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The beautiful city of Marseille is located in the southern part of France, on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the second largest city in the country, and has a population of nearly 851,000 people. During the French Empire, Marseille served as the main trade port. Today, it is the largest commercial port in France.
The city is the capital of the region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, and is also the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhone department. The locals are commonly referred to as Marseillais. The port plays an important part in the tourist trade also, with nearly 900,000 tourists per year arriving at Marseille via cruise ships.
You will be able to plunge head first into the rich and vibrant culture of the city. The main attractions within the city include the Old Port or Vieux-Port, Fort St Nicolas and Fort Saint Jean, the Palais de Justice, the Quai des Belges, the Phare de Sainte Marie, La Vieille Charite, the Jardin des Vestiges, the Marseille International Poetry Centre, the Centre Bourse, the rue St Ferreol district, rue de Rome and rue Paradis shopping areas, Chateau-Gombert, the Palais de la Bourse, the Palais Longchamp, the Pierre Puget park, the Hotel-Dieu, the Abbey of Saint-Victor, the Hotel de Ville, Maison Diamantee, the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, the church of Saint-Laurent and the chapel of Sainte-Catherine.
You want anchovies on that? Believe it or not Marseille is also famous for pizza. Unbeknown to me, the city has very strong ties with Naples. Also there has been an influx of Italian immigrants to the area, all with their own secret, handed down through the generation's recipes. So if you see a sign saying 'au feu de bois', that means pizza! Yum!
If you wish to venture a little further out of Marseille, other great attractions include the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the Stade Velodrome, the Gare Saint-Charles, the royal Porte d'Aix, the Unite d'Habitation, Gallery MaMo, Palais Longchamp, the Canal de Provence, the Musee des Beaux-Arts, the Natural History Museum, the Docks de Marseille, the Parc Borely, the parc Chanot, the Pharo Gardens, the Corniche, Allauch and the chapel Notre Dame du chateau.
History buffs are also very well catered for in the city with museums such as the Musee des beaux-arts de Marseille, the Natural History Museum, the Grobet-Labadie museum, the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Marseille, the Musee de la Faience de Marseille, the Musee des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Mediterranee, the Villa Mediterranee, the Musee Regards de Provence, the Musee d'Histoire de Marseille, the Musee de la Mode, the Musee Cantini, the Musee du Vieux Marseille and the Musee du Terroir Marseillais.
The coastline around Marseille is also just breathtaking. Some of the best beaches to visit if you get the opportunity would have to be les Goudes, Pointe Rouge, Prado, Le prophete and Callelongue beaches.
If you wish to visit the beautiful islands in the Bay of Marseille, you can find boat passage to the islands from the Old Port marina area.
The city also has twin relationships established with Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Antwerp in Belgium, Copenhagen in Denmark, Dakar in Senegal, Genoa in Italy, Glasgow in the United Kingdom, Haifain Israel, Hamburg in Germany, Kobe in Japan, Marrakech in Morocco, Odessa in the Ukraine, Piraeus in Greece, Shanghai in China and Yerevan in Armenia.