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Toulon (in French Toulon, in Occitan Tolon) is a French city and municipality in the department of Var. The city is the third largest in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Located 190 km from the border with Italy, it sits on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea along the Toulon Rada. It has a population of 166,537 inhabitants (according to 2007 data) and the urban area constitutes the tenth of France with 564,823 inhabitants.
Toulon, economic capital of the department of Var, benefits from numerous natural advantages when enjoying a privileged situation between the mountains and the sea. The economic activity is concentrated in the tourism, commerce and administration sectors (both public and private). It hosts the largest military port in the country, the naval base of Toulon - which still serves its arsenal - and also has an airport that transports more than 620,000 passengers a year.
The commercial port is the busiest to Corsica, covering approximately 65% of trips to the island, which is due in large part to the creation of the Corsica Ferries shipping company in 2001.
The city also houses a university and higher education institutions as important as the ISEN Toulon (Higher Institute of Digital Electronics) or the Supméca Toulon (Higher Institute of Mechanics of Paris). In addition, it houses a conservatory, numerous museums and concert halls, a large theater and an opera that is among the most famous in France, after the Garnier Opera and the Bastille Opera.