One of the oldest place of human civilization in Europe, the plateau des Claparèdes around Saignon has been inhabited since the paleolithic area (200.000 – 35.000 before present).
In antiquity the complex cultural landscape was build by the ancient Celts, Greeks, and Romans who cultivated the landscape, build borries, pagan sites, monuments, farms, temples and churches, and laid the roads, which serve until today as the foundation of later build civilizations. For centuries the northern Celts and the ancient Greek and early Roman civilisations coexisted more or less peaceful in the Provence, which is witnessed by the excavations in Glanum at St.Remy.
In modern times the cultural landscape is layered and contains strata from thousands of years of western civilisation:
The Luberon is a park (Parc Naturel Régional de Luberon) that is classified by the UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. In the valley of the Luberon you find olives, almonds, cherries, apples, wine, vegetables, sunflowers, and lavender. On the south side toward Grass you find one of the most important perfume centres in the world, where the essences of the fragrant plant of the Provence are distilled for the master noses in Paris and perfumes makers all over the world. And the Potager d'un curieux is a farm in Saignon that cultivates seed from rare vegetables and fruits and contributes to the huge diversity of tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplants and herbs, fighting against the extinctions of species.
The lush markets of the Provence are famous for their fresh produce and the delicious little things. The colors, people, smells, sounds, little cafes and bars on the side of the road make these markets most enjoyable and a true treasure hunt for motives and inspiration. There is a market somewhere everyday in one of the beautiful hilltop perched villages. For a more serious treasure hunt you can go to the brocantes and vide-greniers and marché aux puces in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue or Carpentras.
But the Provence is also known for the light, smells, walks, music, theater and literature and of course for the French cuisine.
Some of the best wine yards like Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Côtes du Rhône, Gigondas or Cassis for white wine from Cassis at the Côte d'Azur are just an hour away.