QUIZ: How well do you know Provence and the French Riviera?

Tourist hotspot and a playground for millionaires, Provence and the French Riviera are some of the country's most visited areas - but how well do you know them?

QUIZ: How well do you know Provence and the French Riviera?
Photo: AFP

Whether you've settled in the south-east of France, visited once on twice on holiday or are just a fan from a distance, test your knowledge of the area on our 15-question quiz. 


How well do you know Provence and the French Riviera?


The French name Côte d’Azur was given to the Riviera by which French writer in 1887?


In which Riviera city or town is a canon fired every day at noon?


Earlier this year the restaurant Mirazur in the south-east of France was named the best in the world by British trade magazine Restaurant. But where does its chef patron, Mauro Colagreco, originally come from?


Which flower is particularly associated with Provence, attracting thousands of tourists a year to photograph the spectacular fields in bloom?


One of the area’s tourist hotspots – which Riviera town is this? 


Novak Djokovic is one of many celebrities living in Monte-Carlo. In 2016 he made a small business investment by opening what in the area? 


Nice's eponymous Salade Niçoise is a summer time classic, but what does a traditional salad contain?


One of these famous books from American Literature was largely written on the French Riviera. Which one is it? 


The Palme d’Or is the Cannes Film Festival’s most prestigious award. Which film first won the title all the way back in 1955? 


Monaco is one of the richest countries in the world. As of June 2019, what is the average yearly salary in the principality? 


The aniseed flavoured drink Pastis is ubiquitous throughout southern France, but what does its name mean in Occitan, the regional language of southern France?


Monte Carlo Casino is one of the world’s most famous gambling hotspots. Which of these funny laws does it employ? 


The inspiration of many artists over the years, in this Nice museum you can browse the works of which famous artist? 


Which famous Provence landmark is this?


Southern France has long acted as a magnet for artists, but which painter attempted to found an artists' commune in Arles in Provence in 1888?



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Snobs, beaches and drunks – 5 things this joke map teaches us about France

A popular joke 'map' of France has once again been widely shared on social media, sparking endless jokes at the expense of certain regions of France.

Snobs, beaches and drunks - 5 things this joke map teaches us about France
Image AFP/
But while the map – created by – is clearly intended to be comic, it teaches us some important points about France’s regional divides, local stereotypes and in-jokes.

Here are some of the key points.
1. Everyone hates Parisians
The map is purportedly France as seen through the eyes of Parisians, and contains a series of snobbish and rude generalisations about every part of France that is not maison (home) in the capital and its surroundings. The great majority of the country is labelled simply as paysans (peasants).
The general stereotype about Parisians is that they are snobs, rudely judging the rest of the country which they regard as backwards and full of ploucs (yokels) apart from small areas which make nice holiday destinations.
Like all sweeping generalisations, this is true of some people and very much not of others, but one of the few things that can unite people from all areas of France is how much they hate les parigots têtes de veaux (a colloquialism that very roughly translates as ‘asshole Parisians’)
2. Staycations rule
Even before Covid-related travel restrictions, holidaying within France was the norm for many French people.
As the map shows, Parisians regard the southern and western coastlines as simply plages (beaches) which they decamp to for at least a month in July or August. In the height of summer French cities tend to empty out (apart from tourists) as locals head to the seaside or the countryside.
In winter the Pyrenees and Alps are popular ski destinations.
3. Northerners like a drink
There is a very widespread stereotype, although not really backed up by evidence, that the people of Normandy, Brittany and the Nord area like a drink or two. Many suggest this is to cope with the weather, which does tend to be rainier than the rest of France (although has plenty of sunshine too).
Official health data doesn’t really back this up, as none of these areas show a significantly greater than average rate of daily drinkers, although Nord does hold the sad record for the highest rate of people dying from alcohol-related liver disease.
What’s certainly true is that Brittany and Normandy are cider country, with delicious locally-produced ciders on sale everywhere, well worth a try if you are visiting.
4. Poverty
The map labels the north eastern corner of France as simply pauvres – the poor.
The north east of the country was once France’s industrial and coal-mining heartland, and as traditional industries have declined there are indeed pockets of extreme poverty and high unemployment. The novel The End of Eddy, telling the story of novelist Edouard Louis’ childhood in a struggling small town near Amiens, lays out the social problems of such areas in stark detail.
However poverty is not just confined to one corner of France and the département that records the highest levels of deprivation is actually Seine-Saint-Denis in the Paris suburbs.
5. Southern prejudice
According to the map, those from the south are either branleurs (slackers) or menteurs (liars). 
This isn’t true, obviously, there are many lovely, hard-working and truthful people in southern France, but the persistent stereotype is that they are lazy – maybe because it’s too hot to do much work – and slightly shifty.
Even people who aren’t actually rude about southerners can be pretty patronising, as shown when south west native Jean Castex became the prime minister in summer 2020. 
Castex has a noticeable south west accent which sparked much comment from the Paris-based media and political classes, with comments ranging from the patronising – “I love his accent, I feel like I’m on holiday” – to the very patronising – “that accent is a bit rugby” (a reference to the fact that TV rugby commentators often come from France’s rugby heartlands in the south west).
In his first year as PM, Castex has undertaken a dizzying schedule of appointments around the four corners of France, so hopefully the lazy myth can now be put to bed.
And anyone tempted to take the piss out of his accent – glottophobie (accent prejudice) is now a crime in France.
For more maps that reflect France, head to