|Subject: South of France Trip|
We took the TGV to Avignon, spent a day there
(the pope's palace is the main attraction, along with the
bridge that inspired Sur le pont d'Avignon). We also stopped at Orange,
which has one the largest Roman amphitheaters. The theater is still used
Aix is worth a visit, if only to relax in a cafe along the Cours Mirabeau, the beautiful main street, noted for its graceful plane trees.
We spent a few days in the Luberon, the region made famous by Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. The Luberon has many quaint perched villages, such as Menerbes (where Mayle lived) and Roussillon, known for its ochre cliffs. We stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast near a formerly abandoned town, Oppede-le-Vieux (it's been taken over by wealthy folks renovating the houses). The B&B is called Le Petit Cru, if memory serves (it's been four years; I do know the word Cru is in the name). It's run by Monsieur and Madame Goudin, a lovely couple (he's a retired lawyer). I don't have the address or phone number, but I know it's listed in at least one guide to French B&Bs.
We then drove down to the Cote d'Azur, where we stayed at a friend's villa in St. Maxim, which is across the Bay of St. Tropez from the town of St. Tropez. St. Trope is definitely worth a visit. Eurotrash love to show off their wealth there by driving into the village in expensive cars and, for the very rich, docking their huge yachts right across from a row of cafes. It's great for people-watching.
The well-known towns and cities along the Riviera are all worth checking out: Cannes, Nice (a big city), Monaco, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Cap Ferat etc. (Sorry can't offer suggestions for lodging.)
Inland is the perched town of St. Paul de Vence. It's very picturesque, though pretty commercial these days. A must-see is the Gallerie Maeght, a museum of modern art. The building and its grounds are beautiful, and a great place to relax for an hour or two.
I'm never good at suggesting places to eat, sorry, but you will certainly want to check out seafood restaurants and perhaps partake of bouillabaisse, the fish stew.