A statue of a pregnant Virgin Mary, an astronomical observatory in a former nuclear missile silo, a hotel room in a tree or a gypsy caravan, primitive Provençal artists, the mark of Christ’s knee, a fountain that flows with wine, a caiman dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a church in a theatre, an erotic mediaeval bas relief, a countess who returned to life, a Provençal Villa Médicis, a false volcano at La Roquebrussane, a “sheep bridge” at Arles, a rain-making saint, an alchemist’s garden, a magic palindrome at Oppède … 

Provence is not limited to postcard clichés about fields of lavender or picturesque villages where pastis-drinking inhabitants pass the time playing pétanque. 

For those who manage to stray from the beaten paths, Provence is full of surprising features and curious sights that will amaze residents as well as visitors who thought they knew all there is to know about this region.


Jean-Pierre Cassely, born in Marseille and living in Cassis, spent ten years working for the French television network, France 3, before becoming an independent in the field of television, video and sound (together with his long-time partner Philippe Carrese). One day in Paris, he had an eye-opening experience. A series of visits revealed to him the secrets of the Ile-Saint-Louis, the hidden corners of Montmartre , and the black humour lurking in Pere Lachaise cemetery. Returning home to Provence by train, Jean-Pierre was already thinking about all the anecdotes he had collected or could collect about his own native region. He proceeded to explore the village of Cassis, the cities and towns of Marseille, Aix, Sanary and, most recently, Toulon. His commentaries concerning his discoveries, broadcast daily on France Bleue Provence radio, under the apt title of ‘Unusual Provence’, took a humorous and sometimes provocative ‘popular-historical’ approach. Further information on these astonishing accounts can be found at:


AUTHOR: Jean-Pierre Cassely
PAGES: 384
FORMAT: 10.5 x 19 cm
ISBN: 978-2-36195-311-9
PRICE: US$ 21.95 — 18,95 € — £14.99