Southern France or the South of France, colloquially known as le Midi, is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Marais Poitevin, Spain, the Mediterranean, and Italy. The Midi includes:
- Poitou-Charentes (the southern parts)
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
- Rhône-Alpes (the southern parts)
This area corresponds in large part to Occitania, the territory in which Occitan (French: langue d'oc) — as distinct from the langues d'oïl of northern France — was historically the dominant language. Though part of Occitania, the regions of Auvergne and Limousin are not normally considered part of the South of France.
The term Midi derives from mi (middle) and di (day) in Old French, comparable to the term Mezzogiorno from the south of Italy. The time of midday was synonymous with the direction of south because in France, as in all of the Northern Hemisphere north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun is in the south at noon. The synonymy existed in Middle French as well, where meridien can refer to both midday and south.
The Midi is considered to start at Valence, hence the saying "à Valence le Midi commence".
Films set in the South of France
- To Catch a Thief (1955)
- Summer Holiday (1963)
- Pierrot le Fou (1965)
- Lacombe, Lucien (1974)
- French Connection II (1975)
- Jean de Florette (1986)
- Manon des Sources (1986)
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
- Happiness Is in the Field (1995)
- Chocolat (2000)
- Amer (2009)
- Swimming Pool (2003)
- Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007)
- Le Grand Voyage (2004)
- Priceless (2006)
- The Grocer's Son (2007)
- Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
- Made in Chelsea: South of France (2016)
- French Riviera
- Mezzogiorno (name for Southern Italy with the same etymology)
- Mirdita another similarly named region of Albania, although it is instead in the Northern part of the country
- Northern Basque Country
- Northern Catalonia
- Southern Europe
- Vichy France
- Lyons, Declan (18 February 2009). Cycling guide to the Canal du Midi, Languedoc, France, Europe. Midpoint Trade Books. ISBN 978-1-85284-559-9.
- Passy, Paul (1904). International French-English and English-French dictionary. Hinds, Noble & Eldredge.
- Louis Papy, Le midi atlantique, atlas et géographie de la France moderne, Flammarion, Paris, 1984
- "The Regions of France – Midi (from the Pyrenees to the Riviera)". about-france.com. Retrieved 2009-09-18.