Spirited and edgy Marseille, France

 

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Rudy Riccioto’s MuCEM

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La Plaine and it’s street art

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 Le Panier, the oldest area of Marseille

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Marseille has been described as ‘the grit in the Cote d’Azur oyster’ and even though I have never thought of Marseille as being part of the Cote d’Azur or French Riviera I love the analogy, and its also exactly how I love a city; raw, spirited, edgy and old, 2600 years old! Making it the oldest city in France.

An ancient port city founded by the Phoenicians and earlier known as Massilia or Massalia.

The old port was where I gravitated to each morning, the light being of such beauty that I’d jump out of bed and race the 15 minute walk, each morning quicker than the one before, desperate not to miss a second of it.

Surrounded by honey colored forts, the port is bursting with gleaming sailing boats, and watched over by the magnificent Cathedral Notre Dame de la Garde set up high on Garde hill.  Here I photographed the small mediterranean fishing boats arriving into shore with their catch, trailed by flocks of hungry sea gulls, and the bustling fish market that sat only meters from the boats.

I shamelessly stalked the sublime MuCEM, located at the entrance of the port (a National museum dedicated to the cultures of the Mediterranean) returning over and over again at different times of the short winter day to photograph the changing light filtering through its stunning and perfectly square facade of lace like concrete.

Marseille is a colorful city with an intoxicating mix of cultures, architecture, scents, tastes, experiences, art, culture and people, its a city and coastline that deserves your attention at any time of the year.

Millie x

More images of Marseille can be seen on my Portfolio Travel 1 & 2 Galleries

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A south of France Christmas

 

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There is something magical about Christmas in Europe; something to do with the weather, the lights that spring to life late in the afternoon, woolly jumpers and snuggly coats, hot chocolates and open fires… and I am so happy and grateful to be able to enjoy it here in the south of France this year.

Sending you all loads of Christmas cheer, bubbles and great times for the holidays, and may your new year be filled with all the wonderful surprises that life can throw your way.

Christmas hugs

Millie xx

More images of France can be seen on my portfolio

Paris fashion week

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Paris fashion week; for me it was only a few days and a couple of hours snapping arrivals for the Issey Miyake fashion parade at Jardin des Tuileries.

Millie xx

Italy, summer days on the Amalfi Coast

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The Amalfi coast in Italy needs no introduction from me, suffice to say that it is one of the world’s most popular and beautiful tourist destinations.  The coastline is dramatic and mediterranean gorgeous, beauty is everywhere you look and it is to be found both on and off the beaten path, on land and on water.

If however you are like me and don’t like crowds then my advice would be to absolutely avoid the months of July and August. If you can’t avoid them as we couldn’t, then perhaps think about basing yourselves in one of the smaller and lesser known (but equally as stunning) towns or villages on the coast, or set back in the hinterland overlooking the coastline (see Solaria below for a tranquil beautiful get away from it all B & B), which leads me to a word of thanks to Emilio and his wife Angela.

One day when I felt an itch to explore the area further I ran into the Positano tourist office asking if anyone could help me locate a lemon grower, a cheese maker or any other farmer in the area.  As fate would have it on that particular day I was led to Emilio Lucibello.

Emilio generously suggested I meet him up in a tiny hamlet called Tovere (only 7 kms from Amalfi) set back from the busy coast in a hinterland of green terraced gardens, lemon groves and small parcels of farm land overlooking the sea, and where his neighbours just happen to make some of the best cheese on the coast, supplying many of the restaurants in the area.

On our arrival a few days later we were warmly greeting by Emilio, Angela and their son Domenico whose kind hospitality included some of Angelia’s delicious homemade cake and sweet Italian coffee.

It is in this tiny hamlet surrounded by the scent of lemon trees and overlooking the mediterranean that they have restored an old farmhouse into a modern functioning and tranquil B&B, Solaria, only minutes from the coast but a world away from the crowds.

Thank you Emiio and Angela for your warm hospitality, and for your introduction to Gregorio, Carmela and Luigi who so kindly let us into their world of cheese making and allowed me to photograph them at work. I hope to see you all again one day soon.

More Amalfi coast images can be seen in my portfolio

Recommended Hotels, Pensione and B & B’s

La Sirenuse | Positano

Solaria | Tovere

Pensione Maria Luisa | Positano

Casa Angelina Lifestyle | Praiano

Monastero Santa Rosa | Conca dei Marini

 

Recommended Reading

My Amalfi Coast | Amanda Tabberer / Carla Coulson

Greene on Capri | Shirley Hazzard

The story of San Michele | Alex Munthe

 

A taste of life in the streets of Naples, Italy

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I couldn’t have been happier to have a whole 7 hours to spend in the historically beautiful and vibrant city of Naples while I waited for my sister to arrive from Australia!  I was coming in from France (early) and we were  meeting up to spend 10 days on the magnificent Amalfi coast.

A 7.30 am arrival at the airport, a dash to the train station to lock the luggage away and I hit the streets running.  With only 30 minutes sleep under my belt from the night before, my walking shoes on, first stop…. a cornetto and a strong coffee!

Life is what happens in the streets of Naples; its noisy, colorful, and frenetic, people jump out for photo opportunities, invite you into their homes for coffee, show you their art and lead you to their special corners of the city.  Nothing and nowhere is like Naples, and there is nowhere else I wanted to be for those 7 precious hours.

Thank you Naples for your special brand of beauty and all the Neapolitans who appear in these images, along with all the others who smiled, laughed, joked and shared a moment of their joy with me, I adored every single minute I spent with you.

Millie xx

More images of Naples can be seen in my Portfolio

 Recommended reading

Naples: A way of Love (Lisa Clifford and Carla Coulson)

Street fright in Naples (Peter Robb)

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