In many towns in France, you will find summer festivals. Avignon is no different. This is a very old and charming city with lots of narrow winding roads. I have driven in the old part of the city but hope that I never have to do so again, or I will have to invest in a tiny car.
Last week I met up with my good friend Pascale and after driving in circles, outside the walls of the town for 30 minutes we found a parking place. We walked for about 15 minutes and finally made our way into the walled city. Our first stop was the Theatre Actuel and a 12:15 play. This is all part of the “Festival Off”, which is well known for the largely undiscovered plays and street performances. The plays and musical performances run all day.
The play we saw was called, Mangez-le si vous voulez. (Eat it if you wish) The topic is a true story from the 1800’s. A young man made his way into his village where there was a festival. The towns people decided that he wasn’t who he said he was, but a German soldier. Since France was at war with Germany, they were pleased to be able to capture him. However they also decided to kill him and get this…. eat him. Many of the villagers went to jail and the town eventually changed its name.
Avignon is a wonderful place with great food, old buildings and wonderful stores. One of the most interesting sites to visit is the Palace of the Popes. Seven successives popes lived in Avignon between 1309 and 1377 during a period known as the Avignon Papacy. From this time, until the French Revolution, Avignon was under control of the Popes. With the French Revolution, in 1791, Avignon became a part of France.