Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
During the month of July the Avignon Theater Festival closes the streets for pedestrian traffic only and visitors from all over the world come to party and attend some of the hundreds of plays and performances offered

Click on title to view photo in large format. Every July, the Rue de la République in Avignon, France, is closed to traffic for the Avignon Theater Festival. Visitors flock to the city to attend performances and party along the main street in the historic center. Adding to the fun and craziness, actors roam the streets in costume, performing snippets of plays to attract customers. Read More

Posters of performances are plastered all over town during the July Theater Festival in Avignon, France

Click on title to view photo in large format. Posters of performances are plastered all over town during the Theater Festival in Avignon, France, held throughout the month of July each year. Though most of the plays are performed in French only, there are ways for a non-French speaker like me to enjoy the festival. Many are classics such as Shakespeare, which can be enjoyed despite language if the story-line is familiar. There are also Read More

The perched village of Gordes, one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in Provence, France

Click on title to view photo in large format. The perched village of Gordes is a gorgeous hilltop village in Provence, France. Crowning a hill in the Luberon mountains, Gordes is visible for miles around. These days, tourism is the main economic activity in the village, thus this picture perfect location is today an asset. But it wasn’t always so. Throughout history, the wealth and prominent position of Gordes were coveted by everyone from the Romans to the Kings of France. As a result, the fortified castle was built to enclose the city hall and provide safety for residents during attacks. Read More

I tilted my chin up and let the sunshine warm my face. Day after day in Provence brought crystal blue skies and fresh breezes that kept the sweltering summer heat at bay. I had come to southern France for its sunshine, but not for the same reason as most sun worshipers. What drew me were the famous Charentais melons of Provence. In addition to making me sigh with bliss, the sunshine of southern France combines with the region’s pure water, rich soil, and Mistral winds to create the perfect growing conditions for this delicious fruit.

Many evenings I dined at Au Rendez-Vous Bar, where they always included half a melon on my veggie platter

Many evenings I dined at Au Rendez-Vous Bar, where they always included half a melon on my veggie platter

I’d been curious about Charentais melons for quite some time. In the wee hours of the morning, on one of those rare occasions when I was in the U.S., I’d watched an informercial with a Hollywood cosmetic surgeon who claimed he could reverse the aging process. His secret? A ingredient extracted from the melons of Provence, France. Read More

The old Jewish Synagogue in Cavaillon, France

Click on title to view photo in large format. Between the Middle Ages and the French Revolution, Cavaillon, France, was home to a significant Jewish population. While Jewish communities in other parts of Europe were suffering horrific pogroms, the Jews of Provence were luckier. The Popes of Avignon, recognizing that Jesus was a Jew, decreed that they be treated with tolerance. However, because Jews were also seen as the murderers of Jesus, they established strict regulations Read More

Cloister inside Cavaillon Cathedral of Notre Dame and Saint Veran in Cavaillon, France

Click on title to view photo in large format. Though it was tiny, I really liked this pretty little cloister inside the Cathedral in Cavaillon, France. Unlike other cloisters, which are meticulously trimmed and neat, this one was a riot of unkempt wildflowers. Somehow, that added to its charm, as did the beam of sunlight that fell on its cross, turning it to burnished gold. Read More