The one time Province of Rome is mainly agricultural land dedicated to the growing of lavender, cherries, apricots, and melons in the north and grapes and olives in the south. Rice and salt production are favored in the flat land of the Camargue on the Rhone River Delta.
The farms of Provence have produced a regional cuisine that has much to do with the available produce in season.
The farmers of Provence work the land and cherish their traditions. Many of the villages hold festivals based on the spring planting and fall harvest. Festivals include ancient music, dance, horsemanship, bull fighting and traditional Provence meals based on olives, rice, grape and roasted lamb.
Provence is bordered on the west by the Rhone River, on the east by the border of Italy. The region was inhabited in Neolithic times when settlers built rock tombs and cave shelters.
Later, nomadic shepherds built corbel vaulted beehive-like structures of stone called bories with an estimated 3000 still standing around Gordes and in the valley below the village of Saignon.
The river attracted Celtic tribes and Italian Ligurians who inhabited Provence before the Greek (600 BC) and later Roman settlers (200 BC) entered the river and built permanent dwellings of stone along its course.
From the first century BC to the third century AD, the Romans built extensively throughout Provence and many of their structures still stand.
The regions of Provence are called departments and include Hautes Alpes, Alpes de Haute Provence, Alpes Maritimes, Bouches du Rhone, Var, and Vaucluse.
If you are planning to rent a vacation house or apartment in Provence, start a search with the region you desire and your price range. Some villages are more expensive than others but the area is well served by good roads so that you can base in one place and reach many villages and walled cities in an hours drive.
A Villa or Vacation rental at the foot of a walled city in Provence could accommodate up to 15 or more and give good access to recreation, culture, shopping
Saignon on the hilltop overlooking Apt is in the middle of Provence's lavender country east of Avignon.
A limited menu family run mom and pop style restaurant in the Village of Apt, Provence, La Manade on Rue Rene Cassin should not be missed
Avignon Provence and its Palace of the Popes (pictured) is a good base for a South of France vacation and day trips to Apt, Gordes, and Saignon, villages noted for lavender production
Where Is Provence, The South Of France
Provence, The South of France
Region of Provence
The southeastern region of France from Montelimar to the Mediterranean, from Nice to the Saintes Maries de la Mere on the Rhone River Delta is called Provence. Marseilles is one of the principle cities of Provence and offers an international airport. Marseilles is located 483 miles south of Paris, three hours by TGV Train.
This region is noted for Roman ruins, medieval walled cities, wine and olive production, and low-fat cuisine based on olive oil and local herbs such as thyme. Provence also offers great hiking, biking, and Kayaking.
Restaurants to write home about:
In Mouries the Valon de Gayet, in Apt, La Manade,
in Avignon, La Fourchette.
No Passing for commercial vehicles
No Passing zone ends
with yield to traffic in rotary
Web shopping for rental car offers selection, price, and ease of booking on the web. Shop online well ahead of your trip and choose diesel (more economical) or gas, luggage space,(important) standard or automatic,
(important) two door, four door and other options. Reserve extras such as baby seats, strollers, telephones.: GPS, Cell Phone see renting a vehicle in Provence
Speed limits will be clearly marked and the Rotary will be a welcome site with its directions to various towns. Gassing up is similar to US with credit card and automatic shut-off at modern pumps. Car rental are available in all large cities and at many TGV Train Stations.
Information for those renting a vehicle in Provence
Provence is in the South Of France, a region, rich in Roman ruins, medieval walled cities, and famed for its low-fat cuisine. Provence also offers great hiking, biking, and kayaking. High-speed rail, good roads, and international flights serve Provence.
Camargue Provence cottage of the Gardians