Be Our Guest

Also see:
French Connections by Marc Herman
The Atlantic, October 2010

Among the things European socialism does better than American capitalism is concoct ways to save dying farm towns. Our host that night, Stef, had left a stressful job as an arbitrage trader in Paris and taken a government grant to rebuild the gorgeous farmhouse where we were to sleep. The French gîte system began in the '50s but took off in the '80s. Agricultural life had changed. Rural districts were finding it hard to keep young people down on the farm, indeed, once they'd seen Paris. At the same time, the old barns became attractive to foreigners dreaming of their own year in Provence.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In