Marseille’s Bread-Basket

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

Marseilles oldest quartier, the atmospheric Panier (bread basket), is a section of the city we’ve long wanted to visit, and today we meet our friend Kim, who’s now living in this metropolis, and go exploring together. Rising up from the port, the narrow lanes begin their ascent near the Bar de Platane, 02101601 bar de platane

where shabby chic takes over from newly renovated and restored.
That worn charm shows through every turn we take, from laundry tucked into a windowpane,02101601 mini clothes linesto a purposefully faded façade. 02101602 r how to do like 3 day beardRather like a manicured 3-day beard, this apparent age seems calculated – let’s paint these shutters so they look like they were painted 20 years ago!02101602 though most seem to deliberately cultivate a tres shabby chic appearanceWandering up and down the steep lanes, we see a crisp and clean entry once in a while, 02101602 some facades and homes quite spiffybut most places have that “charme de l’ancien” down pat.
This quirky spot, with vines snaking on the door, is the HQ of the Bien Fêteurs – literally benefactors,02101602 bon feteurs
but definitely a play on words – they are, indeed, the Party Hardiers!
Many of the streets are pedestrian only, and are often stair steps from one warren of colorful buildings to another – a lot of climbing up and down. Or you can take the Petit Train from the port, stopping at the main squares, 02101601 place somethingsuch as Place de Lenche (named after a Corsican family who lived here ages ago), and up to  elegant Vielle Charité. Built between 1671 and 1749, it’s the jewel of the quartier, 02101602 vielle charite underwhelmswith an impressive three tiered cloister and a beautiful chapel with a pediment reflecting care for poor children, 02101603 but do like pedimentthe original purpose of the facility, which is now a cultural center.
A popular French soap opera, Plus Belle la Vie, has put Place du 13 Cantons on the tourist map. 02101602 bar du 13 coinsOne of the prettiest squares in the quartier, its Bar des 13 Coins is one of the settings  for the show.
We’ve heard a lot about the new museums and renovation at the port, all part of when Marseilles was a European Capital of Culture in 2013, and that decaying area has indeed been cleaned up and modernized – with a hefty catwalk crossing from Fort St. Jean to MUCEM, the new museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisation.02101603 down to port fort and new museums

We’ve caught glimpses of Notre Dame de la Garde across the port all day long, and there it is again, hovering over the city, 02101603 glimpses of notre dame du garde from everywherestanding watch since the 1800s, long before the Panier became chic, and was just shabby!

************************************************************************************The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come KirkandAnneQuitoalive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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