Gordes is often anointed in guide books and tourist office pamphlets with bland monikers like the “jewel of Provence”. Indeed, the hilltop village is the very image of Provence, the first town to pop up on a Google search, right up there next to the violet lanes of lavender. It’s true that its beauty, especially in the morning when the sun climbs over the towering chateau, or in the early evening, when the staircase of stone buildings is bathed in amber and the valley behind the town looks like it was created in the mind of Matisse, can break you. You will find yourself saying stupid things like “let’s give up our crude urban existence and find an old stone home that we can covert into a little B&B.” They have a name for this in these parts: Peter Mayle Syndrome. Side effects include marmalade making, furniture building and a sudden desire to crush your own olives.
Pilgrims in Provence: A search for the soul of southern France