When the reclusive monks of the abbey of Brantôme decided the inhabitants of the village were getting too inquisitive, they dug a canal between themselves and their nosy neighbors, setting the brantômois adrift on an island in the middle of the River Dronne. How happy for them—or at least for us. Brantôme has been unable to outgrow its small-town status and remains one of the prettiest villages in France. Today it touts itself as the "Venice of Périgord." Enjoy a walk along the river or through the old, narrow streets. The meandering river follows you wherever you stroll. Cafés and small shops abound.

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