I’m pretty much in love with France and if I had to live somewhere other than my favourite Florida, then France it would be. Especially the south. Especially Marseilles. In fact, here’s a quote from Vincent Van Gogh:

I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.

Marseilles always seems to have an air of mystery about it. Perhaps that’s because of all the sea traffic that is coming and going from exotic ports throughout the world.

Or perhaps it’s also partly due to the mysterious island just off the coast, the Ile d’If.

A fort was built on the tiny island in the 1500s but after three hundred years, it was decided that it could be put to excellent use as a prison. Of course, the fact that it was on an island made it idea for the job.

And the Chateau d’If became known to a large audience when Alexandre Dumas made it one of the settings in his famous Count of Monte Cristo.

Now it is classified as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture and guided tours are available during the summer months. MORE INFO HERE.

Oh, and that bouillabaisse mentioned by Van Gogh? Here you go:


Chateau d'If

Embarcadère Frioul If,
1 Quai de la Fraternité,
13001 Marseille,


JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.
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