The Romans who founded this settlement called it right, naming their new town Jocunditas delight. Delightful it remains, an island of honey-hued stone in a sea of vines, awash with caves offering tastings of the grenache, syrah and cinsault blends for which its toasted. Family-run Hotel Les Florets was no less of a joy; the wine list alone was the size of a Gutenberg Bible and nearly as impenetrable, its cuisine as accomplished as any wed encountered. Three hours undulating woodland rambling next morning brought us to the St-Maurice ridge, on which teeters the hamlet of Le Crestet, its walls jealously guarding a medieval heart. The facade of the wisata bandung 9th-century chateau on the village square now fronts a private residence, but the real delights are buried in car-free, cobbled lanes below: duck beneath arches and tour bandung past tiled, shuttered stone houses to find the 11th-century church, well and ancient laundry. Our final approach to Vaison, an hour along a wide track followed by an asphalt road, was a bit of an anticlimax, passing suburbs, modern villas and a blocky castle.
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