“Oh little town of Uzès!”

The French novelist André Gide wrote affectionately of his father’s hometown in the South of France in his 1924 memoir, “Unless the Seed Dies.” “If you were in Umbria, Parisians would be visiting you in herds!” Gide, who was born into a middle-class Protestant family and scandalized France with a blunt but elegant defense of his homosexuality in “Corydon,” also published in 1924, was a wry and astute observer of Parisian snobberies. So he’d surely be amused to learn that today a taste-making coterie of Parisians is falling in love with Uzès and settling there, despite the fact that it’s not in Umbria.

Uzès is one of best preserved and most meticulously renovated towns in the South of France. It’s in the Gard département, 29 miles west of Avignon near the majestic Pont du Gard — an aqueduct bridge built in A.D. 60 by the Romans to supply water to Nimes — and has some superb Renaissance architecture.

P. Beghin (co-owner of the L’Artemise) : “The summer visitors haven’t yet denuded the town of its authenticity. Uzès isn’t commercially folkloric like some of the best-known towns in the Luberon or the Alpilles” — two other southern French spots favored by the Parisian gentry (and, increasingly, Japanese tour buses). “Instead it’s a small but cultivated and unpretentious town that’s attracting a growing number of interesting creative people, and unlike many southern French towns, there’s life here year-round and a strong sense of community.”
“Uzès was a Huguenot (Protestant) stronghold during the 16th century, and a certain liberal live-and-let-live tradition runs very deep here,” Beghin said. “We love the relaxed friendly atmosphere of this town.”

Come to Uzès... I offer you travellers private chauffeured excurisons, around Uzès, the Gard and Provence.   

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