The village of l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (Island on the Sorgue) will be our destination on Sunday. This small town is famous for its many antique shops. There are over 300 permanent antique dealers and second-hand shops here. This gives the village the bragging rights as being the number two antique destination in France, with Paris being number one. The colors, sounds, and scents of this market will awaken your senses.
The Sorgue river surrounds the village and the canals run in-between several of the narrow ancient streets. There are small bridges to cross and great, moss covered water wheels whose blades turn in the river, reminding you of the river’s past. Historically, as early as the 12th century, the river provided a defensive moat. It also served as a source for food. At one time, inhabitants lived off of crayfishing from the river, often catching up to 35,000 a day! Artisan mills also manufactured oil, silk, paper, wool, rugs and dyes. It was a natural progression that these industries encouraged trade, business, and other vendors and eventually led to two weekly markets and two annual fairs. The current Sunday market originated on November 9th in 1596. It continues to thrive and is a market you don’t want to miss. *For some tips on being a savy marketeer see the blog post "Markets of Provence Tips".