Poitiers, Vienne, France

An ancient, once fortified city in the Vienne department, steeped in history and bursting with old world charm, popular with shoppers and tourists alike. Plenty of independent shops and places to eat, and narrow cobbled streets to explore. The cathedral of Notre Dame La Grande is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe, with a remarkable 12th century façade with finely carved statues; the Saint-Pierre cathedral and the Baptistere Saint-Jean are also worth a visit, and there’s a Museum of Fine Arts. It would be wrong not to have a bite to eat whilst you’re here – try Auberge Chez Cul de Paille or Bistro du Boucher for traditional French food, and Manhattan Café for burgers.

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