L'Ilo de Venisso, « the Venice of the Comtat » at the heart of Beautiful Provence
L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (L'Illa de Sòrga, L'Illa de Venissa in provençal dialect according to traditional norms or L'Ilo de Sorgo, L'Ilo de Venisso according to the "mistralienne" norms) was once called « L’Isle en Venaissin » because it was a real island in the middle of the swamps.
Historically L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue was a town of fishermen : from their flat-bottomed boats (the nego chin), they used to catch crayfish, trout, grayling or eels all year long. It was named "the Comtadine Venice" after construction by the Romans of the existing canal system surrounded by houses raised on piles as in Venice.
With the development of paddle wheels some of which are still preserved today, wheat mills were sprouting as early as the XIIth century, followed by the building of workshops for making wool and silk. The town then became one of the major wool production centers in Provence.
In the XIIIth century, the Tour d'Argent (Silver Tower) was buit by the Counts of Toulouse. In the XVIIth century the collegiate church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges was renovated on top of the XIIth century foundations, a gem of Baroque art at the center of the old town.
The third European capital for antiques and collectibles
If l’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is sometimes known as the town of the poet René Char (born in L'Isle in 1907) and the city of markets and restaurants on the banks of the Sorgue, it is the flea-market, the antiques shops and the art galleries (http://www.oti-delasorgue.fr/antiques-villages.php?id=1) which, since the last 40 years, have made its reputation : the third European center for collectibles and antiques, it hosts all year long some 300 antique dealers and more than 800 exhibitors at Easter and 15th of August.
"La Belle Provence"
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is located at the center of beautiful Provence. This garden of Eden encompasses the regions of Lubéron, the Alpilles mountains, the Comtat Venaissin, Montmirail, Mont Ventoux and the 3 As (Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence).
Here, you are at the very source of Provence,
An ageless Provence where were born the soul and culture of this region blessed by the gods,
A cultural and spiritual Provence where the spirit of the arts still reigns at Aix-en-Provence and that of the Popes in Avignon,
A Provence full of warm colours and luminosity whose gentleness and nuances convey unique emotions,
A Provence of pleasure where the variety and the richness of the wine, the local produce and tourism and leisure activities is matched only by the hilltop villages and the incredibly warm and varied landscapes,
A green Provence where abundant water is the source of well-being and life,
A merry Provence full of activity where the accents of the men in the market place define and sing the produce of the sun, day in day out, a secret Provence which is a must to discover on the Sault plateau or in the old streets of the numerous villages,
A symbolic place reflecting the exceptional "art de vivre" in Provence.
Maison de Tourisme / Place de la Liberté 84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - Phone : 04 90 38 04 78
Open all year Monday to Saturday / 9h –12h30 and 14h30 – 18h
Sunday 9h to 12h30, except July – August 9h30 to 13h