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France Travel News 07/28/2011

  • European Foie Gras Crisis Reaches Ministerial Level

    Sometimes you just have to trust that your government is willing to fight the good fight when comes to handling international crises. Take France and its production of foie gras — the not very humanely produced bird liver pate. The French take that shit pretty seriously. So when organizers of Germany's Anuga food fair banned French foie gras this year under pressure from animal rights groups, France's melodramatic external trade minister Pierre Lellouche shot back, saying the ban would have "global repercussions."

  • Passport Day Will Happen After All! Mark Your Calendars for September 17

    Okay let's try this again. After spring's Passport Day was cancelled due to threat of government shutdown, the annual event was postponed. And now we have a new date! National Passport Day will be back for a third year, lines and all, on Saturday, September 17. Passport Day was created by the State Department to give working men, women and families—who otherwise can't make Passport offices' limited weekday business hours—a chance to turn in their paperwork and deal with passport-related issues. Apply for a new passport, renew one, get extra pages added…whatever. Do be aware that the prices have gone up since last year, for example a regular passport now costs $135 instead of a flat $100.

  • A Preview of France’s New Gastronomic Festival

    La Fête de la Gastronomie is a new national event launched by Secretary of State for Tourism Frédéric Lefebvre. Aimed to celebrate French cuisine, the festival follows UNESCO's addition of the French gastronomic meal to their prestigious list of World Intangible Heritages, which honors the conviviality surrounding traditional French meals. For the festival’s first year, local cuisine, or “terroir,” will be celebrated within the different regions of France, boasting food that is unique to each own area.

  • The new face of French Tourism

    The French Government, as part of it strategy to rejuvenate its tourism industry, has created a new France brand that includes a new logo and tagline. The objective was to establish a strong, united visual identity that can be used throughout the industry and to standardize the image of France worldwide. What do you think?

  • Before and After Shots of Joggers – My Modern Metropolis

    Last summer, Sacha Goldberger decided he would take on a very interesting project. He assembled a team who helped him create an outside studio at Bois de Boulogne, a park located near Paris that's 2.5 times the size of New York's Central Park. He stopped joggers, asking them for a favor – would they sprint for him and then pose right after for his camera? Many obliged. Out of breath, these joggers showed an overwhelming amount of fatigue on their faces. Goldberger then asked these same people to come into his professional studio exactly one week later. Using the same light, he asked them to pose the same way they had before.

  • 2011 Tour de France, Part 1 – The Big Picture

    STOP reading this newsletter; stop everything you are doing and look at these AMAZING photos of the Tour de France. They show just how quirky the race is, and just how amazing France can be.

  • Airfare Deals: Air France $327 & up — France Late-Summer Fare Sale (each way)

    Frolic in France with peak summer sale fares starting at $327 each way. These Air France deals chop up to 20% off competing fares for departures from Aug. 15 – Sept. 21. The best nonstop Paris fares are often less expensive than competing fares with stops. 

  • Paris to Normandy, roundtrip Vacations: $2699 — France 7-Night River Cruise plus Air from New York

    Experience France with a Seine River cruise from Paris to Normandy for $2699, with air included from New York City. While paying at least $550 less than the market rate for this trip, travelers will explore the villages, castles and countryside that inspired the likes of Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

  • Air France Crew to Strike

    Air France is on the verge of suffering from a four-day strike at the end of July. The seven unions that make up Air France’s cabin crew have called for a walkout from July 29th until August 1st. It’s a response against the reorganization of flight attendants’ work at regional hubs, which Air France is doing because of the opposing competition from low-cost airlines. The unions issues a statement that was quoted in the Breaking Travel News report that they are “tired and an increased workload is unacceptable.”

  • The 25 Michelin Three-Star Restaurants of France

    Here, mapped out, are the French restaurants with three Michelin stars. Putting aside the question of the Guide's relevance and accuracy, a look at the establishments with the organization's highest ranking can be fascinating. Of the twenty-five in the category, some are considered among the best in the world, while others have been criticized for letting the pomp overshadow the food; some are destination restaurants in classic Michelin fashion (L'Arnsbourg, Gilles Goujon), while others are located in more metropolitan areas.