Grasse, France is commonly known as the Perfume Capital of The World.
Nearly 20% of the territory of France lies outside Europe. These regions are known as “DOM-TOM” (overseas departments and territories), where over 2.5 million French citizens live.
The Canal du Midi in France is Europe’s oldest functional canal. It was built from 1666 and 1681. It is 240 km (150 miles) long, has 63 locks, 126 bridges, 55 aqueducts, 7 canal-bridges, 6 barrages and 1 tunnel.
According to a 2008 study published by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank, the municipality of Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, between Nice and Monaco, is the world’s most expensive peninsula, and the world’s third most expensive place for real estate – after London and Monaco. Prices per square metre were found to be twice higher than in Tokyo and three times higher than in Paris.
French people cheek kiss to greet each others between family and friends, even between men. The number of kisses varies according to the region, from 1 (e.g. in the tip of Brittany) to 4 (e.g. Paris and most of the North), and occasionally up to 5 in Corsica.
The 2003 Durex Global Sex Survey found that the French are the people who have sex the most often in a year.
The French are the world’s biggest consumers of psychotropic drugs. About one fourth of the population admits having taken anti-depressants or tranquillisers over the past year.
There are some 40,000 châteaux (castles, manors, palaces…) in France.
There are over 300 kinds of cheese made in France.
There are about 2 new cooking books published every day in France.
France is the world’s leader in luxury goods, including haute couture, perfumes and cosmetics.
France is the world’s first producer of wine and liquors.
France is the first producer of nuclear electricity in Europe and second producer in the world after the United States. France produces as much nuclear electricity as Germany, the UK, Spain and Russia combined !
The Société Bic was the world’s first mass manufacturer of ball-point pens. It sold its 100,000 millionth ball pen in 2005.