Toulon is a large port on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. It is the capital of the Var departement. It is France's ninth largest city with a population of half-a-million.
Toulon is an important centre for naval construction, fishing, wine-making, and the manufacture of aeronautical equipment, armaments and electronic equipment. The French Mediterranean Fleet is based in Toulon. We have often taken boat rides through the harbor.
JM was born in a suburb of Toulon called Les Routes, on the foothills of a big great mountain called the Baou de Quatre Heures. His parents owned a family home there, which his mother sold after his grandfather passed away; they then owned an apartment in Le Mourillon, and finally one on the central square of the Place de la Liberté.
Toulon is squeezed between the imposing Mont-Faron and the sea.