Your probably not going to like Marseille

A lot of people will tell you not to visit Marseille, you'll hear from them that it's dirty, worn and downright dangerous - well just don't listen!  It may be the city of the French Connection, but there's a lot more to Marseille than just mere rumours. Firstly it's a port city with a long heritage of immigration, people have been coming here for more than 2000 years, making it the oldest city in France. During WWII and under the Nazi occupation, Marseille was to France what Casablanca was to Morocco. It was the gateway for people trying to escape and a centre for the resistance that was fighting for the people. And for that reason one half of Le Panier district was destroyed in January 1943 by the occupying armies. Further back you discover no coincidence the French national anthem is called the Marseillaise. The Marseillaise was in fact a revolutionary song, an anthem to freedom, a patriotic call to mobilize citizens and fight tyranny and foreign invasion. Adopted as the republic’s anthem in 1795, acquiring its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital. In the 1960's and after the crisis in Algeria, Marseille became the home port for people from former French colonies as well as those fleeing wars seeking refuge. So yes - Marseille is a city whose habitants have mostly all found home here over time and for a variety of reasons.  For all this Marseille is today - a vibrant city, a mix of nationalities, backgrounds, cultures that make it the diverse and colourful city it is. And having spent most of my adult life living in big cities (London) for me multiculturalism is what makes a city what it is and provides the city with its beating heart.  Marseille is in a way France's version of Napoli, but with an added touch of LA.  It may be hard to immediately fall in love, afterall this is not the Cote d'Azur, but take time and look under the surface, look beyond and who knows, you may well fall in love. I'm won't show you images of coastline, sea and sunshine (we have that too) I hope to show you images that demonstrate the best that the other side of this city has to offer and through the eyes of the people in the street that call it home. Look beyond the cracks in the paintwork and you'll find one of the most interesting cities in France to visit.  If your a couple or an individual traveller wanting to explore - why not join me on one of my photo excursions to discover the real Marseille.  There's a lot out there, trust me ...