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Best of Provence?

Old May 2nd, 2005, 09:00 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Best of Provence?

My friends and I are taking a trip to France in June and can't decide on the best town in Provence to settle down for 4 or 5 days. We are interested in an old-town setting with the charm of southern france, and i'm kinda a history nerd. the beach is not really important, since we are all from florida. THANKS!
dburton983 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:00 PM
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Since you're a history "nerd", you'd probably enjoy the area around St Remy... Roman ruins just outside of town, as well as in Arles, Nimes, and of course, the Pont du Gard.

PBProvence is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:56 PM
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Another excellent area for a history buff if the region of Vaison-la-Romaine, which has excellent Roman house remains as well as a fine arena. Orange is close enough for a visit to the amazing Roman theater, and north of Vaison lies the olive town of Nyons and the Drôme region, which has quite a few medieval villages. The Drôme, in particular is relatively undiscovered by non-French visitors, adding to the charm.

In Vaison, the hotel Le Beffroi is said to be very nice; it's up on the hill in the old part of the town.
Underhill is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 05:34 PM
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Provence is rich in Roman history, and PBProvence and Underhill have mentioned the most dramatic sites: Glanum, just south of St-Rémy-de-Provence, Arles, Nîmes, the Pont du Gard, Orange, and Vaison-la-Romaine.

There are also a number of outstanding medieval remnants. There are two well-restored Cistercian abbeys, one at Sénanque, just north of Gordes in the Luberon, and Silvacane, just south of Lourmarin. Cistercian architecture is austere, yet hauntingly beautiful. Sénanque is in a particularly appealing location. There are excellent medieval stone carvings around the doorway of abbey in St-Gilles, a small town just west of Arles. L'Église St-Trophime and the Cloître St-Trophime in Arles are intriguing, and Aigues-Mortes provides an excellent example of medieval fortifications.

It's hard to recommend the best town to settle down in. Underhill mentioned Nyons, near Vaison-la-Romaine. We have stayed there twice and loved the location. We've also stayed twice in villages in the Luberon and were enchanted, but our favourite is Uzès, near Pont-du-Gard.

I know you said you were planning on staying in Provence, but if your interest in French history extends to the Albigensian Crusade, consider visiting Languedoc some day. There are places there where you can almost smell the blood that was spilled in one of the blackest episodes in medieval history.

AnselmAdorne is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2005, 05:41 PM
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dburton-A great book for you! Read Gustaf Sobin's, "Luminous Debris, (reflections on Vestige in Provence and Languedoc." One reviewer calls Sobin a sort of archaeolgical flaneur.
For any of you who love books about Provence, the esteemed poet wrote two novels, my favorite, "The Fly-Truffler" and the other "Dark Mirrors."
Be warned, these are not the sunny Peter Mayle tomes.
cigalechanta is offline  
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