Retirement: Viens, France: Pleasures of Provence

Pleasures of Provence

Bill Anderson and Lorie Strait hadn't read Peter Mayle before they bought a home in Provence in 1996 for their retirement. But life in their stone house, situated amid fields of lavender and groves of oak, could easily provide a sequel to A Year in Provence.

Their three acres, a 10-minute walk from the small hilltop village of Viens, feature a garden with the requisite stone picnic table, a fountain waiting for a plumber and a driveway requiring four-wheel-drive vehicles. "The initial appeal of this area was due to all of the trite stuff, like the light, the food and the...

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