Avignon, the cultural capital, claims a unique architectural and artistic heritage which is still the largest and finest collection of Gothic Europe. "In Altera Roma" in the fourteenth century, Avignon was the capital of the Christian world. The Palais des Papes fourteenth century and the Pont Saint Benezet twelfth century, are classified world heritage by Unesco. Avignon is today a tourist and cultural crossroads, designated "European City of Culture in 2000. Famous also thanks to the largest festival of live theater in the world, it hosts more than 1,000 performances each year.
The department of Vaucluse (84) is part of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and is separated into five main areas: the region of Avignon, the Luberon, Mont Ventoux, the Pays des Sorgues and the Haut Vaucluse. The Vaucluse is known for its hilltop villages, of which 6 are classified as "most beautiful villages in France": Ansouis, Gordes and Roussillon in the Luberon Menerbes, Seguret in the Vaucluse and Venasque in the Venaissin County. Other notable sites of the Vaucluse are : Avignon, the Cité des Papes, Apt, Cavaillon, Lourmarin, Orange, and Bollène. The Vaucluse is ideal for hiking and biking, which offers numerous marked trails, exeptional reliefs such the Dentelles, or famous bike tracks, as the Col du Mont Ventoux.
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