It’s no light matter to be selected as the most beautiful village in France. Last year, the winner was Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, in south-western France, and the impact on the town was immediate. Since the coronation as the most beautiful village 50% more visitors came to visit than they did in the past, about 40,000 in the last year.
Perched on a cliff 100 yards above the Lot river, originally for defensive purposes, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie has cobbled streets lined with 13th century houses. Surrounded by this extraordinary architecture, you’ll forget it’s the 21st century. There’s not an antenna or an electric power line in sight. In June, the flowers burst into bloom among the old stones. On the terraces of the cafés, they serve locally made products.
The abundant flowers in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie remind me of the French saying Qui plante son jardin plante son bonheur (key plahnt sohn zjardahn plahnt sohn bunur), which means “He who plants his garden plants his happiness.” As busy as it is with tourism, the lovely village is clearly a very happy place.
Buy it on Amazon:
The Most Beautiful Villages of France, by Dominique Repérant
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