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Saturday, 01 September 2018

Comparing Tuscany and Provence - Page 3

Written by Emily and Russ Firlik
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A few incidental comparative observations we gathered during our months of exploration in Tuscany and Provence:





Gelato French Ice Cream

Pizza Crepes/Quiche

Cornetto Croissant


Brunello Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Chianti Cassis

Limoncello. Bandol



Baroque Romanesque

Rococo Gothic



G. Puccini Bizet



G. Fattori Cezanne

Michelangelo V. Van Gogh

Leonardo da Vinci. Pierre P. Puget




R. Benigni. F. Mistral

Dante Alighieri P. Mayle



What were our preferences after two months in Tuscany and Provence? Number one was the food in Tuscany. The churches and architecture in Tuscany exhibited numerous frescoes and paintIngs. The Renaissance architecture found in Florence, Volterra, Pisa, Lucca and Siena were very difficult to compare to anything elsewhere. However, the architecture in Provence which was as varied and marvelously maintained included:


Roman (Pont du Gard);

2nd to 17th centuries in the hilltop village in Gordes;

12th century Senanque Abbey

12th century Medieval at Pont Saint -Benezet, Avignon;

14th century Gothic- Palais des Papes;

17th century Louis the Fourteenth in Arles.


Architecture in both Tuscany and Provence are unmatched in their structural beauty and historical significance. The driving was a bit less hectic in Provence, although we had to drive further to reach the villages and towns. In Tuscany one must confidently navigate the many steep hills and sharp turns. It is very difficult to prefer Tuscany over Provence, as both regions have so much to offer in terms of for example, food, wine, and architecture. Most importantly were the people. They were unbelievably friendly and helpful. The French and Italians are very modern people who learn English at school, see American films, love American music, and have British and American TV programs on their businesses and homes. Neither of us spoke the language other than a handful of Italian and French polite phrases and courteous expressions. If one must make a preference, that challenge is to experience Tuscany and Provence and you decide; you will love the experience no matter the outcome.


One last important fact is the cost: leasing cars, flights, accommodations, food, petrol, travel insurance, museums and parking fees and incidentals all require a major amount of researching and planning considerations before any meaningful ‘slow” traveling can occur. Slow traveling is just that: traveling slowly - not just to see, but to carefully observe the surroundings.


I am reminded of what a seasoned traveler in his day said, “Never travel with anyone you do not love.” E.H.


(c)Emily and Russ Firlik

Emily and Russ are retired educators who have been “slow travelers” since retirement. We can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





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Last modified on Tuesday, 18 September 2018

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