Sunday, October 18, 2015

Arles Market Day

Arles Market in the rain.

Market days are an especially big deal throughout France. No single event better symbolizes the French preoccupation with fresh products and their strong ties to the farmer than the weekly market. And in no other region is it more celebrated than in Provence.

You can find an endless array of products at Provençal markets, from clothing to crafts, art to antiques, pâtés to picnic fare (produce, meats, cheeses, crusty golden baguettes, and pastries).

Arles stands out among Provençal market towns. Here the ring road erupts twice a week into an open-air market of fish, flowers, ready-for-ratatouille baskets of produce, and everything but car traffic. Join in. Try the olives, sniff the lavender, and sample the wine. The beauty of Arles' market is its international flavor, reflecting how Provence remains a crossroads of Mediterranean cultures. In addition to local items, you may find spices from Morocco and Tunisia, paella and saffron from Spain, and fresh pasta from Italy.

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