Herb Tour of France & Italy

Herb Tour of France & Italy
From sage to fennel to parsley, there's a wide variety of flavorful herbs that play a significant role in everyday cooking and medicine care in Western Europe. For travelers with a special interest in exploring the unique gardens of France and Italy, there are five popular places to experience at leisure.

Provence Marketplace

The city of Provence, France was built for food and wine connoisseurs, and the eminent markets include local artwork and crafts, herbs and spices and artisan cheeses. You'll come across some of the region's distinct selection of basil, thyme and rosemary as well as medicinal plants like lavender, garlic and fennel that serve as remedies for headaches, stress, and digestive problems.

The Calanques

Located close to Provence, "the Calanques" is a picturesque Mediterranean village with a beautiful coastal view, white cliffs and rich herb gardens to explore on foot. The gardens are full of many of the local spices used by restaurant chefs and bakeries.

The Seafront of Nice

Tourism is at its height during summertime in the city of Nice, when the weather is perfect for exploring the natural landscape. The climate is the main reason why this coastal area of France cultivates the most savory herbs (sold collectively as the famous "Herbs de Provence"), of which you'll see plenty in every market stall from here to Italy.

In the Hills of Chianti

Book a relaxing stay at a farm bed-and-breakfast or small inn in the central part of Italy, and enjoy the vibrant smell of the countryside flowers, fresh mushrooms, the area's famous vineyards and herb variety. From there, the dirt path can take you all the way to Tregole and Fonterutoli, where perhaps you may take a chef-led cooking class or visit with local herb gardeners and farmers.

A Tour of Sicily

Known most of all for its rustic Italian cuisine and architecture, Sicily is an extraordinary destination to discover history and the winding fields of wild flowers, herbs and fresh fruits and vegetables. In the nearby Baroque town of Ragusa, you will find a secret gorge of gardens. There are a number of restaurants offering specialty cooking courses, where the chef will walk you through selecting the herbs and using them in authentic Italian dishes.

Article Written By Angie Walls

Angie Walls graduated with a B.S. in English from MSU in 2000 and has been professionally writing since. She's published many articles on careers, health, travel, food and more. Online publications featuring her work include TooShytoStop.com, Karlonia.com, MeeVee.com, Eater.com, Travels.com, TravelSense.org and Helium.com.

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