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Montmorillon - a Town of Books in France

Bridge in Montmorillon Most w Montmorillon Creative Common BY-SA

There are places, where you can rest like anywhere else. There are no crowds, no loud discos nor traffics. One of them is a comely, French town Montmorillon, also called a Town of Books.

In the era of smartphones, tablets, computer games which are more and more often played by the people travelling by trams or busses, more and more rarely we see people, who read simple, paper books. Some even boldly claim, that nobody reads books nowadays. But it’s hard to call this thesis bold. It’s simply untrue – there are still thousands of book adherents. Maybe they just aren’t seen so commonly.

Those, who prefer traditional way of reading, will be pleased with the opportunity of visiting a small, quiet, French town - Montmorillon. It’s located in the region of Poitou-Charentes, in the Vienne department. The clay mineral - montmorillonit - was named after the town. It was discovered in 1847 there.

Montmorillon – a paradise for bibliophiles

Montmorillon is a small town, though very interesting. Book enthusiasts will find numerous smaller or bigger bookstores, as well as antique shops, where they can pick out many “white crows”. It’s definitely not a place for those, who are eager for attractions, crowds and partying till morning. Such tourists will be bored here, but the serene atmosphere will amaze anyone, who seeks peace and escape from the turmoil of big cities.

The town is quiet and very climatic. Narrow streets lazily ramble up, waving among small stores made of light-colored stone. You can simply fall in love with this charming town.

Books and pasta

Actually, Montmorillon is known to a wider public not for the great number of bookstores, but for its delicious macaroons. In town there’s a museum devoted to almond and macaroon, created by the macaroon’s factory called Maison Rannou-Métivier, built in 1920. It’s worth to mention that the recipe, secretly kept, hasn’t changed a bit since 150 years. Try this sweet and local specialty! When walking around steep streets it’s worth to visit one of the dozens of nice restaurants and try the local specialty.

Many cafes, both in the very center, as well as in the vicinity, offer tourists delicious, traditional dishes, served in cozy interiors. Apart from famous pasta we can try stewed meat with mushrooms, or dishes with shrimps. There’re several worth recommending restaurants, including Restaurant Le Lucullus, where we can eat lamb with herbs, as well as La Voulzie (à Lathus-St-Rémy), which amazes with the localization on the river bank and delicious dishes, among which you can find an eel marinated in red wine. Tourists, who prefer less original dishes (or maybe less French) can go to

L'Auberge “In” for a steak, pizza or hamburger, or to Saveurs d'Asie, a Vietnamese restaurant.

Where to stay?

Those, who are allured by the peace and quiet of Montmorillon, can stay for few days in one of the local hotels or guesthouses. There’s no lack of place for caravanning adherents. They can check the offer of the campsite Municupal, which is located by the river (31 Avenue Fernand Tribot). Free facilities include Wi-Fi, playgrounds for kids, as well as the possibility of taking your pet with you.

Montmorillon is a perfect place for holidays. The local landscapes are beautiful, and in the surrounding woods (Parc naturel régional de la Brenne) you can admire happily murmuring streams and picturesque waterfalls. Leaving the town, we can buy a souvenir in one of the numerous bookstores.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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