Saint-Rémy de Provence
Laid back, elegant, and artsy, among other things this is the birthplace of Nostradamus, the place where Van Gogh was interned, and offers some fetching local artisanry.
A small city with big things to offer.
Besides being home to the psychiatric clinic to which Vincent Van Gogh committed himself for a year, Saint-Rémy receives the visitor with its reknowned, incomparable Provençal landscapes at the foot of the Alpilles mountains. There's frequent rail and bus service from Marseille, just 75 kilometres (45 miles) away. The place where Van Gogh stayed, in the Romanesque monastery of Saint-Paule-de-Mausole, still treats patients but is also partly devoted to the artist, including his onetime room; there's an intepretive centre in town as well. There's a trail covering sites of many of the painter's most famous subjects, and you can browse galleries and ateliers of numerous other artists all over town, as well. You'll also have plenty of opportunity to shop for some lovely Provence products including linen clothing, lavender perfume, and natural soaps. And just a couple of kilometres (just over a mile) outside town, we also recommend a visit to the Roman ruins of Glanum, with recently unearthed remains of baths, villas, triumphal arches, mausoleums, and a temple.