In a closed valley, or Vallis Clausa from which the Vaucluse département takes its name, beneath the Vaucluse Plateau and not far from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorge lies the small Provençal of village of Fontaine de Vaucluse.
This pretty village is famous for two main reasons. Firstly there is the association with the Italian poet Francesco Petrarch and secondly, not unconnected to the first, its magnificent resurgent spring, the Fontaine de Vaucluse itself.
In the centre the small romanesque church of St-Véran contains the sarcophagus of St-Veranus. The saint apparently dealt with Coulobre, the monster guilty of troubling the locals from its lair in the fountain’s cave.
Just before the bridge over the emerald green Sorgue, stands a column dedicated to Petrarch. Originally erected in 1804 next to the fountain, the locals moved it to the Place de la Colonne in 1827.
There are several restaurants along the right bank of the Sorgue. These overlook the Espace Pétrarque on the left bank where Petrarch lived. Why not visit the museum which contains rare editions of his work as well as books on his life?