Judging by the pictures above, is this, or is this not, the cutest little major city in the Provence region of Southern France?
For obnoxious Americans, it has it all. Easy access to Cotes du Rhone wine tastings, gastronomique restaurants up the wazoo, a castle, Popes, Medieval Architecture, there's a Mermaid above a door, and there's a lovely little Halles market to buy fresh produce from.
If I'm being honest, we didn't spend that much time in Avignon. Two measly days that were mostly taken up with resting or gallivanting over to Chateauneuf du Pape for some serious wine tasting (and purchasing). But the time we did have in the city was lovely. Avignon, I would say, ranks right up with those few and far between cities in the world that I could happily live in. A city you could live in is special, you understand, because it can't be "too wonderful", or else the charm would be lost. It can't be "your favorite" place, but instead, kind of an easy, better-than-tolerable place that you could picture yourself strolling, working, shopping and being in. Avignon (Antwerp, Delft, Chicago, Doolin) these are my kind of places.
Avignon was the perfect location to tour the Provence region, and we stayed in the sweetest little B&B with the kindest host and ate some absolutely fantastic (like, ranking in the top 10 meals of my life) dinner.
Stay: La Banasterie
Eat: Le Mirande
Tour: Pope's Palace
Gawk & Nosh: Les Halles d'Avignon
xx See you back next week for a guide to possibly the greatest wine destination--in the world...