Art and Historic Architecture in the Luberon Not far from Cannes, the Luberon is one of France’s most picturesque regions. The hilltop villages strung throughout the low mountains of the Alpilles have offered inspiration for artists like Van Gogh, Cezanne and Chagall thanks to their achingly beautiful vistas. That artistic history is on full display in Gordes, one of Shelby’s favorite small towns, with a rich local arts scene. It is a winding hive of narrow cobblestone alleyways and arcades, where stone steps wind around the hillside, and sun-streaked courtyards are set with café tables. The castle at the center of town dates to the Middle Ages and today boasts a museum with the works of artist Pol Mara. Just outside of town, the historic site Bories Village offers a unique look at traditional Provençal stacked-stone huts, and at the nearby Senanque Abbey you can see the famous lavender fields tended by resident monks. To truly savor the Old World experience in Gordes, take a room in the Bastide de Gordes, a hotel within the original structure of the village walls, clinging to the mountain face with terraces of pools, gardens and relaxing patios spilling out below.
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