May 10, 2019
The drive from Nice went smoothly except for a little oop’s at the first toll booth, where we got in the wrong lane and were stuck until a nice woman opened the toll gate for us. After that Suzanne the intrepid navigator got it figured out so there weren’t anymore embarrassing incidents. I was a little nervous at first, but driving in Europe came back to me although it had been many, many years since I drove from Zurich to Florence. The driver’s in Europe are so good, with everyone staying to the right unless they are passing. Everything just flows so well on the expressways.
This church was our first view after passing through the crumbling ramparts of Venasque.
We are in an ancient hill town perched on a rocky outcropping overlooking the Nesque valley and Carpentras plain. The region is Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. You can see Venasque southeast of Carpentras.
The owner’s of the house sent us an instruction book for finding the property, working the locks, parking and everything we need to know to stay here for the week. As you can see from the map there are plenty of little villages and towns to explore during our stay.
The entry to the house is inside the old wooden doors to the left in the featured photo. The caretakers Fabio and Camille met us to welcome us to the village and help us with our bags up just a few stairs. The house is pretty much vertical with 4 to 5 levels depending on what you consider a level. The photo below shows the steps to the front door on the right and the steps to the upstairs bedrooms on the left. Since the bathrooms are on the second level, which has it’s own sets of stairs, we opted for that level, plus it is warmer with more sunlight.
These are the stairs to Suzanne’s bedroom and I’m hoping she can navigate the steep steps safely. Most of the house has great handrails, but not this bedroom.
This is my bedroom that only has one small step down, with it’s own tub and sinks. Suzanne gave me first choice, maybe because I got the twin bed in our Nice hotel and the stairs to her bedroom scared me off.
This is the roof terrace that overlooking the village and is a great place to hang out. The view is absolutely wonderful.
I’m not sure how old this ancient house is, but the village was established in the high Middle Ages and was the Capital of Comtat Venaissin (County of Venaissin), which became a possession of the Holy See in 1271*, when Avignon was Pope Clement V’s seat of the Papacy.
This is the living room/kitchen area of the house up the first flight of stairs. That blown out light area to the rear right is a small enclosed patio that was getting some sun.
After we got slightly settled, off we went to find a little lunch as we didn’t stop on our trip from Nice. The only thing open in the afternoon are the local bars. There appear to be two in the village. We bought blackberry jam at the bar, brioche bread at the bakery, then waited to 4:30 when the little store opened to buy milk, mayonnaise, water, mustard, tea and a huge heirloom tomato. Breakfast and lunch are covered.
Here are some more pictures of our village. The village is very small with about 1100 inhabitants.
This looked like some sort of plant shop. It was closed like almost everything else between 2:30 to 4:30 pm.
The fountain in the central plaza and the bakery (Boulangerie) in the middle/right behind. Our house down the street to the left behind the fountain.
Au Revoir, see you tomorrow.