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PROVENCE: GEOGRAPHY MATTERS
“Provence” has more efficacy as a "brand" than as a place. One rarely if ever hears any residents of the Vaucluse say that they live in "Provence." The word is heard frequently in its adjectival form: provençal.
As geography, the term "Provence" suffers abuse. The French consider contemporary 'Provence' to take in three administrative department:
Confusion pops up due to the administrative region PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
When "Provence" is employed for the department of the Var (Toulon, St, Tropez) or the department of the Alpes-Maritime (Côte d'Azur) or even the five departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is the "brand" asserting itself.
This is a regional distinction that Peter Mayle buys into 100% in his book Provence A-Z. In fact, if Mayle had been 'geographically-correct,' his iconic best seller would have been titled "A Year in the Luberon."
The Luberon and the Comtat Venaissin, referred to as the “Comtat,” are the two large regions within the Vaulcuse,
Category Archives: Reportage
From the gardens of Le Mas du Magnolia, the perched village of Ménerbes appears as a large ocean liner floating in a sea of forest green vines, its bow elevated as if in a salute to the far-flung valley below. … Continue reading
Winter, Fall, Summer or Spring, for those who hold the conviction that life is better lived passionately, there are small treasures throughout Provence where one can nourish an amorous appetite in a refined and intimate atmosphere. One particular jewel that … Continue reading
One might call it a B&B-extra special, more than a bed and more than a breakfast. The uniqueness of Les Olivettes, a luxuriously renovated Bastide on the fringe of Lourmarin, is that its six spacious apartments all have fully-equipped kitchens, … Continue reading
If you are among those who share the conviction that, as far as country living is concerned, the passage of time is enriched by the beauty of horses, then the Mas Pichony is your Provencal bed and breakfast destination of … Continue reading
The backstory of L’Aube Safran (“dawn of saffron” alludes to the time of the day when saffron is harvested): A Parisian couple – Marie an interior designer and Francois an architect – check out of the claustrophobic mash of urban … Continue reading
In the heart of the Calavon Valley in the heart of the Luberon, the bed and breakfast Le Mas de la Médecine is on the southern flank of the quiet village of Goult, a short hop to the perched villages … Continue reading
A restored French farmhouse perched on a hillside amidst acres of unspoiled farmland with a stunning vista of lavender fields and cherry orchards, the Mas de Roquejeanne is a peaceful bucolic retreat in the Luberon. PVB stumbled on this hermetically-sealed … Continue reading
The sweeping views are glorious from L’Asphodèle, a uniquely-designed bed and breakfast nestled in the verdant “grand calme” a mile up the hill from Gordes, the iconic village of stone edifices ‘perched’ on the side of large hill. Upon your … Continue reading
From the large pool of the Auberge du Vin, you gaze out at an ocean of vineyards which seem to flow up to the slopes of the Mont Ventoux in the distance. What guests treasure about the Auberge is its … Continue reading
If the animated buzz and bourgeois mien in the cafes and restaurants of St.-Rémy-de-Provence appear to mimic the frenetic energy of Paris, consider that St-Remy is a favored summer hangout of the Parisian smart set (French who say “je suis confu” … Continue reading