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THE COTTAGES AND THEIR LOCATIONS (hover over each for a quick glimpse)
Loire Valley 1
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The rugged beauty? The vestiges of Roman architecture? Its Impressionist artistic heritage or the great wine and food?
Moving footage in this video provided courtesy of Jerimiah Guiraud, videographer.
Scenes of food from Cooking Class Sessions in our cottage L'Olivier available through our local contact.
For more information, make an enquiry.
Fascinating outdoor village markets, the friendliness of the local people who have
retained the art of living, the lavender fields basking in the warm sun and many other influences
together contrive to give this region its special, unique flavour.
The Romans loved it, Cézanne and Van Gogh fell under the spell, and we can’t resist going back, again and again.
The Mediterranean light of Provence has a poetic luminosity which inspired many celebrated French painters including Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso: all produced works portraying this quality. It underscores the atmosphere of nostalgia in the writings of Marcel Pagnol (Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources).
His observation is proving correct for after many years, our wonderful village in Provence has been quietly discovered as the gem it always was: a little miracle town rich in art and history, hidden away in the Western part of the region. In 1962 it was selected as one of France's 500 villes d'art, and since then much money has been lavished on restoring and repairing the then tumbling façades. Not so long ago, it provided the perfect stage backdrop for the Gerard Depardieu film "Cyrano de Bergerac".
There are many historical influences at play in the diverse architecture of this little town and in the surrounding paysage.
The legacy of the Greeks and Romans is particularly obvious with many ancient temples, coliseums, monuments and other buildings still standing today. The most famous monument is of course the Pont du Gard, located only 15 km away, one of the most visited sites in France after Paris.
This marvellously preserved portion of the original 52km long Roman aqueduct is well worth a visit.
Its oldest section, the rectangular dungeon called the Tour Bermonde, dates from the 11th century. You can climb the steep spiral escalier d'honneur to the top for views over the shimmering tiled rooftops.
The interior is well stocked with period furnishings, complemented by wax dukes and duchesses in their 16th-century finery. Unique in France, the 12th-century Tour Fenestrelle is a cylindrical six-storey gem, named after the rows of double-lit windows that encircle it, inspired by the towers of Ravenna and Lombardy in Italy.
Inside the Cathédrale St.Théodorit, is a splendid organ from 1670, the only one in France to have retained its original painted shutters. Recently restored, it is the centrepiece of the end-of-July music festival, the 'Nuits Musicales'.
Hidden away in the forests of truffle oaks growing in the region, this prized fungus can only be found with the aid of a pig or truffle dog. You can discover this rare delicacy at the market held weekly in the Place aux Herbes. But beware; the price can give you a shock!
The countryside around the village- where fields of asparagus, cherry orchards, forests of truffle oaks and vineyards alternate with scrublands - is dotted with attractive old towns. Stark geological features contrasting with cosy little villages nestling amongst them make outings in it continually surprising.
Swimming (at the local swimming pool or at the Pont du Gard “beach”), canoeing (along the Gardon river), golf, Montgolfière (hot air ballooning), abseiling, walking, bicycle touring, and an aquatic park for kids are just some of the many sporting activities in immediate reach of the town. The National Stud Farm or 'haras', just on the outskirts, is a must for horse lovers.
Cultural activities include art and pottery exhibitions, theatre, concerts, dance performances and the famous International festival of Ancient music (Nuits Musicales) held every year in July in the precincts of the château. Full details of these are available in our guests' guidebook available in each cottage and at the Tourism Office.
What an amazing variety of shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants, cafés and bakeries, a cinema, jazz-clubs, galleries, and, of course, the justly famous market held every weekend in the Place aux Herbes can be discovered within two or three minutes walk from the houses. You'll keep making new discoveries now matter how long you stay!
More than anything else, it is the celebrated cuisine that has put Provence in the public eye.
A chilled rosé, slices of fresh saucisson, salty olives and goat’s cheese under the Pont du Gard have made a heavenly repast for many visitor including Marcel Pagnol and Lawrence Durrell. And the range of restaurant dining is staggering - stretching from quaint cafés, Carmarguais fishermen’s eating-houses to three-star Michelin elegance.
In each of our cottages you will find a visitor's house book full of suggestions – both our own and also the discoveries by past guests.
There's an abundance of these ambrosial establishments only a short walk from our front door, and, more to the point, a short walk back!
We're sure that you will be amused and interested in the following video interview of some recent guests 'on location' in one of our cottages. Click on the play button to start the video.
River Beach Quite near Uzès
The Tour Fenestrelle in Uzès
The Duche in Uzès
The Deservedly Famous Pont du Gard
The Place Aux Herbes Fountain at Night
Fountain Place aux Herbes from French Cottages Collection
Pottery At the Saturday Morning Market
Oysters at Bouzigues - fresh from the ocean!
Lavender Fields in Provence!
THE COTTAGES AND THEIR LOCATIONS
Copyright © 1997 - 2017 French Cottages, All rights reserved.
FRENCH COTTAGES, 759 RATHDOWNE STREET, NORTH CARLTON, 3054, Victoria, Australia
(this is our office address in Australia: our cottages are all based in France)
PHONE +613 9016 4199 Established 1997
AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS NUMBER 66 304 051 155