pyay´-duh-TEHR´ (literally a ‘foot to the ground’ in French) A pied-à-terre is a temporary or secondary house, apartment, or other lodging. Pieds-à-terre (the plural, pronounced the same as the singular) are usually small, and usually in cities. The term is often applied to apartments in … Continue reading


mah A mas, in contrast to a bastide, is the Provençal version of a Tuscan farmhouse, or casa colonica. Built by farmers, often in piecemeal fashion, mas (the plural is written and pronounced the same as the singular) can be charming, but often lack the spacious rooms and grand views of the more … Continue reading


bah-STEED´ Bastide is the name for a manor house in Provence, the historic region of southeast France known for lavender, sunflowers, and a unique light prized by the Impressionists. A prime tourist destination since Roman times, Provence got a late-twentieth-century boost from A Year in … Continue reading

tapis vert

TAW´-pee VEHR´ (‘green carpet’ in French) A tapis vert is a large, flat, unbroken expanse of lawn used as a landscape element. Tapis verts (the plural, pronounced the same as the singular) are usually highly manicured and often bordered by gravel walks or flower beds. They’re a common … Continue reading