies
Lifestyle: Art & CultureMargo LestzShopping & Gifts from the South of France

French Fashion What’s with the Striped Tops?

By Margo Lestz: If you’re looking to add a bit of Frenchness to your wardrobe, a blue and white striped knit shirt could just do the trick. It’s a classic that anyone can wear. Whether you are male, female, young, or old the crisp stripes will add a dash of …

READ MORE →
France Book Berets Baguettes
Books on ProvenceLifestyle: Art & CultureMargo Lestz

New France Book: Berets, Baguettes, and Beyond

By Margo Lestz: I’m happy to announce that my new book, Berets, Baguettes, and Beyond: Curious Histories of France is out now. Just in time for the holidays! If there’s someone on your gift list who loves France, maybe this book would fill the bill. is a collection of stories from my blog …

READ MORE →
Typical Dishes Nice
Local Food Producers in ProvenceMargo LestzTaste: Food & Drink

Here are the Typical Dishes to Eat in Nice, France

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: If your holiday plans include a visit to Nice, France, I’m sure you’ll want to try some of the local specialties. Niçoise food is simple, Mediterranean fare based on fresh ingredients and lots of fish. One old Niçois saying says: “Fish are born in water, …

READ MORE →
Life in France Demonstrations and Strikes
Expat Living and Real EstateLiving in ProvenceMargo Lestz

Life in France Demonstrations, Strikes, and Bossnappings

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: It’s springtime in France, and it’s also strike time. I’m just setting off on a trip across the country by train and I’ve had to adjust my travel dates because of the rail strikes – at least they put out a schedule. This spring/summer the …

READ MORE →
French Superstitions
Lifestyle: Art & CultureMargo Lestz

A List of Curious French Superstitions

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: Are you superstitious? Do you avoid things reputed to bring bad luck even if you don’t believe they will – just in case?  Most cultures have their particular ideas about what is lucky or unlucky, and France is no exception. So, I thought that I …

READ MORE →
French croissant breakfast @MargoLestz
Margo LestzTaste: Food & Drink

Learn the History Behind the French Croissant

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: The flaky, buttery croissant is as French as a beret or a baguette, but its roots lie in a seventeenth century Austrian battle. Croissant Origin Legend The legend of the croissant traces this pastry’s ancestry back to the 1683 Battle of Vienna… The city was …

READ MORE →
Calisson d'Aix Drawing Margo Lestz
Margo LestzTaste: Food & Drink

The Calisson of Provence: A Sweet Story

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: The calisson is a small, distinctive, almond-shaped candy which first appeared in Aix-en-Provence in the fifteenth century, during the reign of Good King René. The following legend is often associated with its creation… A King, a Queen, and a Candy Jeanne de Laval wasn’t pleased …

READ MORE →
Henri Matisse Art lidole-1942
Artists Inspired by ProvenceLifestyle: Art & CultureMargo Lestz

Henri Matisse, a Nun, and a Chapel in Vence, Provence

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: Night Nurse Needed – Should be young and pretty. This was the ad Henri Matisse placed with the nursing school in Nice, France in 1942. He was seventy-two years-old and still working while recovering from a serious surgery. He required constant care and needed someone to …

READ MORE →
Provence Christmas Story
Explore: Travel in ProvenceMargo LestzProvencal History & Traditions

The Provence Christmas Story a Tale of the Santons

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: You may know the traditional Biblical Christmas story, but in Provence, there is a bit more to it. The Provence Christmas story is told in a Nativity play called a pastorale. It incorporates the main details of the traditional Nativity but sets it in a …

READ MORE →