Last night we attended a celebration of the Soupe au Pistou, which is a vegetable soup made with pesto – but not just any Soupe au Pistou; it was the Soupe au Pistou of Angèle, made from a secret recipe that she has been preparing for most of her 83 years. Angèle chops and dices and prepares all the fresh and fragrant vegetables, garlic, basil, etc., that she shops for at the daily Marché Provençal in Antibes. Then she prepares the soup and helps serve it to around 300 people who hungrily await this very delicious traditional Provençale dish. It was served with crusty baguettes and all the vin rouge or vin rosé that you could drink. It was followed with cheese and fruit and entertainment. The entertainment included a group of local villagers singing Italian songs such as, “La Bella Polenta”, which included all the gestures involved in making polenta: stirring it, baking it, eating it, eating too much of it, etc., etc. There was also a Johnny Hallyday wannabe who looked very much like the real Johnny and sounded so much like him that we thought maybe he was lip-synching to some of Johnny’s songs; however, we were proven wrong – it was really him singing !
This fête was just one of many that routinely take place in Place du Safranier, which is part of a special Commune of Antibes called la Commune Libre du Safranier. It consists of just a few very picturesque and colorful pedestrian streets and the festive square in the Old Town, along with many colorful and interesting characters, many of whom have roots in, or some type of connection to or affection for Italy. This photograph shows one of the streets of the Safranier that we walk through almost every day on the way to le Marché Provençal d’Antibes.