Apt, a lively town year-round, embodies the authentic Provençal charm. It is a great place to live and visit. Mostly famous for its extraordinary Saturday market, in existence since the 12th century, it is also full of architectural treasures. Take a walk around its pedestrian streets to discover its noble houses and porches, and its great shops and bistros.

The Colonia Julia Apta was founded by the Romans on the Via Domitia, which linked Italy to Spain through the north Luberon and Nimes. Apt, from the early Middle Ages to the 19th century, owed its prosperity to the culture of vines and fruit (it is still the capital of candied fruit) and to the ochre business. It has the last ochre workshop left in Europe. The history of Apt is written through its architecture, built over the centuries.

The place Gabriel-Péri, tastefully renovated, is the ideal place to have a drink after browsing at the wonderful Librarie Fontaine. The bookshop, which offers a lot of English-language books, is proof of the intense cultural life of Apt, with its weekly rendez-vous for authors, poets and readers. There are two more, second-hand bookshops, and a book-binding workshop in town.

Walk up to the Place du Septier, a pretty square with a fountain, two restaurants and a pottery shop. All the way up rue Saint Pierre, you will reach the beautiful Porte de Saignon and the old bulwarks on your right.

The Cathédrale Sainte-Anne was built in the 11th-12th century and added on: it has romanesque, gothic and baroque elements; a remarkable 15th century stained glass window; the Chapelle Sainte-Anne; a treasury and a Carolingian crypt.

The Bishops’ palace was on the site of the current Town Hall until the French revolution. The Chateau de Mille was the bishops’ summer residence. The Musée d’Apt presents the history and the economy of Provence. You will notice several other monuments: the Chapelle des Récollets, the old Couvent des Carmes and the Chapelle Sainte-Catherine.

La Maison du Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon is an excellent introduction to the region, with animations and interactive screens.