Only in France: The most French stories of 2016

Author thumbnail
Oliver Gee - [email protected]
Only in France: The most French stories of 2016
All photos: AFP

Here's a look back at some of the top stories from 2016 that could only have happened in France.


Some of the biggest stories in France over the past year had a distinct French ring to them. 

Here are our favourite of 2016 that - we think at least - deserve to go down in the Only in France category. 

Wine floods streets of French town after 'act of sabotage'

The town of Sete, near Montpellier, was drenched in red one night in August after the radical group of wine producers CRAV emptied five vats of wine onto the streets. 

The group has carried out several similar stunts in France, irate at foreign cheap wine making its way onto the shelves of French stores and supermarkets. 

Wine floods streets of French town after 'act of sabotage'

A similar thing happened in April when farmers simply opened up the taps on trucks carrying wine from Spain (see photo below). 

French farmers' wine dumping sparks anger in Spain

'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'

During the wine harvest in September, sign posts cropped up around south-western France reading "Caution: Grape juice". 

Drivers were warned to take precaution around the town of Duras due to the unusual hazard of the spillage. 

Have you ever seen a similar signpost anywhere else?

Bordeaux opens doors to the world's biggest wine museum. 

Speaking of wine, France finally opened to the doors to the long awaited Cite du Vin in Bordeaux in the summer. It has been described as a Disney World for adults.

Find out all you need to know about it here

Is this France's best tourist attraction yet (for adults)?

Bakery invents 'U-shaped' baguette

The Le Darz bakery in western France's Finistère quite literally took baguettes in a new direction by turning the dough into a neat U shape before putting it in the oven. 

The reason: So people can carry them more easily home if they're taking a bike or scooter. 
"It's the Biker's Baguette," the bakers wrote in a viral Facebook post in November. 

French bakery breaks the mold to invent 'bent baguette'

French cheese used to power 1,500 homes

The French have known for a long time that cheese is the answer to many of life's problems. And now it's an energy source.

The Local reported in February that farmers were recycling the residues left over from cheese production to produce energy across France.

The alternative energy source was responsible for supplying a year's electricity for 1,500 people in eastern France.

French cheese used to power 1,500 homes

French pupils (and their teacher) pose nude for school photo

The words “Only in France” come to mind when hearing about the actions of this class of high school children in southern France.

To mark the end of the year, pupils in the science and technology class STD2A (No joke!) the high school Lycée Frederic Mistral in the town of Avignon, wanted to something original.

So they decided to get naked, which as you are probably thinking, doesn't seem to be that original in France at all. Just take a look at the way they protest in France.

Only in France: Pupils (and their teacher) pose naked for school photo

Speaking of nudity... In April, The Local reported that French tourist officials were urging typically prudish Brits to come to France for its "naturist environments".
French tourist chiefs at Atout France dedicated a whole section of their website to "Feeling Free", complete with a guide to the best spots for getting your kit off and enjoying the sun.
"People are seeing a new side of France - everyone knows about the wine, the gastronomy, the winter skiing, the city breaks, but this is a bit more unusual," the campaign's spokeswoman told The Local at the time.
Brits urged to come to France and get naked
If you'd like to see more from our "Only in France" series, click here to check out the many things that can only happen in this wonderful country, according to Twitter users. 
And click here to see 30 more photographs that we think could ONLY have happened in France




Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also