7 participants maximum
June 5 to 15, 2020
4 participants minimum and 7 maximum
Art, Architecture, Antiques, Food, Wines in Provence
The word Provence alone evokes images of undulating hills swaying with fragrant lavender, rocky outcrops topped with ancient villages, and of course, herbs, fabrics, antiques, and Provençal homes and furniture.
A tour of Provence would be incomplete without witnessing such grand sites as the Roman Arena/Amphitheater in Arles and the Papal Palace in beautiful Avignon. Plunge back through history by visiting the drystone huts at Gordes known as bories. The Roman Pont du Gard aqueduct serves as a reminder that engineering and architecture can work together to create lasting beauty. Explore the charming village of Les Baux, perched high above the serene landscape of Provence. In Roussillon see how local artisans use the ocher rock from rust colored cliffs to enhance architectural décor.
Spend an afternoon in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue exploring France's second largest flea market, where antique furniture dealers display their finest pieces. We will also visit some of the most beautiful villages of France.
COMMENTS FROM PROVENCE TRAVELERS
I have taken several European trips as well as domestic tours with Jean and have come back to the US each time simply in amazement. Jean has a way to bring all of the 2D art and architectural books to life in 3D. He shows you 2000 year old architecture (Pompeii) that you can see feel and touch. Jean's historical knowledge is incredible and entertaining. You stay at the best hotels and you eat at the best restaurants...he knows exactly where to go and what to do. Provence was my latest trip. It was so charming. Each day we all wondered how the heck he could out do himself with the WOW factor in our daily explorations from the day before. None of his tours are for the weary because they are energy packed days of non stop touring. My friends have joined me on these trips having no art or architectural background and have had an incredible time. I can not think of any better way to get the dreaded CEU's than a tour with Jean... Simply Incroyable!! Bravo Jean, I will see you again somewhere overseas soon!
Lora Potts, Fort Myers, FL
Our weeklong trip through Provence could not have been better. As we head back to the states I feel compelled to document our experience for others who have never had the good fortune to travel with Jean Renoux. From the moment we arrived we felt comfortable and cared for.
The house in St Remy was lovely and spacious. All accommodations were comfortable yet authentic.
Traveling with two of my colleagues we always felt safe as we toured the fabulous sights and inspired as we discovered something new at every stop. Our days were completely fulfilling. Our evenings filled with great regional cuisine and interesting new friends.
We felt privileged to obtain all our continuing education credits this way. We will certainly do it again!!!
All my best,
I want to take this opportunity to let you know how absolutely fabulous our trip to Provence was with you in September. You are so knowledgeable in so many areas, from furniture design to architecture history and current events. You know all the special places to go and visit, we never would have found. The light shows were particularly special. The villa and the chef were first rate and our entire group was so compatible. No hassles and I attribute that all to you expertise and great attitude. We have always been suspicious of group tours, but you made us believers! But only on your tours! We look forward to our next opportunity to travel with you .
Bruce Frazier and Richard Nielsen
Our recent trip with you to Provence was delightful, informative and so much fun -- we will always remember it. What a treat to have you all to ourselves. You did a wonderful job of customizing our journey to suit our needs and interests. Knowing that my husband and I were celebrating milestone birthdays, you outdid yourself creating a one-of-a-kind experience. We are so grateful for your time, love and attention. I would recommend your tours to anyone looking for a deeper experience on vacation, one that includes history, education and a fuller understanding of the culture, arts and architecture. It's been a couple of weeks and we are still wandering around in a Provence-induced haze of happiness. Thank you!
- 7 nights in Avignon - Internet, Wi-Fi
- 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners.
- Entries to whatever sites we will be visiting - Transportation while in Provence - Books on Provence.
- Pick-up & drop-off at Marseille's Airport or Avignon Train Station.
- Medical/accident insurance.
CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE THEM
Day 1 - Friday
Leave the US on the airline of your choice to Paris (airfare not included).
Day 2 - Saturday - D1:
LAND in Marseille-Marignane-Airport OR arrive at the Avignon-Train-Station where we will pick you-up and drive you to the villa.
We will go to our hotel in Avignon, the capital of Provence.
Every day we will go in one direction and absorb the sites.
Day 3 - Sunday - B1-L1-D2:
We are going to the second largest antiques market in France at L'Isle sur Sorgue. In the morning, there is also a great farmers/street market.
There are also some very interesting art galleries/foundations worth a visit.
Day 4 - Monday - B2 L2- D3:
Arles was a Roman city whose foundation dates back to the 6th C. BC. We will visit the very interesting Museum of Roman Antiquities, a modern building erected in the axis of the Roman circus, the foundations of which are still partly visible. Between models, artifacts and maps, the genius of Roman creativity becomes obvious. It is a wonderful place to understand how important the civilization was and how much we owe to them, in decoration, architecture and also in our political systems. Then we will tour the Roman Amphitheater, and walk around Ales to find some of the spots that Vincent van Gogh painted including a famous draw bridge.
Pont du Gard – Built circa 19 B.C.E. by Marcus Agrippa, the 890-ft long, 160-ft high Pont du Gard comprises three impressive tiers of arches. The bridge was listed as a protected monument as long ago as 1840, when major restoration was undertaken, and was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1985. The Pont du Gard was part of a system 32 miles long that brought water to Nîmes from a spring almost to the north.
Day 5 - Tuesday - B3 L3 D3:
In Avignon we will visit the Pope's Palace, built in 1378. The Popes left Rome because of political turmoil and were in Avignon for 70 some odd years. They did own the town and the area known as Comtat Venaissin until 1791.
Then on to visit the Angladon Museum, home to a collection of works of art by famous artists from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, works which had been collected or inherited by a couple of artists, Jean et Paulette Angladon-Dubrujeaud. They worked as painters and engravers, and were bequeathed the collection put together by the well-known Parisian couturier and connoisseur Jacques Doucet, who supported new young artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, Rousseau and is considered as one of the “inventor” of the Art Deco Style by supporting and promoting designers and architects who excelled in that genre.
You will see the famous "Pont d'Avignon" where, in the song, people are supposed to dance under it. Impossible.
Day 6 - Wednesday - B4 L4:
We will stop by a fabric outlet selling designers' fabrics at incredibly low prices. Even without buying anything, I like the place, kind of French Calico Corner run wild.
We will visit the village of Roussillon, which has a beautiful landscape of ocher cliffs, then visit an ocher factory, L’Usine Mathieu, where to learn how ocher can be applied in architecture and décor.
Gordes – High on a rocky hill, Gordes has been listed as "one of the most beautiful villages of France". Within the town are beautiful old doorways, arcades and walls of flat stone perfectly restored, while the panorama on the outskirts overlooks the valley and mountains of Luberon.
Les Bories – Just south of Gordes lies the Village des Bories, a bizarre, primitive habitat. Bories are tiny beehive shaped huts built of overlapping dry stones. The construction techniques are thought to date back to Neolithic times. This group of bories was inhabited from the 16th to the early 20th centuries.
Day 7 - Thursday - B5 L5 D5: A day of improvisation, where we will do what you want according to your desires and interests, although there are a lot more of fascinating places, villages, castles to see within 40 minutes drive.
Day 8 - Friday - B6 L6 D6: On our way to Les Baux we will stop in St-Remy-de Provence and visit the insane asylum of St. Paul-de-Mausole where Vincent van Gogh had himself admitted after he cut off one of his ear lobes following a fight with Paul Gaugin. He stayed there for one year and 8 days during which he painted over 150 works.
Les Baux - With its ruined castles and deserted houses capping an arid rocky spur plunging abruptly to steep ravines on either side, the old village of Les Baux-de-Provence is a spectacular highlight of the tour. A stronghold in the early 10th century, Les Baux holds many Roman artifacts, including burial tombs and stèles (monoliths), marking it as a Roman defensive town.
Cathédrale d’Images – Located inside an underground quarry from which the Romans took stone to build their houses and monuments, an incredible audiovisual performance created with 60 projectors on 4000 m2 of sheer rock.
Day 9 - Saturday - B7 L7 D7:
Depending on your train or air return and from which airport you may fly back home, you can stay another included night, spent in Marseille, which has an airport with many international destinations where you could connect to your your US flight.
The train station has Very Fast Trains (TGV) to Paris, almost every hours, some even going to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
In Marseille we will visit the city which has some interesting sites, like Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse, and some very interesting museums and landmarks.
Day 10 - Sunday - B8: You will be driven to the airport or the train station.