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Provence History

Marseille Soap

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How and why did Marseille get so famous for its soap? First of all, let me ask you, what are two essential ingredients needed to make soap? You need soda and salt.  Soda (sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide) combined with a vegetable oil, creates the base of a Marseille soap.  During the heatin…

Cavaillon, Provence History Walk

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Hidden treasures in Provence Yesterday morning, while walking the ancient Roman road near my house in Cavaillon, I stumbled upon more than ancient ruins. Not just one, not just two but a handful of lavender plants here and there. Surrounded by pine trees, thyme and limestone blocks from the Roman…

Christmas In Provence

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All I want for Christmas – In Provence Next year marks my 20 years in France so now I guess I can say I have had as many American Christmases as French. In 2005 we managed to escape to Oregon as a family for an American Christmas, but those days are behind us now that the kids are in junior high,…

Wine in Provence

Did the Popes Drink Wine? Do we owe it to the popes in Avignon for having such great wine in the Provence today? Some may debate and they certainly weren’t the first to establish the Provencal vineyards, but there is no denying that the popes concentrated much of their time and energy into elabor…

The perched villages of the Luberon

From valley to hilltop in the Luberon The Autumn colors were just starting to turn when I had the privilege to take Larry and Kathy on a tour through the Luberon valleys and hilltops. From their hotel near Gordes, we ventured to the first village just 10 minutes away.  Oppede-le-Vieux. Why “Vieux…