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Provence Escapes adds a dramatic visit with Picasso to its tours


ATLANTA – (January 13, 2009) – If you think seeing several of Picasso's paintings in a major museum is inspiring, wait until you see 3,000 of them illuminated on giant limestone walls in an underground quarry. Through a combination of high-tech imagery and dramatic symphonic music, Cathedrale d'Images in Les Baux de Provence,France, transports visitors into the middle of an exhilarating exhibit of Picasso's works, "supersized" and dancing across 40-foot walls, massive floors and high ceilings in the quarry's cavernous chambers.

That's the way participants of the Provence Escapes tours will experience the visual richness of one of the 20th century's most accomplished artists in a space worthy of each period of Picasso's extraordinary career.

This magical place is one of the highlights of Provence Escapes, seven-day, villa-based tours hosted by travel writers Judi Janofsky and Rich Steck and limited to just ten participants each week.

"The Cathedrale d'Images changes its exhibit every year," says Steck. "In 2008, it was on Van Gogh and the paintings he created while living in Provence. This year it's Picasso, a fitting tribute to the painter who took part in a Jean Cocteau film shot inside the quarry 50 years ago. Just imagine seeing the explosive moment of Picasso's famous cubist paintings illuminated on walls as high as a four-story building."

Janofsky and Steck schedule just two tours each year, starting in late May, the perfect time to visit Provence, when the sunflowers are amazingly big and the tourist crowds are refreshingly small. For a week, participants will follow the footsteps of artists, explore beautiful hilltop villages, browse through colorful markets and enjoy the tastes of Provençal food and wines.

"We'll visit some of Provence's most endearing sites and villages," says Janofsky. "Including Arles, where Van Gogh lived and painted; St. Remy and its Roman ruins; the famous antique market town of L'Isle sur-la-Sorgue; the perched villages of Gordes and Bonnieux and the ochre quarry and village of Roussillon. Along with wineries and wine tastings, a cooking class and shopping, it's a full schedule."

This year's tours are scheduled for May 23-30 and May 30-June 6. Each Provence Escapes tour includes:

- Seven nights accommodations in a luxurious villa with beautiful gardens and a swimming pool
- Transfers from and to the Avignon TGV train station
- Local ground transportation
- Breakfast every day, lunch or dinner daily
- Local wines
- Escorted tours and all admission tickets
- Wine tastings
- Cooking class
- High-speed Internet access
- Personalized packets of information, including market buying
tips, restaurant recommendations and itineraries for exploring
on your own

Rates for the weekly Provence Escapes tours are $3,175 per person based on double occupancy. Tours booked before February 28, 2009, will receive a $200 per person discount. Tour dates are May 23-30 and May 30-June 6, 2009. For more information, visit, email or call 770-998-7800.

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