Cycling past Roman ruins, tiled roofed farmhouses, and grand châteaux, you can’t help feeling like you are riding through centuries of fairy tales. Seas of lavender sway in the breeze, their pungent aroma mixing with tart apple scents, catching the balm of sea air. This is definitely Provence. Grand châteaux with gracious gardens, share the sloping vineyard studded hills with field stone and stucco farm cottages. Geraniums overflow from battered window boxes while blooms of ancient rose vines frame a welcoming archway.

Morning tea sipped from a blue and yellow patterned cup is leisurely enjoyed around a lovingly age worn chestnut breakfast table. Plans are afoot to visit Arles to view an exhibit of one Provence’s favorite sons, the painter, Cezanne, the father of modern art. The warm sun on your shoulders is a reminder of the strength and beauty of Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

Provence wears her layer upon layer of history like the large hand crafted pieces of furniture that establish the focal point of many rooms in Provence. In years past, massive pieces with intricate carving or detailed hand painting, once a status symbol, were often crafted from a tree, often chestnut, cut from the owners’ land. Theses large pieces, like Provence, hold the beauty of nature encased in solid, functional design, which is meant to be lived in.

The Daly Group, The Perfect Home, AICO Innovations Furniture

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