Nestled in the hills of Les Alpilles, Saint-Remy-de-Provence is a stylish town much favoured by the creative Parisien set. Its centre is full of narrow medieval alleyways, with fountains and shady squares and wonderful buildings.
It enjoys a wonderfully central location located just 20km south of Avignon, and 70km from both Aix and Marseille airport. The surrounding countryside is protected as Les Alpilles Natural Park, and vineyards and olive groves flourish.
The town is forever associated with Vincent Van Gogh, as this is where he checked into an asylum for a year (1889) in monastere St Paul de Mausole. He managed to paint 150 canvas' during his stay, including 'Live Grove' and 'Starry Night'. The Mausole is open to the public every day.
Continuing on the art theme, this is where Albert Gleize (Cubism) spent the last 15 years of his life. The Musee des Alpilles holds a collection of ethnological pieces and a selection of paintings by locally-known artists. Other renowned figures associated with the village include the Marquis de Sade, whose family manor the Hotel de Sade is located here (now the Musee Archeologique). St Remy is also the birth place of Nostradamus.
The surrounding area is thick with olive groves, and the Moulin a Huile du Calanquet offers a wide range of products derived from the olive. St Remy continues to enjoy the works of artists who live in the area - glass blowing, artists and sculpters thrive and many original works of art are for sale in the town's numerous art galleries. There is a fantastic selection of accommodation and excellent restaurants in the town, and don't forget to try the local wine from Les Baux.
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