Pezenas In The Languedoc
Pezenas was the seat of local Government for the Languedoc during the 16th-17th Centuries, and is today, one of the prettiest towns to visit in the region.
Nestled between the Mediterranean sea and the Haut Languedoc (the hilly bit), Pezenas is a town rich with the sort of good living that the Languedoc is famous for.
The wines and speciality foods are numerous, such as "Les Petits Pates" (a sort of warm mince pie) and "Berlingots" (a unique type of boiled sweet that everyone should try).
Not to mention the almost inexhaustible range of olives, honey and of course wines. The selection is superb and available from the hundreds of wine producing Domains.
Skilled the old town, practic such as leatherwork, jewellery making where they exquisite , glass blowing, metal work, painting and sculpture, passed down from generation to generation. In the Summer, they set up small workshops offering visitors the chance to take home a truly unique memento of the area. During the winter months all the 'E' Shops in the old town close so the artisans can busy themselves painting, sculpting and building ready for the summer months ahead.
The arts and crafts theme continues away from the old town, with family runs shops such as "2en1" in Rue Conti. Specialising in high quality material for patchwork (a favoured local pastime) along with candles, candle holders and other table decorations and gifts, "2en1" is a friendly place to visit and an ideal stop in the search for a little something to remind you of your visit to Pezenas.
Pezenas is also well known for it's antique shops, with over thirty of them lining the main route through the town. One of the best to visit is "Franck Antik", at the top end of Rue Conti.
"Franck Antik" is a well established business with over 200 sqm of antiques to browse through. Specialising in leather lounge chairs from the 1920's to the 1960's, as well as classic design pieces from the 60's, 70's and 80's.
They also have a huge selection of French furniture from the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. Both "2en1" and "Franck Antik" speak good English so don't worry if your school days French is a bit rusty.
Pezenas is a town that has always been popular with actors, singers and all manner of performing artists.
It was this love of the arts that attracted the famous French playwright, Moliere to Pezenas back in the mid 1600's. Moliere felt a real bond with the town and regularly performed in the "Hotel d'Alfonce" (17th century) in Rue Conti (pictured above) , undoubtedly one of the most beautiful buildings in Pezenas and one of the most sought after by history loving visitors. The Hotel is open to visitors from June to September.
As well as arts and crafts and antiques, be sure to check out the weekly market, in the centre of town on Saturday mornings. A wonderful selection of locally produced food and wine, as well as a huge selection of flowers and clothing.
And finally. A visit to Pezenas would not be complete without enjoying a truly sumptuous meal in one of the many restaurants dotted throughout the town.
Two of my favourites are "La Pomme d'Amour" in rue Albert Paul Allies and "Le Bateleur" in place Ledru Rollin.
Other Towns near Pezenas
Below is a list of other towns and villages that are also within the Herault area of South Western France: