Marseille, known in antiquity as Masalia, Massalia or Massilia is the second largest city in France, after Paris.
Marseilles was historically the most important trade center in the region and functioned as the main trade port of the French Empire. Marseille is France’s largest city on the Mediterranean coast and largest commercial port. Marseille is the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, as well as the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais in French and Marselhés in Occitan.
Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon. To the east, starting in the small fishing village of Callelongue on the outskirts of Marseille and stretching as far as Cassis, are the Calanques, a rugged coastal area interspersed with small fjord-like inlets.
With its beaches, history, architecture and culture (24 museums and 42 theatres), Marseille is one of the most visited cities in France. Several urban projects have been developed to make Marseille attractive. Thus new parks, museums, public spaces and real estate projects aim to improve the city cadre de vie (Parc du 26e Centenaire, Old Port of Marseille, numerous places in Euromediterrannee) to attract firms and people. Marseille municipality acts to develop Marseille as a regional nexus for entertainment in the south of France with high concentration of museums, cinemas, theaters, clubs, bars, restaurants, fashion shops, hotels, and art galleries.