"A little off the beaten path" Villefranche-de-Rouergue by Beausoleil
Villefranche-de-Rouergue Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 15 photos
We spent a week in a gite near Villefranche-de-Rouergue last September and didn't go into the town until nearly the last day of our stay. We had a list of places we wanted to visit and Villefranche-de-Rouergue was not on it. Bit of a mistake as we had a very nice day there.
I didn't realize it but we had driven through it a dozen years before when driving from Bordeaux to Provence and trying to take back roads. We certainly took back roads! I discovered the previous visit reading an old journal of mine so it was not memorable the first time around.
This time we planned our day, parked at the Promenade St. Jean on the Aveyron river in a large, free, shaded lot with a petanque game going on in a clear spot. Fun!
Villefranche-de-Rouergue is a bastide town founded in 1099 and the old area clustered around Notre Dame is old but amazingly vibrant. It currently has a large immigrant population and the streets are bright and busy. The shops are all open and it's a great place to wander between tourist sights.
The church of Notre Dame is central and beautiful but there are several other churches to visit. When you go around the Place Notre Dame by the church, if you walk under the arcades, you get a marvelous feeling of history . . . and avoid much of the traffic.
There is a fun market at the square on Thursdays.
The beautiful Fontaine du Griffoul is sunken into its own plaza in front of the museum. Directly opposite the fountain is the Musée Urbain Cabrol. The building is interesting but most surprising is a ground floor room devoted to native American tribal art (Kanak). It's a little unusual in France and fun to see.
Check the web site because the museum has limited hours.
- Pros:Lovely setting at the confluence of two rivers
- In a nutshell:A larger Bastide town that is still vibrantly alive.
Ed ordered kirs to celebrate my birthday and we received an amuse bouche of two cheese pastries and two salmon patés on... more travel advice
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