Attention all shoppers! Do you love the smell of commerce in the morning? Can you shop and never drop? If so, a visit to Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue is for you. This little village, just 45 minutes from our house is comprised almost entirely of (pause for dramatic effect…) ANTIQUE STORES.*
Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue is home to 300 permanent antique dealers, that number swelling to 500 during the antique fair that attracts sellers from all over the world every August. But don’t worry, non-shoppers.** There are plenty of non-commercial diversions available, in addition to the multitude of lovely bars, restaurants and cafés that make perfect meeting points after a day’s shopping.
This charming medieval town is built on the islands of five branches of the Sorgue river, earning it the nickname “the Venice of Provence.” Even without gondolas, water adds a special beauty and character to a town. Sorgue has many river branches and canals, huge overhanging plane trees and several large, lovely waterwheels. Even if the many mills are no longer working, some of the waterwheels still turn.
Sites to see or visit: 300 antique stores, Parc Gautier, Baroque church Notre Dame des Anges, rare collection of Moustier faience. Also, magnificent mansions have been converted into art galleries, in particular the famous Maison René Char – Hotel Donadeï de Campredon (18thc.), now a museum exhibiting such great artists as Miro, Mauguin or Dufy and a display area dedicated to René Char.
Leisure activities: Market on Thursday and Sunday mornings, hiking, horseback riding, tennis, 18 hole golf course, fishing, kayaking.
Cultural events: Summer fêtes and music festivals.
More pictures at right under “Photos.”
* Tanya, I can almost hear you packing your suitcase as I type these words.
** Al, this refers to you.