We'll be spending about a week in Provence next May (out of our 2 week vacation) and want to rent a house or apartment in small town for about 7 nights. Right now I'm thinking Vaison de Romaine, but am open to other suggestions. We may spend a night in Avignon when we arrive from Barcelona or before heading to Paris.
Here's what we've liked or not from our two trips to Italy which may assist in recommendation or confirmation that Vaison de Romaine might be the right choice.
We rented a farmhouse outside of Cortona, Italy for a week several years ago. We were too far outside of town and had to drive to Cortona for dinner or do anything. While there were a couple wine shops in Cortona, the immediate area did not have a lot of wineries. However, it was centrally situated for day trip exploration by car to Siena, Montalpulciano (we loved), and Chianti region and train to Florence.
Last trip to Italy, we spent 3 nights in Montalcino and abosuletely loved it. Stay at a hotel, and spent a day in town just wandering, cafe hopping, and wine tasting at a few of the Enotecas. We really enjoyed driving the country side and visiting a couple of wineries. Wish we stayed more than 3 nights.
Our last trip to Italy ended in Sorento. We stayed up the hill at a hotel overlooking the bay, but still within easy walking distance to all the restaurants and shops of Sorrento. 5 nights was perfect, but if we had a couple more days, we would have just relaxed a bit more.
Our preference is small towns (above) over cities (Rome, Florence, etc). We are into good wine, so that's one reason Vaison de Romaine sounds like a good home base. But we'd want to see Pont du Gard and many other sights in Provenance as day trips. Maximum time limit in a car for day tripping is 2 hours. Much more than that and we get the feeling we spent too much time in a car. If we spent 7 nights, we'd probably do our day trips 4 days, and just hang out and enjoy the other two days.
Look forward to anyone's suggestions.