UNESCO lists The Historic Center of Avignon as a World Heritage Site. The award recognizes the 13th- and 14th-century papal palaces and cathedrals massed inside Avignon's remarkably intact 14th-century walls. But visitors have always loved Avignon. In fact, this small city, set above a lazy bend in the Rhône, has attracted appreciation since the Stone Age. Maybe the first Neolithic settlers chose the heights of The Rocher des Doms to be safely above the Rhône's fertile flood plain; we're romantic enough to hope they also liked the view. Today, the Rocher des Doms is a scented formal garden overlooking the Pont St. Bénézet, with extensive vistas of the surrounding country, reaching as far as the Alpilles, Mt. Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. This is a genuinely seductive place. And since many of its narrow, winding streets are for pedestrians only, it manages to be peaceful yet lively and entertaining at the same time. The hardest part of beginning a tour of Provence in Avignon is deciding when to leave. In a region saturated with Roman monuments and the echoes of Roman culture, Nîmes is the most Roman of cities. The well maintained state of its ancient monuments and public buildings is due to the fact that several of them have been in virtually continual use since Roman times. The Amphitheater, built by the Romans in about 40 or 50 BC, is still the main venue for all kinds of festivals and spectacles. The classical, colonnaded Maison Carrée, once a Roman temple, has been the town hall, a private home, a stable, a monastery, and a church before its current incarnation as a museum. For years, Ferne Arfin has been playing in Provence, a place where Van Gogh spent his most prolific years painting. She draws from her experience to tell you about the people, their culture and the way of life. Covering every town, village and city in the region, this book takes you sightseeing in Avignon, Nimes and beyond, shopping, to the best beaches. Comprehensive background information - history, culture, geography and climate - gives you a solid knowledge of each destination and its people, with details on the museums, historic sites and local attractions. Places to stay and eat; transportation to, from and around your destination; practical concerns; tourism contacts - it's all here! Detailed regional and town maps feature walking and driving tours. This guide is extracted from our full Adventure Guide to Provence & the Cote d’Azur, though with additional details. Following are some reviews of the complete guide: "The guide offers plenty of practical information for the visitor who wants to explore the region. It includes info on places to stay and eat, but that isn't its strongest point. Its best features are the adventure tips it provides for each area (boating, biking, walking, kayaking, windsurfing, you name it!) and the pertinent background information that adds depth to a visit: for example, a note about French author Antoine de St Exupéry when covering Agay, a word on Winter on the Mont Ventoux. These fall outside of the classic insights on these locations. As a frequent and long-time visitor to the region, I find the information in the guide right on the mark and recommend it highly." -- Florence Chatzigianis. "I've just returned from a trip to Antibes and Nice and I used this book as my guide. The recommendations were spot on; really terrific. This is a rare thing, a guide book that inspires and tempts you without making your head spin. All the detail you need is there but this book is so much more!" -- Annie Smith. "What a great hands-on book. This is the best guide to Provence and the Riviera I've come across. Her section on St. Remy and Eygalieres is perfect. "Le Petit Bru" may have been the best meal I had...and a good value. This is the one to get before you leave." -- Chuck E.
About Ferne Arfin
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Published January 19, 2011
by Hunter Publishing.