• Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sybarite48/6430472041/">Saché (Indre-et-Loire)</a> by Daniel Jolivet<br />

Sache

A crook in the road, a Gothic church, the centuries-old Auberge du XIIe Siècle, an Alexander Calder stabile (the great American sculptor created a modern atelier nearby), and the country retreat of novelist Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850)—these few but choice elements all add up to Saché, one of the prettiest (and most undiscovered) nooks in the Val de Loire. If you're heading into the town from the east, you're first welcomed by the Pont-de-Ruan—a dream sequence of a flower-bedecked bridge, water mill, and lake that is so picturesque it will practically click your camera for you.

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