Start at the Palais des Papes, the spot which was once the center of the Western world when the Popes made Avignon their home-away-from-Rome in the 14th century. The forbidding stone walls still exude an air of chilling authority. The palace’s Grand Chapel is an imposing bare space, but if you want decoration, the beautiful chapels of Saint Martial and Saint Jean are where it’s at. Stop in at the Notre Dame des Doms Cathedral with its squat, square spire on your way to the original bridge to nowhere, the Pont d’Avignon (actually Pont St-Bénézet). Dancing optional.
The morning is devoted to epoch-hopping art appreciation. Walk along Avignon’s charming winding streets and take your pick from antiquities reflecting Avignon’s Roman roots at the Musée Lapidaire, the Petit Palais, which displays art from the Popes’ Avignonian sojourn, and the Musée Angladon which boasts a Van Gogh among its small but impressive collection concentrating on Post-Impressionists.