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History:

"Historically and culturally among the most important nations in the Western world, France has also played a highly significant role in international affairs, with former colonies in every corner of the globe. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and the Pyrenees, France has long provided a geographic, economic, and linguistic bridge joining northern and southern Europe. It is Europe’s most important agricultural producer and one of the world’s leading industrial powers."

Fun Facts and Trivia:

"France is the world's most popular tourist destination – some 83.7 million visitors arrived in France, according to the World Tourism Organization report published in 2014, making it the world's most-visited country."

Customs and Culture:

"You are expected to say 'bonjour' or 'bonsoir' (good morning and good evening) with the honorific title Monsieur or Madame when entering a shop and 'au revoir' (good-bye) when leaving."

​Start Preparing for Your Trip

   Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations

Visas: Not required for US citizens for a stay up to 90 days

What to Pack: "Binoculars, useful in French cathedrals to look at the carving details and particularly the stained glass windows in places like Chartres."

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When You Arrive

Water Safety: Water is safe to drink

Currency: Euro Exchange Rate

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Resources

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​​Cannes

History:

"The international resort reputation of Cannes originated with Lord Brougham, who, prevented by quarantine measures from entering Nice in 1834, stopped at the fishing village of Cannes; he later built a villa and returned every winter for 34 years."

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Nice

History:

"An archaeological dig (now a museum) on the hill above the Nice Port found that Nice’s earliest tourists arrived almost 400,000 years ago, and were transient cave-dwellers that came to Nice once a year to hunt woolly mammoths!"

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​​Marseille

History:

"Marseille became part of France in the 1480s, but retained its rebellious streak. Its citizens embraced the Revolution, sending 500 volunteers to defend Paris in 1792. Heading north, they sang a rousing march recently composed in Strasbourg and ever after dubbed La Marseillaise – now France’s national anthem."

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​​Montpellier

History:

"In the 13th century, Montpellier began to develop as an important centre for trade. It became a popular stop-off for pilgrims travelling along the via Domitia to the north. Its reputation for education and learning was already established, thanks to the schools of law and medicine set up in 1180 by William VII of Montpellier. Later, these schools came to be recognised as the city's university."

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Bordeaux

History:

"The attractive city of Bordeaux has a rich history spanning at least two thousand years. If most of the area of Bordeaux listed on the UNESCO World Heritage dates back to the 18th century, the first first traces of permanent human settlement on the site originate from the 6th BC."

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