Your suggested itinerary in Normandy

Listen to Jazz from Caen

Both upper and lower Normandy, roughly divided by the river Seine, are easily accessible from Paris by train, and by road the autoroute A13 goes from Paris to Caen via Rouen. Normandy is also well served byferry services from England.

As the D-Day invaders discovered in June 1944, the weather along the coast can be capricious. But in general the climate is warm and generous, with glorious springs, long baking summers and golden autumns, with enough rain in between to keep all those pastures green.

There is something in Normandy to suit every taste and budget, from grand resorts and châteaux-hotels to simple country gîtes and fermes-auberges offering excellent-value chambres d'hôte. Whichever you choose, wherever you go, you can be sure of a genuine welcome. There is no host like a Norman host.

If there's a gastronomic heart in France, it surely beats in Normandy. Along the coast seafood predominates-oysters, clams, scallops, shrimp and prawns, mussels by the bucketload from Isigny and Villerville, baby lobsters from Cherbourg, brill, sole and turbot from Dieppe and Le Havre. Everywhere there is traditional soupe de poisson thickened with grated cheese, croutons and rouille, a garlic-and-red-pepper mayonnaise. Inland, their is pork fed on windfall apples and cooked in cider; chicken vallée d'Auge, with a creamy sauce Normande; duck from Rouen, tripe from Caen, andouillettes from Vire, black pudding from Mortagne, and the tenderest cuts of beef and pre-salé lamb, from the salt-marsh fields. A groaning cheese platter will always include Pont l'Evêque, Livarot and Camembert, For dessert, just ask for bourdelos or douillons (baked apples or pears en croûte), or tarte au pommes Normande, glazed with apricot jam and covered in cream. Cider will accompany a meal (the soil in Normandy is too rich for the grapevine), and Calvados is served half-way through the meal (the Trou Normand) to help digestion, and at the end to make it memorable.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Invasion and the Battle of Normandy, there is a full program of events scheduled for 1994. Five new museums and visitor attractions are scheduled to open during the anniversary year. For a schedule of D-Day commemoration events, along with a Normandy information kit please call the France On Call Hotline at 1-900-990-0040 (50 per minute from anywhere in the U.S.). For U.S. veteran information on ID badges and access to official U.S. ceremonies, contact 50th Anniversary of WWII Commemorative Committee, 1213 Jefferson Davis Highway, Crystal Gateway 4, Suite 702, Crystal City, VA 22202; fax (703) 692-2162.

For information on host family lodging for and commemoration medals awarded to returning veterans, contact ADBN 44, Abbaye aux Dames, Place Reine Mathilde, BP 311, Caen 14015, France; fax (011 33) 31 95 12 81.

Monet's home and gardens at Giverny; the abbeys and châteaux of the Seine valley; Notre Dame Cathedral in Rouen; the beaches, Casino, racetrack and yearling sales at Deauville; Mont-St-Michel; the Alabaster Coast where the Impressionists found inspiration; and the Suisse Normande.

Caen: Floralies de la Paix, five theme flower parks surounding the Caen Memorial Museum. April 30 to September 4.

Coutances: Jazz Festival. May 7 to 14.

Official Commemoration Ceremonies for D-Day Veterans. June 5 to 6. (LIMITED ACCESS)

Caen-Carpiquet: 50th Anniversary International Air Show, aeronautical history since D-Day. June 26.

Le Havre: Coups de Vents, every sort of music for wind instruments: classical music, jazz, traditional and contemporary music. July.

Rouen: Armada of Liberty, gathering of the Tall Ships. July 10 to 17.

Deauville: 20th American Film Festival, celebrating films of the Forties. September 2 to 11.