The Dordogne: Places to Explore

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Bergerac

Yes, this is the Bergerac of Cyrano de Bergerac fame—but not exactly. The real satirist and playwright Cyrano (1619–55), who inspired Edmond Rostand's long-nosed swashbuckler, was born in Paris and never set foot anywhere near here. That hasn't prevented his legend from being preempted by the town fathers, who erected an exceedingly ugly statue of Cyrano and plastered his schnoz all over Bergerac’s promotional materials. Frankly, they needn't have bothered. The town’s gorgeous old half-timber houses, narrow alleys, riverside setting, and gastronomic specialties are more than enough to attract tourists from Bordeaux or Sarlat, both less than 75 km (46 miles) away. If you’re only coming for the day, try to arrive on Wednesday or Saturday, when colorful farmers markets are held (the latter being the larger of the two).

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