October 6, 2016
Put my finger on my map of Provence and landed on Cucuron. Not far - 30 minutes or so. Also close enough to our nearby Marseille that in 1720 half the village population died from the plague, which started in Marseille and traveled north through Provence (despite a ban on travel and a "plague wall" [mur de la peste] made of stone, remnants of which can still be found in the region). I read something about it in the village and came home to read fascinating tales of the bubonic plague and its various waves in European history.
Back to Cucuron. Charming in all of Provence's ways. It is a town with some elevation, which translates to extra charm as the streets climb to picturesque vistas. The town has roped in an interesting anglo community. I saw flyers for an 'English evening' every fortnight or so. There are also several cooperatives in town - a cherry jam cooperative (!), a grain cooperative and a viticultural cooperative. Plus a couple of olive oil mills. (We are looking forward to that November adventure with our own trees).
Walking into the 14th century church - Notre Dame de Beaulieu (aptly named) is a transcendent experience. Stunning light. Detail and color that defy time. I walked away and have since craved to go back. It feels as if the light were some exotic treat and I want another taste.