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AVIGNON and the surrounding area

Stretching along the left bank of the River Rhône, Avignon is the largest city in the département of Vaucluse. The city enjoys a favourable geographical position, close to Orange, Nîmes, Arles, Salon de Provence, and Marseille. Christened “the City of the Popes” because of the presence here of the ‘French popes’ (1309–1423), who kept some States (Comtat Venaissin) in the South of France right up to the Revolution, it is now the largest city and the administrative centre of the département of Vaucluse. It’s one of the few cities in France to have kept its ancient ramparts and historic centre, comprising the Papal Palace, the episcopal complex, the Rocher des Doms, and Avignon Bridge. It is now listed as UNESCO World Heritage under criteria I, II, and IV.

The Summer Festival instituted by Jean Vilar in 1947 has made it the worldwide rendezvous for contemporary creation for over 60 years now. The city receives nearly 4 million visitors a year for its Festival.

Avignon is also the perfect place to stay for exploring the Luberon, the Alpilles, the Camargue, and all the beauty that is Provence.

And Avignon is also Provençal food and the Côtes du Rhône wines to sample, and a place where you can combine indulgence shopping, exploring, and lifestyle.

Key statistics

Population 89,300
Avignon is
7,000 businesses
1,550 associations
1,764 retailers
1,305 service providers.
Avignon has 27 state nursery schools, 34 state primary schools, 5 private nursery and primary schools.

In terms of communications, Avignon is well served, with nearby:

  • the A7 motorway providing a north-south linkk between Paris and the French Riviera;
  • a second motorway, the A9 (a few kilometres further north), heading for the West of France and the Iberian peninsula;
  • two rail stations, both able to accommodate high-speed trains (Avignon-Centre and Avignon TGV; Avignon TGV) ;
  • the River Rhône, frequented by cruise boats.

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Ranks as the 3rd region of France by population and wealth; boasting 4.7 million residents, it ranks 3rd among the regions of France by wealth - 19th among the regions of Europe. It is home to the ITER thermonuclear project at the Cadarache site. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region possesses an exceptional environment, making it sufficiently attractive that it is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations (it caters for 34 million tourists every year).
This attractiveness, which also forms the basis for one of the greatest concentrations of intellectual and technological resources in Europe, makes it a powerful region in terms of economic activity, in sectors as varied as telecommunications, microelectronics, life sciences, aerospace, marine technologies and multimedia activities, as well as food processing, chemicals and logistics. Note the various business parks such as Aix Les Milles, Cle Sud in Miramas, Sophia Antipolis in Nice.
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