Valbonne January 19 2016
Valbonne is a village in the departement of Alpes-Maritimes, on the very easternmost edge of what many people consider to be Provence (and well to the East of what many other people consider to be Provence, but that is another story). In any case, there are many old villages in southeastern France. Most of them are perched on top of hills or mountains, are circular in shape, and have no straight streets. Valbonne is unusual in that it is built on relatively flat land, is almost perfectly rectangular in shape, and has straight, perpendicular streets.
Because the village is so rectilinear, it is sometimes mistakenly taken to be of Roman origin, when in fact it was laid out in the early 16th century (in 1519 to be exact) in a very deliberate (and successful) effort to attract settlers to the area adjacent to a 13th century Abbey which is still in existence on the northern edge of the village.
Click on the link below to see some tablecloths with designs that remind us of the streets of Valbonne.