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Although synonymous with lavender fields, Provence also is perfumed by pine forests and olive groves. The agricultural richness has heavily influenced the cuisine, and Provençal cooking is as full of flavor as it is color, featuring tomato-based stews, herbs, spices, and fresh-caught seafood. Gardens are in abundance here, and the climate is mild year round, with the Maritime Alps sheltering the Mediterranean coastline from weather extremes.

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