Provence and the Camargue Colors and scents of a wild nature

The soft stretches of sunflowers and lavender, with their reassuring color declined in various shades of lilac, identify Provence, a south-eastern region of France. This spectacle of nature can be admired between mid-June and mid-August. It seems that Van Gogh found the inspiration for his masterpieces right here, because of the quality of the light and the colors that the territory can give. A magical environment that alternates countryside and suggestive and charming villages, in some cases perched on rugged ridges that take on vivid colors towards sunset; but also ancient monasteries, vineyards, olive groves and hills dominated by stone farmhouses. Lavender that blooms and perfumes the air all around is worth the trip in this slice of the Mediterranean. There is one place in particular – and it is the one I chose as a photographic set – that best combines all these features: the Plateau de Valensole, a plateau that is fertile enough to be able to favor various crops, particularly sunflowers and especially lavender. It is precisely here that the concentration of the fields cultivated with lavender is greater, up to the point of loss of sight. Totally different is Lower Provence: the Camargue, or Camarga in the Occitan language. It is a wet area, dotted with ponds, sand and rice fields, interspersed with typical farmhouses and frequently lashed by the characteristic wind, the Mistral. Here nature is wild, and limited by human presence. So also the characteristic and identifying elements change: the magnificent white horses (the Camargue) that live in the wild, the bulls that graze on the moor, the elegant pink flamingos that lounge in the marshes, represent the icons of the Camargue, wonderfully set in its scenery panoramic.

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