A busy scene at one of the biannual antiques fairs held in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue with a dealer demonstrating an early piece of farm equipment. (Photo:

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Pretty Provence

The Provençal town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in south-east France is one of those atmospheric picture-postcard places that make Provence one of the most visited places in France.

The town is full of narrow streets, bridges over the canals and tributaries of the River Sorgue and a square surrounded by antiques and vintage shops, cafes and restaurants. Its weekly outdoor Sunday market is a food and antiques and fleamarket all rolled into one.

Twice a year in April and August, the town holds an antiques and art fair in the Gautier Park, on the quays by the river and in the streets. April’s event runs over the Easter weekend this year from Friday to Monday, April 19-22.

Up to 450 exhibitors are anticipated plus thousands of visitors who pick their way through quilts made in Provence, French ceramics and glass, furniture, art, textiles, books and pieces with a local flavour are often for sale here.

On the road


The Foire des Andaines in Normandy. (Photo:

The annual Foire des Andaines in Normandy, which has run for nearly 20 years, takes place this year on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19.

The fair is held along a 5km stretch of forest road between Saint-Michel-des-Andaines and Bagnoles de l’Orne. The road is closed to all other traffic over the weekend to accommodate up to 2000 stallholders and a busy throughput of buyers.