Traveling is always creatively inspiring – whether it’s a view of the landscapes, gardens,  shops, museums, villages or cities.

I recently took a River Cruise in France down the Rhône from Lyon to Marseilles.  My travels took me to 8 ports – charming villages, castles, vineyards, a visual feast for the eyes. Our trip took us to the regions of Burgundy where we cruised down the Saône revealing a peaceful river valley with charming small villages on the banks. Merging into the Rhône we reached Provence where the river flows into the Mediterranean.

As an Interior Designer, it was awesome to tour the ancient churches, hotel d’ville’s (now their Town Hall), view paintings by van Gogh, Cézanne and Picasso, not to mention, walking down the very cobblestone paths these masters had once travelled. We walked past homes built in the 15th century and streets built in the 13th-14th centuries. It was truly a magical journey….

Chalon-sur-Saône, France, was our port of departure.

Viking ShipViking Ship Slôane RiverSlôane River
Allee of Plane trees

Allée of Plane trees in Chalon originally planted by Louis XIV from Canada to provide shade for the solders.



Still on the Slôane River (half-way down France) Tournus, a medival town, was founded by the Romans. Today’s population is 6,000. Houses along a street built during the 13th-14th centuries.

Windows with lead mullions and ogee edges built in the 15th century. Windows with lead mullions and ogee adges.
Jean-Baptiste Greuze Statue of artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), born in Tournus.


Musée des Beaux-Arts

Musée des Beaux-Arts where several Picasso, Monet, Manet, Renoir and Degas are on view.


Roman Temple constructed in 2AD. There are only two complete Temples, both in France, with the other in Niems.

Roman Temple
Carved door with Perspective of wood floor.

Carved door with Perspective of wood floor.


Red Hermitage Rhône Valley wines Red Hermitage Rhône Valley wines
Best known for their Red Hermitage Rhône Valley wines – Côtes du Rhône. Grape bushes terraced on the hills of Tournon.


On the other side of the Rhône from Tournon is the town of Tain.

Pedestrian Bridge

The pedestrian bridge with the European flag.


We went to an Amphitheatre, which holds 10,000 people, where gladiators once fought. Now bullfights are held here.


Roman Theatre

The Roman Theatre where the Venus of Arles was uncovered and now the statue is displayed in the Louve.

Hotel Dieu – the hospital where van Gogh went after he cut off part of his ear.

Hotel Dieu
12th century church with the Last Judgement

12th century church with the Last Judgement carved above the door.


My favorite town! Cobblestone streets, elegant stores, rich in history, and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards.

Cobblestone steps

Cobblestone steps

Cobblestones for the grape vines – the pebbles soak up the sun during the day and radiate warmth at night creating the perfect soil for the grapes.

Vineyards Vineyards
Views of the vineyards.

Au Revoir!


  1. beverly spitzer on October 20, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Dear Susan ……………….What a wonderful trip you took…….. In addition to being a terrfic Interior Designer .. you are also a Travel Agent… Very talended… We have done major world traveling over the last 20 years….Our last trip to South Africa was fabulous ……. the day before we left my husband fell and broke his fema in the hip.. I am sorry to say our traveling may be over….. I am so grateful for all the countries we did get to see.

    Keep me posted on your trips…… Wishing you the Best Always.

    • Susan Marocco on October 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Hello Beverly,
      So nice to hear from you! The Rhone cruise was our first river cruise and we loved it! So relaxing and a wonderful way to see many ports without the hassle of ever leaving your ship.
      My very best to you, your husband and your Son.

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