We recently took a weekend trip to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Actually it was for business, which is just icing on the cake–such a hardship!
A three-hour drive from Carcassonne, Provence is just far enough that we don’t tend to go there much and close enough that we really ought to get out and explore it more. We’ll share our discoveries in a few posts.
The town is relentlessly quaint. Everything has been restored to just the right amount of neatness with patina, neither too rustic and falling apart nor too new and shiny. The small nut of the historic center is mostly car-free, and it’s remarkably calming to sit at a café terrace and hear the swish of leaves in the breeze and not a low hum of engines.
St. Rémy has only about 10,000 inhabitants, and probably even more tourists. And why not–such a cute town, with beautiful boutiques and chic restaurants nestled in stately Renaissance buildings. It’s very upscale–everybody is dressed just so, and Sotheby’s and Christies real estate offices face off across the boulevard encircling the center.
We only scratched the surface and hope to get back. September was a good time to visit–it was bustling but not as crowded as it would get at the height of summer. We had a hard time finding an apartment and ended up in a very nice, basic hotel (l’Amandière) despite booking three weeks before.