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Allauch, the new location for "Plus Belle La Vie"!

After 18 seasons and no less than 4,500 episodes shown on France 3, France’s favourite soap opera is back on the TF1 channel with an embellished title “Plus Belle la Vie, encore plus belle” (Life is even more beautiful). Some of the scenes are now filmed in the typical little Provencal town of Allauch, still overflowing with its original charm. The mythical “Bar du Mistral”, police station and doctor’s surgery are all there… Discover the sets!

Bar de l’Hostellerie

Aka the famous “Bar du Mistral”

The “Bar du Mistral” – one of the series’ flagship venues since its beginnings – has a new home! The “Bar de l’Hostellerie“, situated in the historic centre of Allauch between the church and town hall, is now playing the role of the iconic bistro run by Roland Marci (played by Michel Cordes, who died in 2023) for over 20 years. On filming days in Allauch – at least 30 a year – the bar’s façade is revamped with a pretty ochre colour. Of course, the real owner is paid for his trouble! In the good old days of the series, the decor for the “Bar du Mistral” – the famous hangout of Mélanie Rinato (Laetitia Millot), Barbara Evenot (Léa François) and Thomas Marci (Laurent Kérusoré), was created at the Belle-de-Mai film studios in Marseille; it was destroyed when France 3 discontinued the series. With its vermilion frontage, welcoming terrace and vintage atmosphere, it was a faithful replica of the “Bar des Treize Coins” situated in the city’s Panier quarter – the inspiration for the show’s Mistral quarter.

The town hall and a B&B

Transformed into the police station and doctor’s surgery

The Mistral police station is at the heart of every “Plus Belle la Vie” intrigue. It’s where the soap opera’s cops – Jean-Paul Boher (Stéphane Henon), Ariane Hersant (Lola Marois) and Patrick Nebout (Jérôme Bertin) – put suspects on the grill. Today, the holding cells, interview rooms and complaints office are all housed inside Allauch town hall. Just a stone’s throw away, a B&B situated in the town centre is the new venue for another action-packed location: the doctor’s surgery. There have been too many doctors serving there to remember: Guillaume Leserman (Virgile Bayle) in the first years of the series and, more recently, Romain Vidal (Simon Ehrlacher). One of the town hall’s subsidiaries has also been turned into a hardware store. Last but not least, Gilbert Orsini legendary “santon” figurine shop is on screen too – playing itself!

Church square

Welcoming the film crews

Stage managers, makeup artists, directors, producers and more… There are lots of people behind the camera too when you’re making a series! When “Plus Belle la Vie” is on location in Allauch, the crew gathers on the church square: a strategic location, as the nearby town hall square, bedecked with plane trees and a fountain, forms the backdrop for the outside scenes. In the original saga, some of the sequences were shot in Aubagne town centre but today, it is Allauch that is celebrating it’s starring role in France’s iconic soap opera. Having the production on site is good for local business and of course, the new spotlight on Allauch is attracting plenty of new visitors too. Life really is beautiful for Allauch!