Fly, Smile in Toulouse

Fly, Smile in Toulouse Toulouse fr

 Toulouse is a colourful city with an exceptional heritage and a Latin personality, midway between the Atlantic coast and the shores of the Mediterranean, capital of Midi-Pyrenees region in South-West France. The aptly-named “Ville rose” (Pink City) has some wonderful surprises in store for you. 


Nicknamed “Little Barcelona” by the 100,000 students who make up a quarter of its population, Toulouse is well known for its innate love of celebration. From Spain it has adopted a taste for long aperitifs with tapas on terraces, siestas in sunny parks, convivial meals and its many music and arts festivals (like Rio Loco, Toulouse Plages - beaches and free sports & concerts -, Piano aux Jacobins…). Tourists can also happily join in its busy year-round cultural life, with its many theatres, museums, concert halls, casino and sport events (rugby, golf, football, marathon…). 

 

Another fundamental aspect of the Toulouse way of life is its food and drink. Lovers of good food take great pleasure in savouring local produce and the city’s culinary specialities: Toulouse sausage and cassoulet, Violet-flavoured sweets, wines… Gourmets have a wide choice between the daily markets, the 6 Michelin-starred restaurants and the many other popular traditional or “in” restaurants.Shopping addicts can give themselves up to the joys of window-shopping in the medieval antique-dealers’ district and in the shopping streets, then take a break in a tea room or in one of the spas. 

 

This well-preserved city is on a human scale, and visitors can enjoy a relaxed stroll or bike ride through the narrow, historic streets to explore the treasures of its architectural heritage. Passed down through 2000 years of Art and History, the Capitole always arouses wonder in visitors entering its richly painted ceremonial rooms. In the square that contains this monumental symbol of Toulouse along with the famous Occitan Cross, tourists can enjoy being photographed standing on their astrological sign. Nearby, the pilgrims en route for Santiago de Compostela kneel in the St Sernin basilica, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are astonished by the unusual “Palmier des Jacobins” and are then taken into the timeless world of the adjacent, peaceful cloisters. They also learn about the city’s traditional plants: the Violet, Toulouse’s famous winter flower, and the fabulous adventure of Toulouse’s ‘Blue Gold’: (blue) pastel, the dye plant. All around the old quarters of the city there are magnificent pastel merchants’ mansions” built in Renaissance times, such as the Hôtel d’Assézat, where the curious can see some beautiful inner courtyards worthy of palaces. The banks of the River Garonne and the Canal du Midi are ideal for cruises and panoramic photos.


Toulouse was a favourite city for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a famous pioneer in the airmail adventure. Tourists can visit 2 unique sites in Europe : the Airbus A380 assembly lines and the Cité de l’espace theme park, entirely refurbished in 2012, where they can plunge into the heart of the Universe, with over 250 exhibition items and interactive activities!


In the evening, lovers can enjoy the coloured lights that illuminate Toulouse’s monuments and the river banks, offering a romantic walk amidst a series of veritable urban frescoes. 

 

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