Farewell, Mirka Mora

Beloved French-born, Australia-based artist Mirka Mora has died at 90 years old. After surviving the Holocaust, Mora and her husband arrived in Melbourne in 1951 and helped to pioneer a thriving arts scene in the city and beyond—specifically through her public works and association with the Heide Museum of Modern Art. Her vibrant works can be seen at Flinders St Station, St Kilda Pier, and …

La Gaucherie aux Dames Guesthouse in France’s Loire Valley

A French-American couple on turning ruins into a quaint bed and breakfast

You know the Loire Valley. You’ve heard of it in reference to wines. But as it’s not the home of Bordeaux, Burgundy or Champagne, you might not be aware of the fact that the region on either side of the Loire River—Pays de la Loire—is one of exquisite agricultural beauty worth experiencing. From green rolling hills and farmlands bursting with crop to historic chateaus (known …

Le Voyage à Nantes Public Art Festival

Artworks interact with the French city itself—and some stay in place forever

If you arrive by boat to Nantes in western France, you’ll quickly understand what makes the city (the country’s sixth largest) such an unusual and thrilling place. Scattered all along the Loire river on the way into the city are massive public artworks, including a skeletal sea-snake and a typical French stone house that’s sat in the middle of the river and looks like it …

Word of Mouth: Belle-Île-en-Mer, Brittany

Ferry away to idyllic port cities, breathtaking cliffside hikes and secluded sandy beaches

Distill the essence of a seaside vacation destination. You may find a vision of quaint cottages settled along sandy coves. Perhaps it’s a series of small, colorful towns dotted by restaurants serving local cuisine beside shops with regional wares. Maybe it’s simply a salty breeze, a walk through a shaded garden or a moment of quiet under the sun. After a 45-minute ferry ride into …

France to Ban Smartphones at Schools

It began in 2017: French officials imposed a law that limited how frequently and in what manner employers may contact employees outside of office hours. Now, the French government is setting their sights on schools. Smartphone-less students, they believe, will improve classroom efficiency, effectiveness and, on a broader level, preserve the “sanctity” of the classroom and learning experience. This new law will, however, make “exceptions …