In the days before autoroutes and (expensive) toll gates, the main thoroughfare in France was the Route National 7, bisecting the country from Paris in the north towards the sunny south.

The recent Salon d’Auto in Avignon had a memorial to this iconic route and inaugurated an annual pilgrimage with vintage cars to traverse the old routes. All of 1,000km in length it finished in Menton on the Italian border. Other names were the Blue Route, or the route of Holidays, signifying that it was packed during the summer vacation period as the Parisians headed for the coast, and the Rhone Valley via the central city of Lyon.

On this route, and founded in 1930 was the famous restaurant Les Frères Troisgros. Other starred restaurants by the likes of Paul Bocuse were also placed strategically on this Route – and, of course, the Michelin Guide originated from the French love of driving and holidaying.



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