Marseille, France’s sunny second city, is a beguiling place, a major Mediterranean port that beckons to urban wanderers and anyone enthralled by cities in all their multiplicity. Its ancient streets tell stories of fires, plagues, wars, decay and regrowth. Waves of people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have made their way there, and many have found homes for themselves. Although the city hosts visitors from around the world, France’s social and political fault lines are on full display here and for all its charm, Marseille struggles to overcome its reputation for corruption and crime.
William Kornblum blends travelogue and social observation as he roams Marseille’s neighbourhoods, relishing the rich maritime culture. He also draws connections with his hometown, New York City, which like Marseille is a deindustrialised port city increasingly dependent on the production and consumption of culture. It’s a captivating and thoughtful portrait of the city and its citizens
Marseille, Port to Port
Columbia University Press
From France Today magazine
You can watch a discussion with William Kornblum in the France Today Live video hub.
Lead photo credit : Marseille is one of Europe's oldest cities © Elisa Schmidt