A sunlit landscape dotted with vineyards and fields of wildflowers and
herbs, and ancient villages that seem rooted in the earth: these are
the essential elements of Provence. Typical of the "perched villages"
of the region is Bonnieux, set at an altitude of 1200 feet in the Lubéron,
an area loved by generations of French artists and writers. The origins
of Bonnieux predate the Romans, and its medieval character is wonderfully
preserved. This charming village has all that a visitor could want,
including several restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and even a small
museum. It is an excellent base from which to enjoy the outdoors, as
well as all of the festivals, concerts, and cultural events held regularly
in the area. Bonnieux is also within easy driving distance of Aix-en-Provence
(28 miles), Avignon (30 miles) and Marseille (45 miles) for excursions
throughout the region.
Dating back to the 12th century, the Old Alms House boasts an unusual
history - it was the site of the medieval hospital, in use until 1749!
The house is set just below the old church in the quiet upper quarter
of the village. Facing south and thus protected from the wind, the house
and its small vine-covered terrace enjoy superb views of the "Petit
Lubéron" mountain and the cedar forest of Bonnieux. Perhaps
the most intriguing feature of the house is its secret garden, carved
into the cliffside and sheltered by a roof of vaulted stone. Reached
by an underground passageway (whih also holds a wine cellar), the secret
garden is a unique hideaway, perfect for lunch away from the midday