Le Buzz: Beyond the French news

This article is in English. Click here to read it in French.

It is July and France’s summer holidays have begun. Here at Le Buzz I’m packing my suitcase.

With a pair of Tropéziennes on my feet, a straw hat on my head and sporting a wicker basket, I’m in full summer mode. And I’m off – follow me!

Festivals in the South of France

With the cicadas of Provence buzzing away in the background, I’m here in the south of France for the summer festival lineup. Featuring a range of entertainment that includes theatrical productions, photography exhibitions and musical performances and more…

If you are a theatre-lover, the Provençal city of Avignon annually hosts one of the largest theatre festivals in the world. This was founded in 1947 by the actor, filmmaker, and theatre director Jean Vilar. From 5 to 26 July, the Festival d’Avignon offers plays, workshops and talks.


In nearby Arles, the Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles exhibition is taking place throughout the summer. This year the Rencontres d’Arles spotlight is on black and white images, including a display of works by photographers like Jacques Henri Lartigues, Sergio Larrain and Vivien Sassen.

If music is your thing, the Les Arènes de Nîmes festival welcomes a host of international stars each year. This year, the line-up includes Mark Knopfler and Dépêche Mode. Finally, the highlight of the festival season is the Jazz in Junas (from 13 to 20 July), which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.

What are the French reading this summer?

According to a 2012 study by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), the French cite reading as one of their favourite holiday pastimes. The French read an average of 3 books each summer – in terms of genre, crime stories make the top spot with thrillers and romantic novels tied in second place.

If like me, you like nothing better than lounging beside a swimming pool with a good book, here is a selection of authors who are always popular with holidaymakers. For thrillers, Fred Vargas is always a safe bet for a good read. His latest book is called Salut et liberté and is available in English.

The romantic novel the French have packed in their suitcases this summer is a book by Marc Levy, author of the bestseller Si c’était vrai. As well as this, a work by one of France’s bestselling authors, Guillaume MussoDemain. These works have also been translated into English.

What does French daily newspaper ‘Le Monde‘ recommend for summer reading?

The newspaper lists France’s bestselling book as the erotic novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by British author E.L. James.

Have you any summer reading suggestions? Tell us via twitter @ MaVieFrancaise.

But where do French celebrities go on holiday?

If you are holidaying in Nîmes this summer, you may run into actress and former Chanel muse, Carole Bouquet. Nearby Saint Rémy de Provence is where Ines de la Fressange usually spends the holidays with her family. Those wanting to be seen, go to Saint Tropez – obviously. Vanessa Paradis will most likely be found hanging out at her Plan de la Tour residence.

The less showy set – including the likes of Alain Ducasse and Jean-Paul Gaultier – tend to head to places like Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz, in the southwest of France.

For those who seeking a more intimate setting like actress Sandrine Kiberlain and actor Fabrine Lucchini, the French island of Île de Ré offers a stylish and pleasant place to holiday. Jane Birkin – France’s favourite Briton- will almost certainly visit her Breton home.

As for me – I’ll be in Uzès where the buzzing cicadas will remind me not to forget to write my column.

And you, what are your holiday plans?

Image credits:
1. Cours d’honneur Festival d’Avignon via sceneweb
2. Photo Jacques-Henri Lartigues via focus-numerique
3. Les livres de vacances via versatile-mag
4. Inès de la Fressange via elle.ladmedia

About the Contributor

Emmanuelle Tremolet

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!


  1. Emmanuelle Tremolet Jul 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM - Reply

    Merci Tara pour cette excellente traduction. C’est un vrai plaisir pour moi de lire mes articles en anglais.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.