JACOBS, MICHAEL / PALMER, HUGH
Provence is a land apart, a territory of outstanding beauty and distinction that has fascinated outsiders since earliest times. The Greeks, the Romans, the barbarians of the North, and the Moors have all left their traces in its villages, from the Luberon to the Alpes-Maritimes.It is in such smaller communities that the true Provencal spirit can be found: in brilliant sunlight falling across the tightly grouped terra-cotta roofs, or in the shade beneath great plane trees in an ancient square. Such scenes come alive here in Hugh Palmer's photographs and Michael Jacobs' evocative accounts of the most beautiful villages of this, the best-loved of all French provinces.The book opens with the villages of the Vaucluse and the Bouches-du-Rhone, the region of such architectural gems as Bonnieux and Gordes. Moving east to the Var and eventually the mountains of the Alpine departments, we visit tranquil villages of the center like Les Arcs, set amid some of the finest vineyards of southern France. In stark contrast are the fortified hill villages of the east, perched on crests or terraced along some mountainside.