This article is based on an earlier FrenchEntrée article written by Dean Jennings.
If you want to know what the French think of Uzès, just ask them! It was described to me by a young Nimoise as “la ville la plus belle de toute la région!” - and a short visit to Uzès will show you that she's not the only one who thinks so!
Uzès is a small town in the Gard department of the Languedoc, in Western Provence, rich in charm and appeal, which lies in its beautifully unique architecture, and its Provencal market in la Place aux Herbes which tantalises all the senses with its vibrant colours, tastes and smells. Uzes benefits today from a decision taken in 1958 by French Cultural Affairs minister Malraux, to preserve and restore it to its original charm and condition. As a result the tiny market town is full of well-maintained extraordinary and unique original architecture, retaining all its original narrow alleyways, courtyards and squares. It has become the home of delightful, specialised, little boutiques selling locally produced arts and crafts, and regional produce, not to mention, of course the obligatory cafés and terrasses. Surrounded by the gentle countryside of vineyards basking in the warmth of the Provencal sunshine, it is easy to see people continue to adore Uzès.
Needless to say, with all its picturesque charm, Uzes has been high up on the list of tourist hotspots in the region, and has already been "found" so to speak. For those of you who would shudder at the thought of sharing so marvellous a ville with other anglais, you can rest assured that this isn’t actually a version of little England. But, on the other hand, it isn’t an entirely typical French town either. It is in fact a remarkably diverse town with many other nationalities living in and around it.
One person who lives there told me that Uzès is a little like living in Rome, where the culture, the feel and the city is affected by the mix of other nationalities, including the French. One can find the French more open to sharing this mélange of difference cultures than perhaps in other parts of the region. Uzès also boasts a strong cultural life, with concerts, exhibitions, theatre and fairs all year round.