A Jewish Day in Aix-en-Provence

Camp des Milles isn’t exactly the image one has in mind of southern France. A former tile factory just minutes from the center of Aix-en-Provence, the complex was requisitioned by the French government during World War Two, first to house those suspected of fascist sympathies and later, after the fall of France, as a depot…

Avignon: A Tale of Two Popes

In 1305, Pope Clement V, under pressure from King Phillipe IV of France, refused to move to Rome and instead established his court at Avignon, where he purchased the city and its surroundings from the Provençal ruler. This began the only period of popes ruling from outside Rome, and led to decades of competing popes.…

I Hate Monaco

From the moment my train from Marseille arrived in Monaco, I was transported. New buildings (or old but incredibly well upkept) were each more stunning than the last. Manicured gardens filled with public art projects lined the wide boulevards along a waterfront vista rivaling any in the world. Palatial homes, expensive cars, yachts filling the…

A Roman Villa in Los Angeles

Outside of the Mediterranean, there are a few areas in the world with a Mediterranean climate: the cape of South Africa, Chile, and the California coast. Perhaps that's why, when oil tycoon J Paul Getty wanted to build a replica Roman villa on the cliffs of Malibu to house his art collection, nobody called him…