Marseille is The Capital of Province

By: Douglas Scott

Marseille is the second largest city of France. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, it is Frances largest commercial port. The capital of Province is at the opposite end of the Riviera from its flashy rival, nice, both in terms of location and image.

There are no manicured promenades and no glitzy hotels in this port. But for all its shabbiness, pollution and congestion, it is one of the most exhilarating cities in France, offering a polyglot of cultures and races, and some of the best restaurants in the country. It has medieval stone streets, palm trees, terrace cafes and magnificent views of the Mediterranean, whose blue is supposedly rendered deeper as a result of the Mistral, the fierce wind that cleans the cities air and is said to drive its residents a little bit crazy.

Marseille is becoming the hippest spot in France. Having finally shaken off its reputation as a drug den .It is currently enjoying a cultural renaissance, as fashion, film and hi tech companies relocate there. There is a definite buzz. The city has always had a very strong character, but now its becoming more open, more confident about its future.

Try to get up early enough to catch the renowned daily seafood and fish market at the Vieux Port. The most famous seafood dish of Marseilles is bouillabaisse, world renowned and worth the reputation. Bouillabaisse is small and lighter, with three types of fish. This is the recommended one for lunch and even so, youll need a good appetite to have something else with it.

It is Frances second most populated and prominent city after Paris, of course, and it has a long and interesting history just like the countries capital. There are something like one million people living in Marseille, a number made up by many diverse cultures from all around the Mediterranean, West Africa and Indochina.

Marseille has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers. January and February are the coldest months, averaging temperatures of 11. July and August are the hottest months, averaging temperatures of 29. Marseille is known for its Mistral wind that occurs mostly in winter and spring.

Marseille is not like the rest of Province in that it has not been prettified for the tourist industry and life continues there all year, not just from May to October. It is Frances most significant seaport and has a longstanding trade history that dates back to 600 BC.

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