Vaison-la-Romaine Haute Ville
The Medieval center of Vaison-la-Romaine was on the steep, rocky hill on the south side of the river. Today, this Haute Ville part of Vaison-la-Romaine is still pretty much an authentic Medieval village, topped with a huge, square XII-century castle.
The entry street climbing up into the Haute Ville is lined with a few tourist shops and cafes. As you continue on up into the heart of the old village, the shop disappear and there's a sense of quiet, and of entering into the Medieval past.
Past the section of shops, you make a switchback turn at the plain stone fountain on the Place du Poides and follow the cobblestone street up to the tall Beffroi (clock tower). The entrance into the upper, heart of the Medieval Haute Ville is through the deep, fortified gateway through the base of the tower.
The lower part of this tower was built in the 14th century. The upper part and the ornate wrought-iron campanile were added in the 18th century.
The heart of the Haute Ville is quite extensive, with long, narrow streets traversing the hillside east-west, between nicely renovated but ancient buildings, even narrower little streets connect the traversing streets, many with vaulted arch supports.
The narrow streets are lined with old houses, picturesque old doorways, little squares with small fountains, old churches, and the massive block of a castle at the top.
The old center of Vaison-la-Romaine Haute Ville isn't completely without commerce: there are three hotels along those narrow cobblestone streets, including the Hostellerie Le Beffroi, L'Eveche and La Fête en Provence.