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It offers so much: a square surrounded by many antique shops – for which the town is famed – and cafés, small bridges across the canals and tributaries of the River Sorgue and narrow ancient streets full of plane trees.

And twice a year, in April and August, it hosts a major antiques and brocante fair, which began in 1966 with just 14 stands.

This year the event has been rebranded with a new focus on vintage and design and renamed L’Isle sur La Sorgue Antiques Art and You, with the next of the five-day fairs from Friday to Tuesday, August 11-15.

The statistics from the April fair are witness to its success, as 500 exhibitors – including 300 from the town itself – and 100,000 visitors mingled among the river and canalside stalls and along the leafy streets.

Serge Vallat, the fair’s new director for the organiser, Sponsio, said of his vision for the fair for the next five years: “It is necessary to offer to visitors pieces that interest and surprise them.

“To achieve this we are going to be more selective in choosing and presenting exhibitors, but also look to the arrival of new French and international sellers.”