When speaking of France’s grimy, gritty and gastronomic city, you probably first think of Paris, and with good reason too. However, the second oldest and largest French metropolis, and this year’s European Capital of Culture, is as rough around the edges and soft on the inside as Paris itself. Welcome to Marseille, the loud, littered and lively contrast to France’s more Provençal towns.
Founded by Greek traders some 2,600 years ago, Marseille France has rarely seen a moment of quiet since. Landscapes comprise of terracotta roofs and buildings the colour of sun-drenched wheat, reflected in the creamy white-blue sea, while treasured-filled alleyways, souk-like markets and chock-a-block streets create a decidedly worldly cadence. Neighbouring North Africa, the blend of cultures becomes most apparent in the crowded street markets. Here you’ll find everything from fresh catches of fish to ethnic fabrics and textiles.