Avignon-Palace of the Popes plus!
We start this morning at the famous Palace of the Popes, in the vast esplanade where you could happily spend the rest of the day people watching and enjoying the street performers. As its name implies, here stands the formidable Popes' Palace, emblem of the city and awe-inspiring monument to the importance of Avignon in the Christian world of the Middle Ages. Built in the 1300s, mainly by two popes - the austere Benedict XII and his successor, the much less ascetic Clement VI, - the palace would become the biggest gothic edifice in all of Europe. We will start our train tour here, a great orientation to the history and the layout of this city so rich in history and full of life.
One of the most important events held in Avignon is the Avignon theatre Festival. The city is transformed at this time in July for this internationally renown festival founded in 1947.
Capital of the Vaucluse and the Côtes du Rhône, seat of the popes and city of art and culture, theatre, cinema, museums, big stores and little shops, Avignon is a small city that has everything a big one has, and then some...
From medieval streets and houses to private mansions. Diverse dining opportunities, ranging from family-run restaurants, good and inexpensive to some of the greatest Michelin-starred chefs.
The historic city centre, the Popes' Palace, all the episcopal buildings and the Saint Bénézet Bridge (made famous by the "Sur le Pont d'Avignon" song) are listed as world heritage sites by UNESCO.
If you want to open up your horizons, go do a tour of the ramparts. The Avignon city walls constitute the 2nd longest continuous wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China. You can access the walls' walkway from the Rocher des Doms (I'll point this out when we get there) or from the Saint Anne stairs behind the palace.