The emerald-colored spring gushes forth at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Rivers meander under the trees, while canals and water wheels refresh the air in the “Little Venice”, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Nearby, in the Monts de Vaucluse, walls and bories have been built with stone, using no mortar. Terraced fields have been hemmed in by low drystone walls, testimony to peasant ingenuity. Just a few kilometers and I clearly see the many faces of Provence.
Be sure to see:
Nicknamed the “Venice of the Comtat”. The center of town lies within the branches of the river. There are 300 permanent antique dealers every weekend. The watershed “partage des eaux”, a nice place for a family stroll, with a picnic area. The nautical festivities, jousts and floating market (in the summer). The Provencal market on Sunday mornings, ranked as an “outstanding market”, and the flea market on Sunday mornings. The “Donadéï de Campredon” museum (exhibits). The baroque Collegiate church.
The spring. The “Moulin Vallis Clausa” where paper is made like in the Middle Ages. The ecomuseum for the swallow-hole (collection of crystallizations in a lifesize setting). Canoe or kayak down the Sorgue river. The santon museum with 1700 santons and automatons, made by Provencal santon makers between the 1800’s and the present day. Video on santon making. The Petrarch museum (Italian poet who lived in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse in the 14th century). Works by Petrarch and René Char. The 1939-1945 history museum.
The Plague Wall (from the early 18th century) built to protect the Comtat from the great plague in Marseille.
The borie (the biggest found as of the present time). Magali Montagard’s santon workshop. Dominated by theCastle, former property of the Sade Family.
Hilltop village, ranked as “One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France”.
40 fountains, most from the 18th century. The old bridge over the Nesque river leads to the Notre-Dame entrance. The Comtadine Traditional Clothing Museum. The
Maison Fléchier (Provencal traditions). Ferrande Tower with 13th century frescoes.
The Thouzon caves, an underground jewel, the only natural caves to be visited in Provence. The Romanesque church.