'Suddenly I Was Inside Nothing': What's Really Going on in France's Empty Diagonal

France’s sparsely populated ‘empty diagonal’ is a swath of land that covers about a third of the country’s territory. Despite its name, there are some pleasant surprises there, as revealed on a roadtrip

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A house in Aubrac.
A house in Aubrac.Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
Yuval Ben-Ami
Some people give credit for Lozère’s recovery to the cows herded here. Today, the “Aubrac steak” is known across France. Credit: GUY Christian / hemis.fr / AFP
Nasbinals, France.Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
The Millau Viaduct.Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
The Maison Bras restaurant.Credit: Patrick FRILET / hemis.fr / AFP
Roland Generoux.Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
The town of Le Puy-en-Velay.Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
José Bové. In 2002, during Israel’s siege of the Muqata, he and his colleagues and offered to serve as human shields for Yasser Arafat. Credit: ERIC CABANIS / AFP
Cows in Aubrac.Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
A store in Lozère.Credit: Benjamin Polge / APJ / Hans Luca

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