Provence: Places to Explore

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Ménerbes

Famous as the former home base of A Year in Provence author Peter Mayle (he has since moved on to another town in the Luberon), the town of Ménerbes clings to a long, thin hilltop over this sought-after valley, looming over the surrounding forests like a great stone ship. At its prow juts the Castellet, a 15th-century fortress. At its stern looms the 13th-century Citadelle. These redoubtable fortifications served the Protestants well during the 16th-century Wars of Religion—until the Catholics wore them down with a 15-month siege. Artists Picasso, Nicholas de Stael, and Dora Maar all lived here at one time, attracted by the remarkable views and eccentric character of the town.

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