Provence always conjures up beautiful memories and sensations. Any amount of time spent in the region is enough to make me wish I were Peter Mayle’s neighbor – yes, even if it were to mean dealing with French bureaucracy, the fickle nature of the country’s builders, and highly inquisitive townspeople. The joys of Provence are abundant, and countless travelers from all over the globe come to discover (or re-discover) them every year.
For me, Provence means impressively long stints at various farmers’ markets, exquisite 8€ bottles of rosé, strolls through Avignon, the view from the hill in Gourdes, the energetic Mediterranean temperament of the Provençals, and baguettes baked to perfection. The thing about Provence is that it somehow illuminates the beautiful in the typically mundane. And it is for that precise reason that one of my greatest pleasures in Provence is sitting at a sidewalk café and watching the locals go about their daily lives.
I wouldn’t be surprised if after one visit to the region you start investigating the feasibility of relocating. Trust me, you wouldn’t be the first to embark upon such mental gymnastics over an aperitif in a French village. The skillfulness with which Provence leads our senses and imaginations off on wild tangents is unrivaled. It never fails to open us up to the grandest possibilities of life, and perhaps, ourselves.
**For those who have never visited Provence or simply adore it, feel free to email me for a list of books and films set in the region.