Life in slow lane catches on... a town at a time

"Sleepy" Segonzac

Sleepy villages abound in France, as anyone who has travelled off the motorways in summer will tell you.

Now, an increasing number of communes are making a virtue of their relaxed way of life and joining the CittaSlow association, set up in 1999 to celebrate a gentler pace of life.

Its origins are in the Italian “Slow Food” movement, in which chefs and environmentalists made an effort to push back against a fast-food culture, symbolised around the world by McDonald’s restaurants.

The first French commune to join was Segonzac, a short distance from Cognac in Charente.

Maryline Chaillou, who ...

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