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Why Rent?

Settle into the daily pattern of European country life. Stay in your own renovated 18th century farmhouse. Enjoy meals at home tasting local cheeses, salamis, fruit and wine. Relax on your own terrace with a view of the countryside. Meet your neighbors and shopkeepers and make new friends. Become less of a tourist and more of a welcome visitor.
France Information
French Find for Rent

One of our clients wrote and published a charming article about his stay at a house we offer in Provence.  So below is the article written by Ken Gross and published in the New York Post, October 31, 2000.  Enjoy!


The house was right where they said it would be — at the foot of a spectacular mountain in the South of France. The old church was there as well, along with the charming town hall and the breathtaking view of the long valley. All there, all beautiful, all dramatic, all as advertised. The patio was fragrant, the pool was clean and the sunset on a summer evening summoned forth immortal thoughts. The house, itself, was perfectly decorated, well-furnished, thoughtfully arranged.And so, taking in all this guileless splendor, wandering from room to room looking for flaws, I was forced to ask the obvious and deeply cynical question: What's the catch? It is hard not to approach such an earthly godsend without a certain pessimistic skepticism. This was not our first trip to Provence, and more to the point, this was not our first house rental. My wife and I had been gulled before by doctored pictures and florid descriptions.

Hot south France loc!
Killer vu, conv. to mtns,
shops — $2,000/wk

Renting a house by proxy thousands of miles from home is like going on a blind date. When the door opens, the date is always a small disappointment, always a little older, always showing a little more wear-and-tear than the advance word promised. "You won't be disappointed," promised Carolyn Grote, owner of Ville et Village, a California agency that represents properties in the South of France. And so we came across the narrow roads to the town of Lioux in the Luberon Mountains of Provence, with a chip on our shoulders. For $2,000-a-week one can be forgiven a certain specific number of impossible expectations. However, we quickly adopted the giddy attitude of a lottery winner. The key to the home of Donald and Bea Ettienne was under a rock, and a housekeeper — "Madame Adams" — showed us around the property.

It was not really one house, but two that had been joined and modernized by a savvy owner. There was a modern bathroom and laundry room in the basement. The main bedroom was on the ground floor. The rebuilt kitchen was up a flight of stairs. A second bedroom was down another flight of stairs. Living here provided a built-in aerobic workout. It takes a few days to accustom yourself to a house — all the stairs, the quirks of the bathrooms, the tricks of opening dressers. That can be an element of the charm of getting to know a house. Even when Madame Adams announced a "grand problem" (the sink in the kitchen could not be used for a few days because French plumbers do not exert themselves over the weekends), we were good sports. The plumber arrived on Tuesday, which was considered wildly industrious by local standards, and tinkered with some pipes. Given our altered states of mind, it seemed a delightful treat to turn on a faucet and get hot water. It does not take long to slip into the rhythms of life in the French countryside. You buy fresh baguettes every morning. You shop for vegetables and wine grown nearby and from the local caves. You prepare a salad with a dressing made out of honey harvested from the lady down the road.It was possible to stay at the house, loll at the pool, eat on the patio, read on the terrace and drink in the lazy beauty.

But the Luberon Mountains are filled with sights to see and markets to plunder and towns to explore.Gordes, a village perched on the lip of a mountain, was improbable and spectacular. It was crowded on market days, and spoiled slightly by the inevitable tourists, who pause in the middle of the road to take a picture of the unlikely town.Avignon is an hour and a half away, and there you can always find a music festival, a play, or visit the Palace of the Popes. The shopping is overpriced, but plentiful and fine. There are, in fact, dozens of towns, some with Roman ruins, some with famous restaurants. As far as we could detect, there was little hostility to linguistically-challenged American tourists.On one day, after visiting the Roman ruins at Vaison la Romaine, and after a long lunch, we couldn't find our car. I had to explain all this in my pathetically broken French to a gendarme. She nodded tolerantly and went off in her cruiser to find the misplaced automobile. When she returned, she had a bright smile on her face. She said that she had found the car, only it was parked illegally.We drove back to our rented home under the spell of that sunny smile, trying to imagine a cop in the Hamptons going off to search for our misplaced car, finding it parked illegally, and not giving us a ticket.

(Alas!  PR90 is no longer available to us as the owner is currently occupying the house herself.  We do have many others that offer the same charming experience.)

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