Located in the left bank of the River Rhône, 80kms northeast of Marseilles, Avignon has a population of about 95.000 people and, unlike a chunk of the Paris population, they’re mostly nice, empathic and very helpful to tourists – much the like portuguese, if I may add.
For years, Avignon was the residence for Catholic Popes (we actually call that period the Avignon Papacy). The Palais dees Papes (Palace of Popes), today one of the 10 most visited monuments in France, is also one of the most important Middle Ages gothic constructions, in Europe. It really is magnificent.
The city has a certain charm, and it’s closeby to one of the world’s best wine areas (Chateuxneuf du Pape). Music that surrounds you at every corner, the brasseries, it all reminds you of a make-believe city.
Another point of interest is the famous bridge over the Rhône, of which there’s only 4 arches left (from the 22 original ones). There’s even a popular children’s song about it, “ur le pont d’Avignon”. Wind came over the city and I found myself in a “Wuthering Heights” sort of mood. In the literal sense, not in the romance way.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. The food and wine are to die for, as they would in one of the most prestigious wine countries in the world. I had the opportunity to dine at La Mirande, a restaurant with 2 Michelin star Chefs, an experience I won’t easily forget, I can tell you that.
Avignon. A place to add to your bucketlist, for sure.