Avignon France is steeped in history just like most of the places I visit, with archaeology going back to prehistoric times, then the Greeks, Romans and Christians. The Popes palace gives the perspective of the Popes who resided there (acquisition thereof) from 1309 after leaving Rome for a time. They would leave their mark on Avignon in trade and banking as well as religion especially in the written word. The Papacy is rich in history far from what the every day Catholic knows. They certainly didn’t teach it to us in Catholic school. During the day I witnessed another patron singing Ave Maria in one of the high ceiling stone rooms in the palace. The sweet sound resonated in all who were there as we were mesmerized with it. At night I met group of ladies (artists from Atlanta) outside at a cafe while having a hot chocolate. We ventured in together for a light show displaying the history of the Papacy on the massive stone walls all around us. Some evenings now when I look up into the sky and see the big dipper I remember that night in the cool fragrant air, waiting in the dark for the show to begin, while looking up to see the same stars.
Avignon is situated in Provence along the Rhone river, hence it being a good place for trade.
Upon arriving to my room the first day, the reception gave me a choice of a room on the 4th floor or one with a terrace a half floor up. The terrace was yet to be utilized but he said to go out the window should I want to use it. The shutters on the window were taller than me, and allowed for laundry to be hung out to dry, after being washed in the sink.
The lavender gelato, a light purple color smooth and cool, was fitting in the land of fields of the herb, as I walked the medieval streets in search of food after the light dessert. To this day I regret not seeing a notice for a quartet playing Vivaldi that night, next door from the Popes palace. Small concerts like that in old churches are a delight to see, and are found in many places throughout Europe for a small fee.