Avignon with its splendid Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) should be on the list of every visitor to the south of France. It's a huge building, both fortress and palace, sheltering the Popes who lived here in the 14th century to escape the politics of Rome. For a century, Avignon, strategically located at the southern end of the Rhone valley, was the center of western Christendom.
During the 14th century, the city prospered with churches and chapels, public buildings and the houses of cardinals springing up in the narrow medieval streets. It's a place that repays a guided tour and happily the tours When the Popes lived in Avignon continue (in English) on Mondays and Saturdays to October 30th. The tour includes the vast papal palace and brings the place to life with anecdotes about daily life from the Pope down to the lowly kitchen staff.
Tours cost 19 euros per person