Corsica, Island Paradise in the Mediterranean

Among the islands that bask in the sun of the Mediterranean Sea, the 4th largest is Corsica, a stunning natural paradise. It’s no wonder it was nicknamed the Island of Beauty. Corsica lies 100 miles from the French coast. Although the island is closer to Italy, it has been French since 1768. Despite its French identity, most of the town names and the vibe of this rocky island are distinctly Italian. Two-thirds of the island is mountainous, with 20 mountain…

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Toulouse: A Pink Jewel in the Southwest

In the southwest of France there’s a happening place… In fact, it’s the 4th largest city in France (but has kept many charming aspects) and has the most booming economy of the country. Where is this city? Toulouse, otherwise known as the Pink City, named for a special rosy-colored terracotta stone used for many of the buildings. Why is Toulouse so popular? The climate is nearly perfect. It’s under 100 miles away from the Mediterranean and not much further from…

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10 Unexpected Places to Visit in Paris

Maybe you’ve already seen the big sites in Paris and you’d like something a little more out of the way. Something unexpected. Maybe you are tired of crowds but know that there are more unexpected treasures to be found in Paris. Here is a list of 10, though there are many more, that you’ll enjoy. Les Galeries: what are they? These are the first malls in France, dating from the 1850s. Gas lighting was implemented right around that time. These…

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Your Essential Guide to the Loire Valley

Just over an hour south of Paris, France, is a place you might encounter in your dreams, yet you can go there and experience it for yourself. It’s the Loire Valley, known as the garden of France, a peaceful paradise of rolling hills covered by vineyards, fairytale castles, and charming, vibrant towns. So much awaits you to discover, eat, drink, and enjoy in the Loire River Valley.   (from the book A French Garden: The Loire Valley.)   For the last…

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Discovering Lyon

You’ve heard of Lyon, France, and maybe changed trains there. That was my only experience with Lyon, until recently. Many people told me how nice a city it is, how good the food, how much there is to do. I had to visit it for myself. Worth a Visit Lyon is a sprawling city, the third largest in France. There are a half million people, and more in surrounding suburbs. It’s also known as the second gastronomic capital of France,…

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