Enjoy pétanque! It's certainly hard to miss it on a trip to Provence. In this part of the site we survey the history of this most Mediterranean of sports, dig out a few fun facts about boules and showcase the curious cult of Fanny. Click on the links below to find out more.

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Man holding petanque boulesMarseille is the undisputed capital of pétanque and each year in early July hosts a five-day world championship of boules, created in 1962 by the pastis king, Paul Ricard.

Postcard of a petanque "Fanny"There is one in virtually every sports bar in Provence: a beautiful bare-bottomed Fanny. If you emerge from a pétanque match at the wrong end of a 13:0 score, you have "done a Fanny" and these rosy cheeks await your kiss.

Maitre Kaisen, the Buddhist monk who plays petanqueThe zen of pétanque, how boules became cool and the game that stopped a tram in its tracks: five fun facts about Provence's favourite sport.

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