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L’Isle sur la Sorgue

A very charming village , is famous for its moss-covered waterwheels that once powered silks , grain, and olive mills, and its antiques. If you start your walk at the rond point on Avenue Charles de Gaulle and if you follow Avenue des 4 Otages to the first moss covered waterwheel near Pont Gambetta. Another waterwheel  on Quai Rouget de l’Isle come to another turning waterwheel . If you take a left at Place Emile Char , crosss the Avenue des Compagnons de La Liberation and visit the building full of antique dealers on both sides of Avenue de l’Egalite.

Les villages des antiquaires de la Gare, le quai de la gare, Avenue Guige and rives des Sorgues. Make plenty of time to be able to browse their wares, then exit and cross the Avenue again and then go through Place Emile Chat to get to Rue Carnot. If you keep strolling the street, you will pass the many shops and the Musee des jouets & des poupets ( toys and dolls museum). When you get to Place de La Libertee you will come face to face with a massive Romanesque facade of the church , Notre Dame -des-Anges , built in the 13th-century. If you step inside you will see sumptuous baroque interior and the 45-foot -high altarpiece. You can also make a stop at Cafe de France for a drink.

Avignon.

Capitale of the Vaucluse departement owes its fame to seven popes ( 1309-1376). If you enter the old city through la Porte de la Republique you can follow Cours Jean Jaures, which will become place de la Republique, the very vibrant main boulevard of Old Avignon. You can make a stop at Le Musee Lapidaire, an archeology museum in a 17th-century jesuit chapel. Place de L’horloge, you can window shop at the many stores and make a coffee stop at the numerous cafes complemented by the 150-year- old  Opera Theater. Also from the place you can get a glimpse from the very imposing Palais des Papes ( Papal Palace). Directly across from the southern facade you will find Hotel de la Mirande built in the 14th century as a Cardinal’s palace.  It is now a luxury hotel, beautifully decorated, where you can stop for tea or a drink in one of the intimate salons. On Place du Palais  you will be confronted by the pale stone Palais des Papes, the largest  Gothic palace in the world.

Marseille.

Make a stop and step into Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, the 19th-century church basilique  on a limestone summit 500 feet above the harbor, reigns over Marseille. If you begin at Place Saint Victor in front of the Provencal-Roman Abbaye Saint-Victor and its square towers. the Abbaye was founded in the 5th century on the site of an old necropolis, destroyed by the Saracens, rebuilt in the 11th-century and then fortified in the 14th. The interior is worth the stop, quite magnificent and the crypts below and the 2nd-century sarcophagi are Paleochristian relics at their finest. Continue on Rue Sainte to the Boulangerie ( Four des Navettes ), bakers since 1781, to buy Navettes, a traditional Marseillaise orange-blossom cookies.If you want to go up to Notre-Dame de la Garde you will have to begin the long ascent to the very long staircase below the Baroque , multicolored Basilique de Notre Dame -de-la-garde. Once you get to the top you get the view that includes Marseille and out to sea. Then step inside the Basilique and take a look at the crypts below.

Arles.

Arles gives visitors a foretaste of Spain, with its blend of Roman and Baroque. Les Thermes de Constantin built by the Romans, they are the largest Roman baths remaining a Provence. If you start in the place de La Republique and pass through the 17th-century hotel de Ville you will notice the masterful flat vaulting of the ceiling. If you turn left on historic Plan de la Cour, then right on Rue des Palais and get to the very hospitable Place du Forum you will see a statue of the French poet Frederic Mistral.  Also Van Gogh’s colorful Cafe de La Nuit and the great brasserie at the very eclectic Hotel Nord Pinus, le Bistro Arelesien or Le Mistral. You can also check out the collection of Olive Oils at Fadoli. You will aslo find the famous saucissons d’Arles  at the butcher when you pass Fadoli. you will turn left  on Rue de l’Hotel de Ville , which will become narrow Rue Dominique  Maistro. Follow this street for a few blocks until you arrive at the rear of the 4th-century baths, Les Thermes de Constantin. You can take a left on Rue du Grand Prieure to tour the baths, Go back East on  Rue du Grand Prieure to the musee Reattu. Here you can see a Picasso collection plus 16th to 18th- century paintings.

Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer.

Best known for its Gypsy pilgrimage that takes place every year on May 24 and 25.

L’eglise des Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. To get to the church , cross Avenue Frederique Mistral  to Rue Victor Hugo, pass through Place de l’Echelle to Place Jouse d’Arbaud. The church is kind of gloomy and was later fortified so the only light comes through a very small window over the altar. You can take the stairs down to the crypt . You will see among hundreds of votive candles the relics of Saints Marys. The legend tells how a boat carrying Mary Jacobs, Mary Salome, mother of the apostles James & John , were washed ashore at this seaside village between the Rhone & the Mediterranean. The statues in this 12th-century Romanesque church recall the event. In the crypt dressed in sequined robes, is a third statue; that of their maidservant , Sara, venerated by the gypsies. The three saints are carried in procession to the sea on May 24 & 25. Worth the stop!.

Avignon

Avignon

Arles

Arles

Arles

Arles

Marseille

Marseille

L'Isle sur La Sorgue

L’Isle sur La Sorgue

Anne Suire

Travel with us to Provence in 2015.

May 2 – May 9 , 2015.

10 guests are invited. $ 3,990.

All inclusive. ( Air fare not included). To Book visit us online at http://www.luxurytravelconsultant2.com