We are celebrating Bastille Day in the lovely city of Périgueux, back in the Dordogne region we enjoyed so much weeks ago – the land of foie gras and lots of duck in every other form.The medieval section of the city is right outside our front door, and we strolled the empty streets this morning, realizing everyone else is at the beach.
We had a nice moment in the Cathedral of St. Front, which was built in the 12th century and restored in the 19th century. It is and has been for centuries a stop along the Routes of Santiago de Compostela. While we were touring, the organist and two trumpeters were practicing for a performance later today, and the music filling the church was stunning.
The highlight of our day was our rendezvous with my dear colleague Valerie and her family, in France for vacation. We had a wonderful time together, and her charming French husband cleared up some of the mysteries of the country that you can’t get out of guidebooks.
Together we visited the other, even older, part of Périgueux, where the Romans lived the good life. We toured the Vesunna Museum, which features the remains of a temple of the Gallic goddess Vesunna, and a luxurious Roman villa called the Domus of Vesunna, built around a garden courtyard. The museum is new, opened in 2003, and is itself a very graceful housing for what was a very elaborate villa of the 1st century, remodeled several times over the next two centuries, and only relatively recently uncovered.
The rich have always lived well…