A little water, a few canals that meander between old houses… the label of regional Venice is in fashion. Moreover, with a bit of luck, there is a City of the Doges not very far from your home… Provided, all the same, that you have a minimum of imagination. Venice Vidi vici!
1. Pont-Audemer: Normandy’s little Venice
The city center is one of the few in the region not to have been spoiled by Allied fireworks during the Second World War. As a result, Pont-Audemer still retains its half-timbered houses, refreshed by a network of waterways that run along their facades. A little air of Venice just a few kilometers from Deauville which attracts the curious, especially in summer during the Festival des Mascarets.
2. Colmar: the little Venice of the East
Depending on whether you are a passing tourist or a student, the Krutenau district in Colmar displays different charms. Temple of student life at a time when masks were still reserved for fancy dress parties, this little Venice of the Haut-Rhin is also famous for the canals that run along the colorful houses and their flowery terraces. A nice place for bike rides, on foot, by boat… or a bottle of Jenlain in your hand!
3. Sète: Languedoc’s little Venice
Located between the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Etang de Thau, the Queen of the Hérault serves as a border between land and sea, salt water and white water. Swept by the sea air, it is easy to sway from bridge to bridge and especially from terrace to terrace, along the Royal Canal, a sort of Champs Elysée of this little Languedoc Venice.
4. Annecy: the Venice of the Alps
When the tourists are not parading around, little sweaters on their shoulders, with their prams on the shores of the lake, they dream of a Venetian stay near the Palais de l’Isle, where the two banks of the Thiou meet, in a postcard which furtively recalls the charms of the City of Doges. The historic center is thus traversed by ancestral canals which are just waiting for the gondolas to complete their panoply of Venice of the Alps.
5. Martigues: the Venice of Provence
Open to both the Etang de Berre and the Mediterranean, several districts of the city are crossed by canals which have earned the city its nickname of Venice of Provence. Here, small sailboats called “pointus” replace cars to circulate along the quays, reviving along the way, the past of fishermen in the city, today caught in the nets of industrial activity.
6. Amiens: the little Venice of the north
Formerly used by market gardeners to irrigate their plots, the canals of the Hortillonnages district in the heart of Amiens are now floating gardens that can be discovered during a boat trip or by bike thanks to pretty footbridges (guaranteed without lucky charm padlocks).
7. Brantôme: the Venice of Périgord
Undoubtedly one of the rare places in Périgord where you can walk in the water! This little Venice on the banks of the Dronne can be discovered by boat to the foot of the 18th century Benedictine abbey, before landing a little further in a small typical restaurant to continue the gastronomic discovery.
fat pleasures of the region.
8. Port-Grimaud: the little Venice of the South
It’s the other Provençal Venice in the area. Located in the heart of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, Port-Grimaud is the fruit of the imagination of an opportunistic architect who, from 1966, transformed marshy land into a lakeside town. Failing to be green, the project gave birth to a privileged marina traversed by wide canals and with, for each house, access by sea and by land.
9. Salies-de-Béarn: the Béarn Venice
Crossed by the Saleys, a river that runs through its medieval heart, the Béarn Venice has earned its nickname thanks to its canals and its houses built on stilts. In summer, the city of salt and thermal cures can also be traveled aboard gondolas revealing the charms of the city and its heritage with Béarnaise sauce.
10. Isle-sur-la-Sorgue: the Comtadine Venice
Originally built on stilts to escape the marshes, this former fishing village has attracted large fish in its nets, lovers of antiquity, who have gradually taken over the place. The city nevertheless keeps a very current charm thanks in particular to its multiple canals born from the Sorgues river which crisscross the city and highlight its rich architectural heritage.