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Europe » France » Toulouse

Elegantly situated at the confluence of the Canal du Midi and the River Garonne, the vibrant southern city of Toulouse is often known as La Ville Rose, a reference to the distinctive hot-pink stone used to build many of its buildings. Busy, buzzy and bustling with students, this riverside dame has a 2000-year history, but it’s a city with its feet very much in the future: it’s been a hub for the aerospace industry since the 1930s, and is leading France’s drive towards cleaner, greener energies.

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Practical information

Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and 300 from the Atlantic Ocean, and 590 km (366 mi) away from Paris. With 1,202,889 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008, the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in France, after Paris, Lyon, and Marseille. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, EADS, ATR (aircraft manufacturer) and the Aerospace Valley, considered as a global cluster. 


The city also hosts l'Oncopole de Toulouse, the largest cancer research centre in Europe, the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, and Astrium Satellites, EADS's satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe and, with more than 119,000 students, is the third-largest university campus of France after Paris and Lyon.




Toulouse has a temperate climate that is usually classified as a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) classification. Toulouse is located at the junction with the Mediterranean climate zone, but uniform precipitation prevents it from being classified this way. 



Sights Toulouse

• Capitole de Toulouse (mainly 18th century), housing the Hôtel de Ville, the Théâtre du Capitole (opera house), and the Donjon du Capitole (16th century), located on the Place du Capitole.

• Banks of the Garonne (mainly 18th century)

• Bazacle

• Jardin des Plantes, Grand-Rond, Jardin Royal

• Pont Neuf (16th century)

• Hôpital de la Grave, featuring a copper dome of the 18th century

• Hôpital Saint-Raymond, 16th-century hospital

• Hôtel-Dieu Saint Jacques, former 16th and 17th-century hospital on the banks of the Garonne

• Galerie du Château d'eau (19th century)

• Canal du Midi

• Many Hôtels particuliers (palaces), notably of the 16th century like the Hôtel d'Assézat, the Hôtel du Vieux-Raisin, the Hôtel de Bernuy and the Hôtel de Bagis.

• Saint-Pierre bridge, 19th-century iron bridge

• Wilson Square

• Halle aux Grains (19th century)

• Gare de Toulouse Matabiau, railroad station

• Médiathèque José Cabanis



Museums Toulouse

• Musée des Augustins, the fine arts museum of the city housed in a former gothic convent.

• Les Abattoirs, museum of modern and contemporary art.

• Fondation Bemberg, art museum housed in the 16th-century Hôtel d'Assézat.

• Musée Saint-Raymond, a museum devoted to Antiquity housed in the former 16th-century Saint-Raymond hospital.

• Musée Paul-Dupuy, houses a collection of decorative and graphic arts

• Le Château d'Eau, a gallery dedicated to contemporary photography.

• Musée Georges Labit, displaying Asiatic and far-eastern art.

• Musée du Vieux Toulouse, a museum presenting the history of the city.

• Cité de l'espace (City of Space), a theme park of space exploration.

• Muséum de Toulouse (Museum of Toulouse), a natural history museum.



Here are some reasons why French women are the sexiest, most desirable in the world




In France there is no war of the sexes going on. French men and women actually want to be together. They enjoy their mutual company. They spar. They debate. They flirt.


Here's what a French woman would tell you: a man is not a woman. He cannot think like you. He cannot 'process' like you. So don't try to make him like you. And don't have any expectation that he might behave like you.


When British women aren't busy trying to change ourselves, we're often busy trying to change our men. The French attitude is why fight when you can finesse? Why try to modify your mate's behavior when this futile exercise generally causes stresses?




Flirtation is not just alive and well in France. It is the lifeblood that beats at the core of French society. Young women flirt. Older women flirt. Feminists flirt. French women not only enjoy flirtation, they expect it. Love men: French First Lady Carla Bruni dotes on her husband President Nicholas Sarkozy


SEXY-Almost one in three French women would wear sexy underwear for their men. French women have an enormous sense of personal boundaries. There is a willingness here, tres francais, to contemplate or accept an experience that doesn't necessarily go anywhere - but which is still an essential and necessary part of love, sex and being human. Mysterious: Catherine Deneuve stars as a frigid young housewife who decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute in the film Belle de jour




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They know about essential things: delicious fresh food, fabulous sexual encounters, wonderful wines. That's why everything seems sexier in France. French women know that life is about the