Posts Tagged ‘Cassis’

…..is my new book which is being launched this week. (more…)

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visuel_ITALIA_CASSIS_2013_illustrator_quadriIt all seems to be happening this coming weekend in the pretty little port of Cassis.  There’s a ‘Village Italien’ which showcases the foods, wines and art of their twin town of Portofino.

At mid-day there will be cookery demos followed by tasting of wines from Piedmont and Portofino at 18:00hrs.

Saturday is the big day though with a parade of classic Vespas and Fiats around the town.  The vehicles will be on show afterwards along with Fiat’s latest range, right up to their new 500XL Trekking, ideal they say for ‘jeunes papas branchés’.   Thus ruled out, I will have to content myself with getting hold of one of these lovely posters.  Purchase of a poster or mug also buys you a tombola ticket – and proceeds go to charity.

Wed 6th – Mon 11th Nov in the Place Baragnon.

During the weekend there will also be an antiques and art market.CASSIS ANT13 Aff A3 Les Antiques & Modernes de Cassis will be held at the Oustau Calendal. 8th-11th, 10:30-18:30.  Entry 2€ for Telethon.

The town has a very good website: http://www.ot-cassis.com/en/ which has details of their Park and Ride scheme which will be working at the weekend only. 

Remember there is also their ‘petit train’  if you want to explore further. 

Cassis France3

It takes you on a town tour or out to the start of the calanques.  I believe this is its last weekend in operation before winter sets in.  Do check all these details with the tourist office….and enjoy Cassis!


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Catch these while you can…

In a reverse of my usual practice of announcing new events, I thought it might be handy to list some of the ones closing soon.  It’s easy to plan on going to see something in the future…only to find that it has ended. I certainly need to get my skates on to see a couple on this list. (more…)

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Colourful Cassis has been a magnet for artists since the road from Marseille was built in 1840…followed by the railway in 1859 which made it even easier to reach.  At that time, it must have been a quiet little village with small houses, fishermen tending to their nets, and boats setting out to sea.  The early Provencal painters captured this, as we see at the beginning of the exhibition ‘Cassis Port de la Peinture Au Tournant de la Modernité 1845-1945′ which opened today at the Musée Regards de Provence in Marseille.  Joseph Garibaldi who was based in Marseille loved painting ships and there are some excellent pictures of his, showing boats in Cassis.Cassis  Beautiful reflections and I am in awe of his rigging!

Other artists followed suit.  Fellow Marseille painter Charles Camoin was another visitor captivated by the port.  His view is more influenced by the Fauves and focuses on the colours of the village.


What is so interesting about this exhibition is that it has a single theme – Cassis – but so many different interpretations of it.  Manguin for instance turned his back on the sea and chose to paint the vegetation which he found enchanting. Liked his portrait of Jeanne bathing,  ‘Baigneuse a Cassis’, which is similar to one currently on show at the Musée Granet.manguin cassis

It’s a stimulating exhibition and I’m sure if you love Provence and painting, you will find much to admire.  At the Musée Regards de Provence, daily 10-18:  there is a show, too in Cassis which complements the Marseille exhibition.  Details here: http://www.ot-cassis.com/fr/cassis-port-de-la-peinture.html

Both are on until 6th October.

Climbing the stairs in the Marseille museum brings us to a completely different artistic experience.  ‘Bernar Venet. Carpiagne: The Origin’ concentrates on 1961-6 when the artist lived in the region.  Most of the pieces shown are black and made from cardboard scraps and painted with tar. 

coalThe centrepiece is a heap of coal which the panel assured us has been ‘installed loosely’. 

‘There is something special about Venet’s pile of coal’, it goes on.  ‘It involves randomness and unpredictablity’.

Moving on from the coal – which ‘never exists twice the same’ – (I decided I loved its bonkers-dom and its panel!) – he has another gallery with bent and straight sculptures – ‘Indeterminate Lines, Arcs, Angles and Straight Lines’. Take a look at  this http://www.bernarvenet.com/ which will give you an idea of how he works.  His next gig is the Venice Bienalle on the Grand Canal where he will ‘exhibit mathematical paintings honoring the legacy of Arabic culture and pay homage to the inventor of algorithms’.

Two very different artistic experiences to choose from – or maybe you will enjoy both.  Don’t forget the lovely restaurant on the top floor plus there is a good bookshop with lots of temptation.

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 It’s good to see le Petit Train chugging round the streets of Aix again and when I last walked past there, it seemed to be very popular with lots of tourists climbing on board for the city tour of 45 mins or the slightly longer one which takes in the Cézanne sites.  At 7€, it’s a great way to explore the town.  (It runs 7 times daily from the Rotonde).

I was interested to see that there will also be a train touristique running in Aubagne this summer.  From 3rd July to 2nd September, it will provide a 45-minute ride around the town giving comments on its history, patrimoine and famous inhabitants. 

New too this summer is ‘Marseille by Night’.  The petit-train will be leaving from 18.40 until 22.30 for a tour of the city, with a 10 min. stop for photos.  By day there are three circuits in Marseille -Notre Dame de la Garde with a 20 min stop to see the church; the Panier with a 30 min stop to explore the shops and cafés; and Frioul, a 30 minute tour of the island from the dockside where the boat comes in.  These are all daily but don’t run during lunchtimes – see www.petit-train-marseille.com for details.

Finally there is a train touristique in Cassis which is running from now until 11th November.  It chugs around the town and port and then goes along to the Presqu’ile where punters are given 10 minutes to take photos.  Shame there isn’t flexibility to allow people to visit the nearby Calanque dePort-Miou and pick up a later train, but maybe that would be too complicated.

Anyway, details of the Aix, Aubagne and Cassis trains are on www.cpts.fr.  It’s a great way to get your bearings in a new town and brilliant for visitors who are elderly or have little ones in tow.

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C’est fait!’ announced La Provence yesterday. The ‘ce’ in the headline is the new Parc National des Calanques, France’s newest national park and the first in 6 years. And it is also the world’s 3rdparc periurbain’, after Cape Town and Sydney, due to the proximity of Marseille and Cassis.

Prime Minister François Fillon was in Cassis yesterday to sign the decree which ends years of debate. The Calanques, with around 30 long creeks lined by high cliffs, attract more than two million visitors a year; this growing interest has to be carefully managed to protect the natural balance of the area which includes 140 protected species of flora and fauna. Key points:

  • Non-fishing areas will cover 10.5% of the sea area
  • Jet-skis banned
  • Boatmen can’t use loudspeakers in the calanques in order to preserve the tranquillity
  • Hunting restrictions
  • Hikers asked to keep to marked paths
  • Extreme sports banned
  • No camping
  • Visitor centres will be built at the main entry points to give information and guidance.

Life will doubtless go on in the little communities of cabanons in the calanques where families gather each summer for apéros in the sunshine….especially the famous local pastis from Ricard.

A celebration of its colourful publicity has started in Paris at the Musée Les Arts Décoratifs.  Entitled ‘Ricard depuis 1932’ it celebrates 80 years of creative communications around the brand which so brilliantly evokes the blue sea, hot yellow sun and happy ambiance of Mediterranean evenings.

It’s on until 26th August and there are related activities like an evening conference by the branding agencies and Ricard marketing people on the 24th May.



Wouldn’t it be a good idea to showcase all these exhibits and  information locally for the Year of Culture?  I hope they will!

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