Ville et Village - European Vacation Rentals
France Information
Spring 2009 
In This Issue:
Heated Pools This year has seen an increase in the number of heated pools in France. It is still not common, but it is a change we're seeing. Clearly the French, who are cautious in using utilities, have found a way to efficiently heat pools! To find such properties do a Keyword Search for "heated".  
Free Calls to the US Another innovation we're seeing in Paris (only) is a large number of apartments that offer free calls to the US and other North American countries. This is a very useful benefit for our clients. To find such properties do a Keyword Search for "free calls".  
Internet Access
It is becoming more common for our Paris and other city apartments to have high speed internet access. In the countryside, we are seeing some properties offering that amenity, but it is not as common. In many areas such service isn't available to owners. However, even in the countryside, access to internet cafes in the larger villages is much easier than it was. To find our properties with high speed internet access do a Keyword Search for "internet".
MY FALL TRIP TO FRANCE: The Riviera, Provence, Paris 

In November I went to France for my annual trip to check out new properties. As our past clients know, each year I visit new properties and select only those that provide an authentic experience either in the architecture, the décor, the setting, or the location. When I speak with clients on the phone in the US, they often say, "Oh, what a great job. I'd love to do that. Need someone to help you?" So I thought I'd give you a little "taste" of my most recent trip.

I love France in the fall. When I arrived in Nice, it was still warm in the daytime and getting cool at night. I stayed in our apartment RV100 in the heart of Nice. This is a beautiful apartment in a Belle Epoque building. It is in an ideal location being just 2 blocks from the Promenade des Anglais and the famous Hotel Negresco. In the mornings at 8 am, I exited the ornate wrought-iron elevator into the elegant foyer. Each time I passed the concierge as she washed the floors. She said a quick bonjour and I thought, "What a typically French scene." At night I put on my warm jacket, tuck my umbrella under my arm, just in case, and walk down the pedestrian-only Rue de France. Even though it was fall, this part of Nice was still lively with French tourists enjoying a weekend away. They strolled arm-in-arm and checked out the restaurants to select their choice for dinner. I always start my trip to Nice with dinner at a pizzeria. I adore the thin crust, slightly burnt pizzas that are a standard here. I especially enjoy it at an outdoor café under a heat lamp.. parfait!

After several days along the Riviera, I moved on to Provence. After leaving the massive mountain range of the Alpes Maritime, I arrived at the gentle Provencal countryside with its many vineyards covered with brilliant red leaves. I stayed in PR025, a farmhouse we offer outside Caromb. This restored farmhouse is rich in Provencal charm with pale yellow walls, traditional fabrics and pretty wood antiques. When I arrived, the keyholders, a French couple who live next door, were in the back field handpicking olives from the trees. They bring this ripe fruit to the cooperative where it is pressed to make olive oil they enjoy all year. From my kitchen window I could see Mt.Ventoux with snow on top! This year, the Tour de France will have one stage on this, the highest peak in Provence. When I drove out in the early mornings to start visiting new properties, a low fog rolled over the countryside, clearing in mid morning to reveal the mountains beyond. On a chilly winter's night I like eating at "home". I stopped in the village of Caromb and shopped. It was windy and leaves flew through the ancient streets. I and others walked from boulangerie to épicerie, buying our food. This trip I purchased fresh goat cheese, local sausage, warm bread and mâche---baby greens-- that the owner of the épicerie had picked that morning from her garden!

The last part of this trip was in Paris. I took the high speed train up to Paris and arrived mid day. Here I stayed in PA052, a lovely apartment in the 5th arrondissment that is located just above Rue Mouffetard, the wonderful food shopping street. I felt right at home in this beautiful apartment with pristine white walls, contemporary grey sofas, wooden antiques and 5(yes 5!) terraces. I celebrated my arrival in Paris with lunch at an outdoor table at a typical bistro at the start of the Rue Mouffetard. It was drizzling and cold, yet I was comfortable shielded by the plastic rain guards and warmed by heat lamps. I ordered steak frites as a late lunch, and watched French parents taking their young children home from school. In between visits to apartments (and a day trip to the Loire Valley to see our new listing there), I did get a chance to enjoy the Louvre one day, have dinner with friends several times and even buy myself a few special treats to take home.

Here are a few of the new properties I contracted with on this trip.


RV050 Grasse - Le Manoir
was built in 1789 and is fully renovated. Located just outside Grasse, it is walkable to the town center, yet is set on a green hillside with country views. The property is really beautiful with sponge painted walls, great use of color, lovely fabrics and some original artwork. The owner initially renovated it for her own use, but now stays there less, making it available to us for rental. So the standard is high. It sleeps 8 and has a beautiful pool and garden.

LV010 Azay le Rideau - Le Manoir de la Cour
This charming manor house is on the grounds of a private chateau built during the Renaissance. The new Parisian owners have renovated the chateau which they use themselves on weekends and holidays and also renovated this lovely outbuilding which they now offer for vacation rentals. It is ideally situated near Azay le Rideau the heart of the chateau country-a perfect location for enjoying famous chateaux, wine, cheese, hiking, and canoeing. It sleeps 6 with 3 bedrooms/3 baths. With its thick stone walls, exposed beams, and carved window frames, the manor house really helps you feel like you've gone back in time.  

PA062 Paris - Rue du Cherche Midi 
The 6th arrondissement is often requested by our clients, because it is central, pretty and still residential. This pleasant one-bedroom apartment is especially well-located on the well-known Rue du Cherche Midi. Within a 2-block walk is almost every service one could demand including a fish store, wine shop, pharmacy, grocery, cafes and restaurants. Set facing an internal courtyard it is very quiet, an asset in Paris. Here, too, the owners bought and renovated the apartment for their own use, meaning the standard of comfort is high. It sleeps 2/4.  


Ville et Village has been interviewed by Travel & Leisure (for their April issue), by Condé Nast Traveler (for their May issue) and by SELF magazine (also for their May issue). And what was the subject of choice for all? Deals! What deals did we have to offer clients? So I thought you'd want to read a few of what I think are our good deals in Provence.---Provence still being one of the first choices for clients. All prices listed vary according to the season as indicated.  

PR011 Le Vignoble
Sleeps 4 $977 - $1411 This cute apartment has 2 bedrooms/1 bath with pool and is on a wine producing estate in Sablet. Newly renovated, it is clean and cheery. The price is great because the pool is shared with the owner and just one other rental. It's in the heart of the Côte du Rhône vineyards, you can walk into the village, and you have 2 terraces for a private outdoor space.

PR081 Le Portail
Sleeps 2-3 $966 - $1197 The famous village of Lacoste has the ruins of the Marquis de Sade's castle and is in the heart of the Luberon Valley, a sought-after location. This lovely village house is furnished with antiques, tastefully renovated and has a spacious balcony.  

PR360 Le Pré 
Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms/1 bath $1531- $1734 Want to be close to famous Les Baux, St. Remy and Arles? This popular area often has high prices, but Le Pré outside Paradou offers, charm, a bucolic setting and an excellent location at a reasonable price. It was originally a shepherd's cottage and barn. Thus there is lots of history here. The French owners did a lovely job of renovating it and offer it at a good price, too.  

PR078 La Baronette 
Sleeps 6/8 in 2 bedrooms +mezzanine and 2 baths with private pool, a/c. $1814 - $3849. Located in Cabrières d'Avignon, a tiny village close to famous Gordes, this pretty village house offers a great value for a spacious house with pool. Clients love walking to the grocery, bakery and 2 restaurants. Yet open country views are just around the corner.  


Did you see the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona by Woody Allen? Perhaps all those scenes in Barcelona have enticed you to travel to that wonderful Spanish city. We have a terrific selection of apartments in the heart of Barcelona. They are now reduced 10% off the listed price. These apartments are pleasant, comfortable, immaculate, and located on a pedestrian- only street. They are a great value . especially compared to a hotel.


We now have a new link on our website so you can visit online a full selection of our luxury Italian villas. This is the same selection we've offered for nearly ten years in the printed catalog. You can still request the printed catalog, but for those who like immediate can use the online link. Go to the catalog page and see the link for Salogi. Or click here for Luxury Italian Villa Rentals.


Just a reminder that we offer a reading list on our website. Naturally this list includes my favorite guides and maps to help prepare for your trip. But in addition, it also includes my recommendations for fiction that will get you in the mood for your destination. I am also fond of cookbooks that bring the taste of France and Italy into my kitchen. Click here for Suggested Reading.

A new suggestion (not yet on my list) is Cooking with Fernet Branca, by James Hamilton-Paterson. This is a fun novel about an Englishman who has purchased a vacation home in the hills above Viarregio and Lucca. He is a ghostwriter for celebrities authoring their own autobiographies. He has the unusual hobby of incorporating his favorite beverage, the Italian aperitif FB, into his creative cooking! (Hence the title). The story deals with his adjustment to living in Italy, his neighbors and the adventures he (and they) encounter. It includes rock stars, airplane rides, an Eastern European government.. and more! It's light reading. For those of you who've been to Lucca, it will transport you back, and for those yet to go it will inspire your curiosity.  


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