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Whether a die-hard Francophile or suffering a serious case of wanderlust, 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go encourages women to discover a special side of France dedicated to the feminine.
Author and Wanderlust Tours owner Shawnie Kelley Foy draws on two decades of traveling, living, and conducting tours in France. In this book, she leads ladies through the sparkling City of Light, along the sultry Cote d’Azur, and through the rugged mountains in search of la France feminine.
Each of the thirteen categories with its 100 entries captures France’s various personalities. Included here are eight of Europe’s top 25 most-visited attractions, such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, but many of Foy’s suggestions steer women well off the beaten path. Make a rigorous trek to one of the Cathar Castles precariously perched in the Pyrenees, or tap into “Sacred Feminine France” with a pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
Discover “History Buff’s France” by following in the footsteps of Joan of Arc, or quench your thirst for travel and wine with a tour to any one of the nine regions suggested in “Eau de Vie.” If you choose to munch macarons in the Marais or chow cassoulet in Carcassone, an authentic taste of France can be found in every corner of the country as seen in “Foodie France.”
For those who prefer to travel from the comfort of an armchair, Foy weaves a femme-focused narrative of amusing anecdotes, ancient legends, and scandalous stories into each chapter; transporting readers to sunny Mediterranean climes, crowded flower markets, and medieval villages.
As a lifelong Francophile, Foy uses her personal and professional travel expertise, combined with insights from a diverse range of women, to offer up practicalities to women traveling solo, with a companion, or in a group. Helpful suggestions are made for eating, drinking, and sleeping, as well as relevant books, blogs, and online resources.
From sexy to sublime, feminine to flamboyant, romantic to rowdy, Foy proves the allure of France for women goes well beyond the pursuits of food, fashion, and romance.
Shawnie Kelley Foy owns Wanderlust Tours, a travel company specializing in cultural, culinary, and women’s tourism. She has lived in France and continues to travel extensively through the country. Shawnie contributes to several history and travel magazines and teaches French travel and cooking seminars in Columbus, OH where she lives with her husband, Kevin, and menagerie of pets.
Table of Contents
PREFACE Written by culinary and travel writer, Hillary Davis (of Marche Dimanche). Having lived in the perched village of Bar sur Luop in the hills above Cannes and being a tried and true Francophile, I couldn’t think of a more fitting woman to introduce the country we both adore.
INTRODUCTION The goal of 100 Places is to inspire women travelers to seek out experiences in France that feed their spirits, senses, intellects, and sense of adventure. It offers a cross section of cultural, culinary, holy, and secular sites from across the country. Its’ goal is to transport readers to France, even if they physically can not travel there.
TIPS FOR FRENCH TRAVEL: A bit about travel logistics, and pointers on traveling as a solo woman, couple, or group.
PART ONE: CITY OF LIGHT Introduce the world’s most feminine city; in a country that speaks the language of love. General overview of Parisian history; how St Genevieve saved the city from destruction by the Huns through prayer, impact of Medici queens, Marie Antoinette’s designer, Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel, Dalida in Montmartre. 1- Monuments: Eiffel tour, Arcs, Lady Liberty 2- Theatres: related to French acots, dancers, or containing feminine artworks 3- Cemeteries: burial spots of famous French figures 4- Gardens: Luxembourg, Place des Vosges, Bois de Boulogne, Carnavalet 5- Churches: Notre Dames (our ladies); famous Marian sculptures and other artworks 6- Fashion: walking tours, fashion houses, shopping streets, Coco Chanel 7- The Louvre: Venus di Milo, Winged Victory, Mona Lisa, Hot man sculptures! etc 8- Other Museums: Must-see Parisian collections: Rodin’s Thinker; Musee d’Orsay; Carnavalet; etc. 9- Classic Cafes: Oldest bistro in Paris, famous triumvirate of cafes, 10- Leaving myself wiggle room to divide above information into another category 11- Spare No Expense: have cocktails at the Ritz, stay at the Hotel du Crillon, or eat at a Michelin restaurant
PART TWO: FOODIE FRANCE Introduce Culinary traditions; note Julia Childs 100th birthday 9- Markets: Produce, Fish, Flower 10- Pastry and Bread: sweets and carbs 11- Chocolate 12- Cheese 13- Crepes 14- Regional Specialties 15- Cooking Courses: Patricia Wells, Le Cordon Bleu, farmhouse cooking classes 16-Kitchen Stores 17- Food Museums 18- Food Festivals
Eat: Drink: Sleep: lodging suggestion Read:
PART THREE: EAU DE VIE- THE WATER OF LIFE Introduce French terrior and quick background of Roman introduction of grapes, drinking traditions 19- Loire Valley 20- Cote du Rhone 21- Champagne 22- Bordeaux 23- Absinthe 24- Southwestern France: Languedoc-Roussillon- 90% of French table wine 25- Alsatian Wine Route: Bike tours 26- Cognac 27- Normandy & Brittany- Cavaldos, Cider- Apple country
Eat: Drink: Sleep: lodging suggestion Read:
PART FOUR: SHOPAHOLIC FRANCE Introduction will include European size chart, general store hours, sale months. Food markets are included in Foodie France 28- Famous Parisian Stores: Galleries Lafayette, Bonne Marche, Au Printemps, Shakespeare & co. 29- Regional Products: Soap of Marseilles, Herbes de Provence; 30- Perfumeries 31- Fabric: Provencal linen, Arlesian & Briton lace, Catalan fabric, St. Pierre in Paris 32- Antique & Flea Markets 33- Ceramics & Glass 34- Designer Boutiques: those not included with Parisian fashion houses
PART FIVE: FEMME FATALE FRANCE Introduce the seductive side of France, with sexy, scandalous tale of Henry Miller and Anais Nin prowling the streets where prostitutes lived 35- Lingerie Shops 36- Mistresses: Versailles’Hamlet, Chateau Chaumont; & other chateaux linked with queens and lovers 37- Cabarets: Moulin Rouge, Crazy Horse, Lido, Follies Bergerrie 38- Sultry Beaches 39- Seductive Streets 40- Sexy Museums
Eat: Drink: Sleep: lodging suggestion Read: Suggested Reading: Anais Nin
PART SIX: SACRED FEMININE FRANCE Introduce chapter with story of Mary Magdalene having been set adrift and coming ashore in southern France; strong Marian lore; churches dedicated wot Notre Dame” (ur lady), 41- St. Genevieve, Paris: Patron Saint of Paris, prayers averted the huns 42- Chartres Cathedral: Virgin Mary’s Tunic 43- Vezelay Abbey: Mary Magdalene’s relics & tomb 44- Basilica Mary Magdalene, Saint Maxime la Sainte Baume: Mary Magdalene’s relics & tomb 45- St. Cecile, Albi: Patron saint of troubadours, music, and Cathar priestesses 46- Stes. Maries des la Mer: Black Madonna & St. Sara of the Gypsies 47- Lourdes: 18 Marian apparitions, pilgrimage site 48- Rennes Le Chateau: Church of Mary Magdalene and Magdala Library 49- Famous Monasteries: Get thee to a nunnery!
PART SEVEN: HISTORY BUFF’S FRANCE Abridged, in a nutshell, short integrate a short crash course in women’s role in French history; story or anecdote to each category relating it back to a female or her impact 50- Our Prehistoric Sisters: Prehistoric & Neolithic sites/ paintings 51- Roman Gaul: Pont du Gard, Nimes Roman ruins, Arles arena, Riems arch 52- Best Historic Quartiers & Old Towns 53- Best medieval castles: Foix, Uzes, Loches 54- Bayeux Tapestry: embroidered by women 55- In the Footsteps of Eleanor of Aquitaine: Court of love in Poitiers, Troyes, Puivert, troubadours 56- Cathar Country: Female priestesses, holy grail legends 57- Gothic Cathedrals: a relevant selection 58- Avignon 59- In the Footsteps of Joan of Arc: sites related to Joan d’Arc, Chinon Castle, Orleans, Rouen Cathedral 60- Normandy- WWII, cemetery and women or sites involved with resistance
PART EIGHT: LA BELLE FEMME Introduction to wellness in France, many of these places are hotel/spas; tell anecdote of ageless French women 61 Spas 62- Yoga 63- Thermal Spas: Aix le Bains Alpine ski and spa resort 64- Aquensis Thermal Spa, Pyrenees 65- Detox Camps 66- Hair salons get a makeover in Paris
PART NINE: MOUNTAINS AND SEA Introduction to the geography, the Pyrenees are 10 million years older than the Alps 67- Mountain Villages: Annecey, 68- Perched Bastides: Cordes-sur-Ciel, Les Beaux, St. Paul de Vence, Eze, Roquefort 69- Seaside Towns: Honfluer, Menton, Marseilles 70- Sublime Scenery: Olive groves, lavender fields, craggy coves 71- Le Petit Train Jaune: (The Little Yellow Train) into the Pyrenees 72- Corsica
PART TEN: CHATEAUX AND GARDENS 73- Versailles: Palace and Gardens; Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon and Hamlet 74- Chateau de Chenonceau: Chateau of Ladies” 75- Chateau de Chambord 76- Chateau de Chantilly 77- Chateau Fontainebleau maybe a different one, still deciding 78- Chateau Azay le Rideau: best example of Renaissance castle architecture 79- Villa Euphrussi de Rothschild, St. Jean Cap Ferat 80- Palace of the Kings of Mallorca, Perpignon 81- Giverny; Monet’s home and gardens 82- Nantes Rose Garden
Eat: Dining Suggestions Drink: Sleep: Chateau de la Bourdaisiere Read: Suggested Reading
PART ELEVEN: ART AND LITERATI Introduce some of the great French writers, beginning with the story of Abelard and Heloise; artists haunts and sites related to great masters; art classes. 83- Literary Haunts in Paris: Simone de Bouvoir, Edith Wharton, Zelda Fitzgerald, Colette; George Sand; Anais Nin; Gertrude Steineetc 84- I am going to divide the above list of writers/philosophers into another category here 85- Collioure: City of Painters 86- In the Footsteps of (sites related to Monet/Camille Claudel, Picasso/lovers, Cassatt, Matisse, Cezanne, Van Gogh,)Working this out 87- Maeght Collection, St Paul de Vence: World’s best private contemporary art collection 88- Art classes: Photography and plein air painting 89- Leaving myself wiggle room for one more artsy entry.
PART TWELVE: FRANCE IN FILM Introduce some of the great French actors, movies, and current stars. Explain the lists below included only films with real filming locations in France 90- The Cannes Film Festival 91- Audrey Hepburn Flicks 92- Intrigue: To Catch A Thief; Count of Monte Cristo; Da Vinci Code 93- Romance: Chocolat; A Good Year; French Kiss; Last Tango in Paris 94- Playful: Julie and Julia; Midnight in Paris, 95- Classic French flicks: Amelie, Bridget Bardot; Gerard Depardieu; Catherine Deneuve, etc.
PART THIRTEEN: FETES Introduce some of the major festivals and events unique to France 96- Bastille Day: July 14 Independent’s Day celebrations 97- Music Festivals: Django Fest, Jazz and Antibes Jazz Fests, Avignon Classical Music Fest 98- Theatre/ Opera Festivals: Orange