Welcome to la belle Provence! This site is about living in, and traveling around, the South of France.
I’m a 40-ish American woman, born & raised in Southern California, and I’ve been living in Provence for 7 years. In 2007, I took a break from my much-loved career in higher education to experience a *mid-life* adventure in Rome, Italy. After a few years of English teaching (and living the dolce vita on a very slim budget!) I met my French husband-to-be at a Christmas party.
I didn’t speak a word of French and never imagined getting to know the French people and their culture… let alone falling in love with the place I now call home. It was a long personal journey moving from Italy to France, and it took me about 4 years to speak decent French – one of the biggest challenges I faced moving here. In fact, one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced – it’s one tough language! I’m still learning every day, but my life has become a lot fuller since I crossed that bridge and I’m very thankful for the patient French people who helped me along the way.
My husband Nicolas is a self-proclaimed expert in “eating” and provides much of the French-background for the posts. About 90% of his explanations involve the phrase “it’s complicated”, which really explains about 90% of living in France.
After 7 years of living in the coastal city of Toulon, we moved just outside the village of Ollioules in the fall of 2017 (10 minutes from Toulon). We live in the Var department and much of this site is dedicated to places we often visit in the region – like our favorites Bandol, Sanary-sur-Mer, Le Castellet, and the “off the beaten track” villages that make up Provence Verte (Green Provence). We’ve also fallen in love with Cassis, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Saint Rémy de Provence, and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – just to name a few! Provence is a big and beautiful place, there’s a lot to love.
I really enjoy learning as much as I can about the South of France, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to contribute to this site in the My Provence section.
You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, à bientôt!
Since starting Belle Provence Travels, I’ve contributed to International Living magazine, Expedia online Paris guide, Living France magazine, and Charming Small Hotels, France.