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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Matisse in Studio
Artists Inspired by ProvenceLifestyle: Art & CultureMargo Lestz

The Artist and His Objects: Matisse in His Studio

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: I’ve just been to a wonderful exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. It was called Matisse in the Studio, and it shows how the objects that Matisse surrounded himself with appeared in his art. Henri Matisse was a collector: He had an array …

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Renart Chantecler Foxes Roosters
Explore: Travel in ProvenceMargo Lestz

Renart and Chantecler: Two Animals that Shaped French Culture and Language

Contributor blog post by Margo Lestz: A few months ago, I wrote about the Gallic rooster and how it became the symbol of France. Then William Bahr, an online friend with whom I share an interest in the French Revolution, asked me why the rooster was called Chantecler. This caused me to do a …

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