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France Travel News 04/13/2011

  • French desserts may be key to tasty end of Seder meals

    In her book and in a recent telephone interview, Nathan talks about the complex and diverse history of French Jews as well as French Jewish Passover traditions. Logically, there is no single French Jewish cuisine. "Regionalism is very strong in France," says Nathan. But beyond regional influences such as Alsace, Paris, and Burgundy, Jews have moved around by necessity over the centuries adapting to local culinary customs. Thus, for Passover, French Jews bring with them North African tagines, Polish gefilte fish, and Portuguese haroset. When asked what distinguishes French Seders from American Seders, Nathan says, "I think the whole tenor is more reserved than what we would do. We tend to have huge numbers of people. They wouldn't do that. It would be smaller. That I think is one very important thing. Seders will not be as freewheeling as ours. They would be more like a French meal with good manners."

  • Unique Bordeaux & Dordogne cruise package

    France Cruises, with Gateway Destinations, announced they are taking reservations for a unique and exclusive Bordeaux Wine Cruise and Exploration of Dordogne Package. This 11-day package, available in September 2011 only,will explore the sub region of Dordogne for 3 nights, as well as, offer a 6 night cruise aboard the Mirabelle Hotel Barge.

  • Professor writes novel about murder mystery in France

    On the warm spring evening of May 16, 1937, 29-year-old Italian immigrant Laetitia Toureaux boarded the Metro in Paris after a night of dancing at L’Ermitage. Less than an hour later she was found slumped over near a cabin window with an 8-inch stiletto in her neck. No one witnessed the crime. She was pronounced dead after being transported to Hôpital Saint-Antoine. The unsolved murder pervaded the news in France the following summer as journalists and investigators sought to unveil the assassin of Toureaux, but to no avail.

  • France’s wardrobe-policy malfunction

    Freedom is a funny thing. Everybody is for it, until some start doing things others don't like -such as covering their faces with pieces of cloth. The moment that happens, the number of freedomloving people is drastically reduced.

  • France prepares to shut down border with Italy

    The Italian government gave its green light yesterday (7 April) to a decree allowing economic migrants from Tunisia to move freely throughout the Schengen area for a three-month period. France said it could re-establish border controls.

  • French teacher reconnects with high school pen pal

    When Cindy McBrayer was a sophomore in a Monterey High School French class in the late 1960s, she became a pen pal of a French teenager named Guy Ratte for five years before the correspondence ended. More than 40 years later, McBrayer is still in a Monterey French class, but now she is the teacher. And she reconnected with Guy Ratte a year ago as a Facebook friend, turning him into a sort of a 21st-century pen pal.

  • Tax rebates lure auteurs to Gaul

    A growing number of Hollywood producers are taking a "trip" to France. Gaul has become friendlier to their projects thanks to its Tax Rebate for Intl. Production. Paradoxically, it comes at a time when more French producers are moving their pics abroad. In the two years since the introduction of Trip — which is worth 20% of eligible expenditure, capped at €4 million ($5.7 million) — 31 projects have qualified for the support, which has generated $169 million in production spending.

  • How were Ice Age cave painters able to create great art?

    THE ROCK paintings in the Chauvet cave in southern France that are the subject of Werner Herzog’s marvellous film Cave of Forgotten Dreams are both astonishingly old and disconcertingly new. The old part of the equation is as obvious as it is astounding. The entire history of human settlement on the island of Ireland spans about 10,000 years. The Chauvet paintings are three times older than that. Their discovery in 1994 revolutionised the history of art. The charcoal used for drawings of rhinoceroses and bison on the cave wall proved to be about 31,000 years old. That’s almost twice as old as the rock art of Lascaux, previously considered to be the first flowering of the human impulse to draw or paint images.

  • Saving President Sarkozy?

    The same frenetic pace that has perhaps limited Sarkozy’s exposure to criticism has also proved damaging in other respects. Traditionally, the French president has maintained a certain distance from the humdrum of daily, domestic political life. This has largely stemmed from the Gaullist idea of the president as an arbitrator, detached from the rivalries of party politics and embodying the interests of the nation. And usually, this has proved extremely useful. In times of crisis on the domestic scene, the president can remain untarnished. Conversely, when times are good, the president can benefit from any public goodwill – think of Chirac in the wake of the 1998 World Cup victory. Sarkozy, however, has cut this safety line. In involving himself in every aspect of domestic and international politics, Sarkozy has inextricably bound himself to the rollercoaster of the ratings machine on all fronts.

  • A squash tour in France that will have you well-fed

    A seven-day tour balancing sport with dining and drinking and departing from the Main Line June 13 under the general heading of Vine Art Squash Tours may just improve your game of squash at the famed Set Club, one of the premier racquet clubs in France under the direction of the trip’s teaching professionals. The Set Club in Aix-en-Provence has a dozen squash courts with rubber balls caroming off its walls as well as an outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, tennis courts, golf and fitness facilities.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger receives French honour in Cannes

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has received France's Legion of Honour, the country's most prestigious national decoration. The former California governor was given the prize at a special ceremony held on Monday in Cannes, where he also had his hands cast in cement to later be displayed on the city's Walk of Fame.

  • A Look at Paris’s Violent Past, Real and Imagined

    Photographs from Paris Match magazine display memorable moments of 20th-century Parisian history, from the liberation after World War II to street riots in 1968. Patrick Chauvel, a war reporter, offers a “what if” take to disturbing effect, creating montages of the Arc de Triomphe and other monuments with war zone scenes. Michael Wolf, author of “Paris Street View,” plunges the viewer into a pixelated and sinister Google Earth world, resonating with a big brother surveillance vibe.