Known for the beauty of its landscapes, the Luberon region stands out for its unspoiled countryside, medieval villages, and panoramic views. This is the setting that inspired Peter Mayle’s popular ‘A Year in Provence’ and will be the focus of our introductory seminar to this fascinating region of Southern France.
Consisting of a vast agricultural plain surrounded by rocky promontories, the Luberon region presents a spectacular patchwork of seasonal color with pale pink almond blossoms, cherries, lavender, and sunflowers amid olive groves, vineyards, and old stone farmhouses. Overlooking the valley are dramatically positioned villages – perchés with their closely packed buildings set high for safety.
This seminar explores this unique region's history, geography, and culture, with its chateaux, monasteries, and Roman roads as well as its drystone huts, ochre quarries, and vibrant markets. Included in our itinerary are Gordes, Roussillon, Sénanque Abbey and Fontaine de Vaucluse.
This interactive seminar will introduce participants to some of the Luberon Valley's key sites, led by Pamela Morton, a longtime resident and specialist in the history, art, and architecture of the south of France. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the area's history, architecture, and natural features.
Originally from the US, Pamela has lived in France (Aix-en-Provence and Marseille) for 25 years. Pamela teaches studio art and art history for American university programs in Aix. She trained in art restoration in Italy and has a background in museum work as a curatorial assistant and program director. She is also an artist working in mixed media -- drawing and painting. She attended Bennington College and California College of the Arts. She's worked as the on-site director for a study abroad program and for educational programs including the Smithsonian, Alumni International and Cultural Experiences Abroad. She's taught for Northwestern University, Oberlin College, and the Marchutz School of Art (Aix). As an art historian, Pamela is endlessly fascinated by the local culture, the archaeology, history, and architecture of the region as well as its monuments and museums. As a painter, she is intrigued by the light and colors of this southern realm, the Midi, where so many artists lived and worked. Her two favorite artists from Provence are Cézanne and van Gogh.
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.