Seniors Discover Valence

The word valence comes from Latin valentia, meaning “strength or capacity”  and history abounds. Valence is proud of it glorious past. Senior visitors will discover its old center, its cultural wealth and a special quality of life as you stroll in its narrow streets.

Valence goes way back to the Romans who named the town Valentia in 2BC and there has been a university in Valence since 1452. At the tender age of 16, Napoléon Bonaparte attended military school in this terraced city.

With a population of 65,000, Valence is surrounded by grape vines, olive groves and fields of lavender. It sits on the left bank of the Rhone River and is home to the largest river marina in France, so seniors, if you are a boating enthusiast, it is a great destination.

USA Today had an recent article on the “10 Most Expensive Restaurants” in the world. La Maison Pic in Valence was on that list as a legendary French restaurant that boasts three Michelin stars. More than a century old, today’s chef, Anne-Sophie Pic, is crafting the food and menus just as her father, Jacques Pic and her grandfather, André Pic did before her.

All three Pics achieved three Michelin stars during their tenure. For the most decadent experience at the restaurant, seniors can choose the Collection Pic menu, which costs roughly $445 per person.

Seniors, Welcome To Le Midi

Valence is said to be the portal to the Mediterranean and is the temperate zone demarcation area where the cold climes of France seem to melt away. In addition, the quality of light is different and the temperature higher as you travel south, bringing with it the scent of eucalyptus and pine. Valence is France’s largest producer of organic food, and is renowned for its fine cuisine and the wonderful Rhone wines.

Valence is a sleepy city overlooking the Rhone.  An hour from Lyon and Grenoble and in close proximity to vineyards producing Crozes Hermitages, St Joseph and St Peray wines, the city makes a great stop off for wine tours of the region.

The much-loved Kiosk De Peynet stands on the Champ de Mars and is one of the highlights of this small city – and a good place to start your visit. This ornate bandstand has beautiful views of the decorative gardens and fountains of Park Jouvet below.

The bandstand is an historic monument and has come to symbolize Valence, so look it up. The Cathedrale St-Appollinaire, consecrated in 1095 by Pope Urban II is another main attraction.

TripAdvisor has been to Valence and suggests that senior travelers visit La Maison des Têtes, a beautiful and very ornate 16th century building whose façade has been sculpted with heads – hence the name.  When you are in Provence, don’t skip Valence… You’ll be glad you spent some time in this charming city.  jeb

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