Our Monthly Electronic Newsletter
July 2005

Ancient Elegance

Ancient Elegance is the perfect description of this delightful townhouse right in the center of the charming medieval town of Arles. Originally built in the 12th century, this beautifully restored residence looks directly upon the magnificent ruins of the Roman amphitheatre called Les Arenes.

Oriental Chicken Salad


1-2 chicken breasts, sautéed in Teriyaki sauce
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1⁄2 cup sliced almonds
1⁄2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 package Top Ramen, chicken flavor

1⁄2 cup oil
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
1 pkg Top Ramen seasoning.

Slice chicken in narrow strips, marinade in Teriyaki sauce, and stir fry on medium hot stove. Toast seeds and almonds in a 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Toss ingredients together, pour dressing over, and thoroughly mix. Set 30 minutes before serving.

Telephone Tips

Here’s a little guidance for you about telephoning to and from Europe. Some European countries use direct dial and others use area codes. When making a call within Italy or France for instance, you direct dial the same number whether you’re calling across the street or across the country. For those using area codes you dial the local number when calling within a city or small area, but add an area code if calling long distance within the country.

For international calls, always start with the International Access Code (011 if calling from the U.S. or Canada, or 00 if calling from Europe). What you dial next depends on the phone system of the country you’re calling. If the country uses area codes, drop the initial zero of the area code, then dial the rest of the number. Countries that use direct dial systems (no area codes) vary in how they’re accessed internationally by phone. For instance, if you’re making an international call to Italy, simply dial the international access code (011 from the U.S.) plus the country code (39 for Italy) plus the phone number. But if you’re calling France, dial the international access code (011 from the U.S.) plus the country code (33) and drop the initial zero of the phone number before punching in the rest of the number.

When you rent a Villa, Apartment, or Bed and Breakfast from us, you will receive a Voucher and Arrival Instructions. On the Arrival Instructions we always give you the phone number of the contact(s) at your destination. We ask you to kindly call this person a week or so before your departure just to make verbal contact and verify your arrival time, meeting place, and any special requests.

Kathy Hayes, Editor

Here’s a handy general guide for the countries we serve.

Long distance w/in the country = area code + local number. Calling from U.S. or Canada = 011 + 44 + area code w/o initial zero + local number. Calling from a European country to Britain = 00 + 44 + area code w/o initial zero + local number.

Long distance w/in the country = local number.
Calling from U.S. or Canada = 011 + 33 + local number w/o initial zero. Calling from a European country to France = 00 + 33 + local number w/o initial zero.

Long distance w/in the country = local number.
Calling from U.S. or Canada = 011 + 39 + local number. Calling from a European country to Italy = 00 + 39 + local number.

Long distance w/in the country = local number.
Calling from U.S. or Canada = 011 + 351 + local number. Calling from a European country to Portugal = 00 + 351 + local number.

—Excerpts from Rick Steve’s Venice


Exploring Flea Markets in Provence

Provence is a magical land where everything seems larger than life. It symbolizes not just sun, vineyards, olive groves, lavendar fields and quaint stone villages, but also a kind of harmony in life that seems to elude us elsewhere. You hear stories of simple people wrestling with human issues, such as those epitomized in A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle. The rustic nature and usual mild weather of this region lends itself well to flea markets. The peasants don’t seem to throw anything away but collect extra furniture, farm implements, tools, and other items in sheds next to their stone houses. When things get too cumbersome they haul them off to the local marketplace.

Ideal markets to visit are in Avignon, Toulon, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Marseille, and Nimes. Most of these markets take place on weekends, especially Sundays, and start at dawn and last until midday or whenever business dies down.

The best seasons for shoppers are Spring and Fall when the weather is most pleasant and the prices most reasonable, but most are held year round. Some are rustic peasant markets and others are high-end. If you want to know the exact details, times and locations, I would highly recommend Exploring the Flea Markets of France by Sandy Price.

The atmosphere at these markets is congenial and relaxed. It helps to know a bit of the language, but you can get along quite well without. Even the farmers are used to foreigners and will enjoy the bargaining. Most of the items focus on utilitarian and everyday objects of traditional Provencal life. Besides tools and furniture you’ll find handmade quilts, wooden shoes, santons (the ceramic figures dressed in Provencal costumes), olive oil jugs, truffle jars and wine-making implements. The best way to do it is to have a car so you can arrive early and visit more than one market in a day. Have fun shopping!

Kathy Hayes, Editor

Letters to God From Children

Dear God,
Did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? — Norma

Dear God,
Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. Joyce

Dear Travelers and Friends,
My wife Cori and I took the kids out of school a half day early and headed for France. The nonstop flight from New York to Nice was great, and we’ve already settled into our long awaited holiday. We found my parents well and of course delighted to see us. The weather’s warm and beautiful so we’ve been hanging out at the beach a lot. We’ve also had a chance to spend time with my brother and his family, numerous friends and relatives, and I even got to play tennis in a hometown tournament!

This week we're headed for Provence. There are several new properties we want to see as well as get a chance to meet with the owners. We’re excited to bring home some fresh selections for you!

Enjoy your travels,

Emmanuel de Ricard, President

Villa Raffaello"Villa Raffaello was great and the owners were most gracious and helpful!."
A W, Birmingham, AL

Villa Raffaello is a classic villa we just discovered near Florence, only 1.5 kilometers outside the charming town of Pistoia. Newly remodeled, terraces overlook the swimming pool, town, and even the Duomo of Florence in the background! | Vacation Villas and Apartments |
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