le journal

Provence Village Spotlight: Ménerbes

Provence Village Spotlight: Ménerbes

The village of Ménerbes, from the vineyards and orchards of the north, materializes above as if in perfect harmony with the mountain and rock itself. Lined with 18th century stone homes, the village ramparts look as if they are gazing out with admiration at the rich greens and golden hues of the ambrosial valley before them.

Wander through the cobblestone streets of Ménerbes, along the ramparts and toward the east end of the village where the church sits. The village homes are adorned with blooming jasmine, potted fig trees, and rosemary – all framed by peeling shutters painted in a perfect Provence palette. A feast for one's eyes and for the nose. Every village in Provence has a different flavor and Ménerbes' is particularly sweet.

Gander into L’Église Saint Luc and the visit the ancient cemetery, where those who have passed on enjoy a heavenly view of the valley.

Don't miss a visit to Dora Maar's home - a living tribute to her life (and the owner who bought the house when Maar died: an American arts patron, Nancy Brown Negley). Dora Maar, Picasso's muse in the 1930's and 1940's, spent her summers here in beautiful Ménerbes and it is easy to understand her long fidelity to the place. The house is also an artists residency; artists come to spend time here for inspiration through the foundation's program.

A lovely stop is the Maison de la Truffe et du Vin du Luberon in the town hall square. Much to learn about truffles and the region's glorious wine. They feature a well-stocked shop and a restaurant with a beautiful terrace.

For a casual bite to eat and stunning views, make a reservation at the village's Café du Progrès.

Photography and writing by Emilie Johnson. She can be found on instagram at @emilie_joly_johnson